Chicago Tribune -- February 13, 1876Music.
The recent Von Bulow season of concerts has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many of the German musicians of this city, and, as a consequence, the whole German world is in a fret and fume...when even the phlegmatic and philosophical "P. B." gets on the rampage, it may be taken as an indication that Germany is disturbed. He writes as follows:
To the Editor of the Chicago Tribune:
Von Bulow not satisfied with the laurels he has legitimately won as a great player, longed for still another distinction, so he made a speech, in which he stated that his countrymen, the "Dutch", demanded of him that he should play "Home Sweet Home", "Yankee Doodle", etc.2
Since the Germans here pronounce this statement an unmitigated falsehood, Von Bulow should, in justice to himself, give the source whence he derived that information. It seems as if the only kind of criticism which agrees with the Doctor is unbounded admiration and adoration, "exquisite, beautiful, masterly, perfect", and so on. To himself his reading and interpretation are infallible. Those who admire indiscriminately are the connoisseurs, and those who dare to differ, the ignoramuses. If he settles among us, he will find the leveling process of our democracy slightly different from that which he pretends to discover in Bismarck's Empire. The charm of novelty will soon pass, and then he will be judged like an ordinary mortal. He is a magnificant player and yet the rhapsodical style of Liszt and the moderns is his proper sphere. Mr. "P. B." speaks of the abuse which Von Bulow has lavished upon his countrymen, which leads us to inquire what was the motive? Simply this:3
Von Bulow discharged his orchestral conductor in Boston because the latter guzzled so much beer as to be unfit for his duties, which Von Bulow was wise in doing, and took occasion in his aggressive way to animadvent severely upon the use of beer as an element of musical success, which, perhaps, was injudicious. The German press of this city, with one exception, assailed him in the severest manner, long before he came here, and the clique was formed against him when he arrived.
What the cliques are, "P. B." himself knows in his long experience. Hans Balatka, Otto Lob, Dr. Fuchs, and other numerous German leaders in this city could unfold a very interesting tale of what cliques have done for them. They know that cliques are the bane of German musical effort.
We can only regret finding so old and accomplished a musician as " P. B." entering the lists against an artist who has reflected so much credit upon German art. An artist so modest that he has not even played any of his own compositions.
II A 3 b, I C
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