The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 24, 1871
    [Two German Choral Societies to Merge]

    The unification of the "Germania" and"Concordia" is now an accompolished fact. On Thursday (June 22nd,) the Concordia approved at its general meeting the unification and last night, (June 23rd,) the "Germania" did likewise.

    Now a meeting will have to be called in order to elect a president etc. of the new association "Germania and Concordia."

    The unification of the "Germania" and"Concordia" is now an accompolished fact. On Thursday (June 22nd,) the Concordia approved at its general meeting the unification and last night, (June 23rd,) the ...

    German
    II B 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 30, 1871
    Letter by Otto Lob from the Singing Festival in New York.

    ...It is undeniable that the singing festivals in America have entered a new phase. At each new festival the need for change and improvement is voiced. The old Constitutions have been changed, computated, enlarged, without any great improvement of the results, and ever wider spreads the conviction that one must reform the kernel, real essence of the thing if these festivals shall eventually become what so far they only have been in name.

    When twenty years ago the first American Singing Society was called into life the leading idea was the national principle analogous to the Turners', Sharpshooters' and their Associations. One wanted to organize the German singers into an impressive mass, in order to foster the feeling of unity and in order to win respect from the other nationalities which people the United States. The improvement and cultivation of singing was indeed envisaged, but 2but was pursued in so unsystematic and luke-warm a manner, that this main object degenerated more and more into a side-issue, and so the singing festivals are even today not yet what they should and might be. The Germans have long since, through their intelligence, won a respected position, and it would be unjust if they as citizens of a republic, misjudging the principle of equality, would now want to become dominating. The original purpose of all the Singing, Turn and Sharpshooters Festivals has been realized. With all their splendour, public processions and shows, they have been in a way, only a demonstration and manifestation of German-dom. Now it is time to look to the inner development of such associations...

    At the Xllth Singing Festival of the N. A. S. B. (Nordamerika-nischer Sanger-Bund) one has for the first time tried successfully to make the singing, even "good singing", the main issue. Through the strictest control it was possible to get the singers to study well the general choruses, and so a mass chorus of 3,000 voices could be formed which distinctly surpassed the choruses at former festivals......

    ...It is undeniable that the singing festivals in America have entered a new phase. At each new festival the need for change and improvement is voiced. The old Constitutions have ...

    German
    II B 1 c 3, II B 1 a, III A
  • Germania Club Scrapbook -- July 01, 1871
    Laws and By-Laws of the Germania Male Choir.

    1. The name of the club, founded on July 1, 1871, is Germania Male Choir.

    2. The aim of the club is: To further German singing through study and recital of selected pieces of music, and to further social life.

    10. The director shall be elected by the active members at the annual general assembly. In case of a vacancy, the position shall be filled at an extraordinary meeting. The director cannot be a member of the club.

    13. The general assembly takes place annually in the first week of April.

    14. Business meetings take place in the first week of the months of July, October, and January. At each meeting the presence of thirty members is required for a quorum.

    2

    BY-LAWS.

    2. The entrance fee is fixed at $15 for passive, and $5 for active members.

    3. The annual membership fee has been fixed at $18, and shall be paid quarterly in advance. The officials of the club have the right to remit for unpropertied members, entrance fee and membership contributions in part or in whole.

    18. These by-laws can be changed at any regular business meeting by a two-third majority.

    Chicago, January 14, 1875.

    1. The name of the club, founded on July 1, 1871, is Germania Male Choir. 2. The aim of the club is: To further German singing through study and recital ...

    German
    II B 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 09, 1871
    [A Concert]

    The recital of the "Kaiser Marsch" by Wagner in the Sunday concert of the Great Western Light Guard was a musical event, and the Turn Hall was unusually well filled. At any rate, Chicago is, aside from New York, the only city in the United States where the newest composition by Wagner so far has been played in public. The opinions about the musical value of the piece are strongly divergent -consonant with the opinions each listener had formed previously about Wagner's music.

    ...As the Wagner compositions advance by more frequent hearing, a repetition of the Kaiser March next Sunday is to be highly desired from the point of view of art education.

    The recital of the "Kaiser Marsch" by Wagner in the Sunday concert of the Great Western Light Guard was a musical event, and the Turn Hall was unusually well filled. ...

    German
    II B 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 14, 1871
    [The Germania and the Concordia Singing Societies Merge]

    Haase's Park, situated so close to the city that it is almost part of it, but on the other hand contrasting to it so pleasantly by its country air and its landscaping-Haase's Park has yesterday for the last time been used for a festivity.

    The occasion was the merger of the Germania and the Concordia Singing Societies who belong to the biggest associations in the West, if not in all of the United States.

    The high point of the program was the "Hymn to Music". The effect was overwhelming; the public was carried away and applauded tempestuously...Mr. Floto, the President of the Male Choir then made a speech, quoting the old verse:

    "Where you hear a song, you may rest your wing,

    Evil people have no songs to sing!"

    (Wo man singt, da lass dichrnhig nieder

    Bose Menschen habenkeine Lieder!)

    and continuing: "Ladies and Gentlemen! Should our American fellow citizens be able to subscribe to these words? I beliebe not.

    2

    I rather fear they will regard it as an act of impiety that we spend our fine Sunday in the open air, singing and laughing and enjoying ourselves instead of going to church. Blinded by habit and custom they cannot comprehend that we, too, are endeavoring to safe guard public morality, without however submitting to church hypocrisy."

    Finally the Male Choir sang a composition by its director, Mr. Schmelz, called the "Rhein Wine Song." It is a composition of the well-known dithyrambic by Herwegh.

    Haase's Park, situated so close to the city that it is almost part of it, but on the other hand contrasting to it so pleasantly by its country air and ...

    German
    II B 1 c 3, II B 1 a, I B 2, I C, I E
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 06, 1871
    [A Singing Festival]

    (Otto Lob, in an article about Singing Festivals, quotes from the "Festival Paper" (Fest Zeitung) of the last Singing Festival in Cincinnati, May 1870).

    "These great national festivals, as the Constitution expressly states, shall serve to raise and ennoble German life in the United States. Only in a second, anyway, do they have musical importance, their main function is that the German nation in them shows itself to the other nationalities as a united, impressive entity, worthy of respect."

    This was their function, we would rather say, because the necessity which years ago forced the Germans to unite against the Americans (as a collective name), no longer exists. The Germans have gained through their intelligence, and, still more, through the political events of last year, a high social position...

    Unfortunately, the Singing Festivals of past years have been little more than mass meetings, where the Singers' Banner played the role of the tavern sign. The 2boastful name of "Singing Festival" became an ironical designation, because most of the participants could not sing...The recitals of the last years have shown clearly enough, that the German choir singing in America stands on a surprisingly low level, and that the Singing Societies are anything but places dedicated to the cult of singing.

    It is a sad duty to have to say this, but we do not stand alone with our viewpoint, the men with the greatest insight in the East and West agree...In the better Societies of almost all the big cities, new talents have been recently sought, directors have been changed, better order has been insisted upon - in short it is instinctively felt that things can't continue as heretofore. The teachers see, that the Societies must be something quite different from what they have been, only singers can become members of a Singing Society (we mean, of course, the choir) then the transformation should be easy enough. May the Federal Board in St. Louis better understand its task and better execute it, than has been the case in past years, so that Germandom may win honor with the next Singing Festival, and not shame!...

    (Otto Lob, in an article about Singing Festivals, quotes from the "Festival Paper" (Fest Zeitung) of the last Singing Festival in Cincinnati, May 1870). "These great national festivals, as the ...

    German
    II B 1 c 3, II B 1 a, III B 2, III A, I E, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 12, 1871
    [The Germania-Concordia Singing Society]

    Otto Lob has been chosen director of the Germania-Concordia Singing Society, and as he is already director of the "Orpheus" and of the Swiss Male Singing Choir, all "Chicago Singing Societies, in a way, have been united. Added to this many members of the Liederkrantz now want to join the Germania-Concordia, so that the union of all Germans so far as the singers are concerned will become a fact. We hope that it will bear sorely needed fruit this winter..... As we will have to depend on our own entertainment resources entirely, a provisory hall should quickly be built on the West Side...

    We rejoice that Mr. Lob's achievements meet also outside the city with ever-growing recognition. A few months ago the "Abendlied" choir and echo quartet by Otto Lob was not only produced by the Viennese Singing Society (which occupies first rank in the world of song and on stormy demand was repeated.

    Also, the other day, two mixed choirs by Otto Lob were sung by the Belleville Philharmonic Society.

    2

    The Choral Society in Washington, of which Mr. Otto Lob is an honorary member, has taken such interest in him, that it sent a number to Chicago, exclusively in order to look after, and, if necessary, to help him. The delegate, did, it is true, not succeed in finding Mr. Lob, but "one sees the love" anyway. The "Choral Society" made $600. for the Chicago Singing Societies through a concert.

    Otto Lob has been chosen director of the Germania-Concordia Singing Society, and as he is already director of the "Orpheus" and of the Swiss Male Singing Choir, all "Chicago Singing ...

    German
    II B 1 a, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 21, 1872
    [A Concert]

    Yesterday the dedication of the new hall of the Orpheus took place in presence of a select audience. An orchestra consisting of the best artists of Chicago gave a brilliant rendition of Beethoven's "Prometheus"...and then Louis Meyer, president of the Orpheus, introduced the speaker of the evening, A. C. Hesing, (Mr. Hesing who, being known to you all most advantageously, needs no further recommendation from me.)

    Mr. Hesing said, "Though art is not my field, I yet gladly follow the invitation of the Orpheus, because it is a noble German cause that shall be served. And a newcomer in German-American singing circles I am not! Thirty-one years ago, in Cincinnati, the city I then called home, I helped to found the first German singing society, the Cincinnati Liederkranz, which at the same time was the first German social society in Cincinnati. 2Splendidly, since then, with the power of American Germandom there has developed German organized singing.

    As you know I have thrown the gauntlet to the Temperance movement, with the same utter disregard with which I have opposed the question of the fire limits the nativistic money bags - and that in the American camp itself. In order to gain this new aim, however, all Germans in Chicago must collaborate like one. Shame on every German, who tries to disturb this unity.

    We are called to ennoble, through our German attributes in a social as well as in a political respect, the whole life and being of our new fatherland.

    3

    By defending our good right we at the same time render a great service to this country and its future.......The name Orpheus comes from the Greek singer whose voice tamed even the wildest beasts. Our Orpheus shall contribute through its work to the taming of two beasts whom we are challenging with firm resolution, namely, the beast, Knownothingism, and the beast, Temperance! The speaker frequently was interrupted by plaudits and closed amidst a storm of approbation.....

    Yesterday the dedication of the new hall of the Orpheus took place in presence of a select audience. An orchestra consisting of the best artists of Chicago gave a brilliant ...

    German
    II B 1 a, II B 2 d 1, III B 2, I B 1, I C
  • Germania Club Scrapbook -- July 05, 1872
    (Manuscript) Letter to the Editor of the "Freie Presse"

    In an issue of January of one of the local papers I found a notice reporting the election of Mr. Otto Lob as Director of the Germania and Concordia Male Choir. This was erroneous, because, though among other names also that of Mr. Lob had been mentioned, Mr. Julius Fuchs was almost unanimously elected.

    ...While I attended the singing festival at St. Louis I read some notices of which the following may be regarded as a fair sample. Yesterday we had the pleasure of a visit of Mr. Lob, Director of all singing societies of Chicago, to our office". How many or how few clubs Mr. Lob directs I do not know, but aside from the Germania and Concordia Male Choir, I could easily enumerate at least a dozen other singing societies of which Mr. Lob is not director.

    ...It might be observed that Mr. Julius Fuchs has directed our Club with extraordinary devotion, and if a unanimous re-election is any sign of appreciation of merit, then Mr. Fuchs has received such a sign at the business 2meeting on July 3rd - even though, through still another war, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, presents to the public a Mr. Matthieu (??) as director.

    Signed:

    A Member of the Germania and

    Concordia Male Choir.

    In an issue of January of one of the local papers I found a notice reporting the election of Mr. Otto Lob as Director of the Germania and Concordia Male ...

    German
    II B 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 01, 1875
    Hans 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.

    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 ...

    German
    II B 2 g, II B 1 a, IV