Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 01, 1875Hans Balatka on Music Lecture at the Atheneum
Hans Balatka gave a lecture yesterday....at the Chicago Atheneum before a large, refined audience. His subject was music....its history and development. He spoke in English. [Translator's note: As he did not speak in German and as English newspapers may have given an account of it, the translation is only fragmentary.]....We must admit that Mr. Balatka dealt very successfully with this tremendous theme, which involves consideration of the entire civilized world, and of a period of nearly three thousand years. It is a great accomplishment to speak and write so briefly on this subject and yet give a clear picture of the whole.
Mr. Balatka briefly indicated what is known of the music of the ancient races, and then turned to a consideration of more recent periods. He described church music in its early form, how the material became more involved when the purely melodic form was augmented by harmony. Then he gave a short account of the development of counterpoint, the thriving era of Catholic ecclesiastical music up to Palestrina, and its gradual decadence up to the present; the origin 2of the oratorio in 1600 A.D., and the evolution of opera from the old church plays....the blossoming of Protestant church music and the oratorio under Mach, and Handel, up to Liszt's "Saint Elizabeth" of our day.....He told of the origin of opera in Florence, Italy, and its triumphant progress through-out the world....
He extolled Wagner....as author and composer....Mr. Balatka speaks English well, at times with dexterity and effect, and with scarcely a trace of accent ....At the conclusion of his lecture he was given enthusiastic applause. The lecture was highly successful, and we congratulate Mr. Balatka.
II B 2 g, II B 1 a, IV
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