The Houston Post from Houston, Texas on December 5, 1915 · Page 29
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The Houston Post from Houston, Texas · Page 29

Houston, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 5, 1915
Page 29
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HOUSTON DAILY POST: SUNDAYMORNING, DECEMBER 5, 1915. ' r j ijuuijlj-Lnj juior .ruuvuir-ru'-n-rLr jTAnjijTjTjjTjijnjiRruij"j"j"-njn-n-rLn-n-n- r rr 1 i 1 1 mmm ....... r , 77" O 'c far eat- Irish ., 1 enow, --v-yy- Appears in Concert Under the . . Direction of the Treble Clef Club AT' HOME WITH I TWO CELEBRITIES THE PERSONALITY OF THE SINGER a m r i i i ' f , i ' u ' i - m v , , .r mm:., f mm m . jtiv ft ' -O' -.' Y,y:-Y-- V-...... -. Y,T -v-; -; -Y" -S-Y.. Y- ' - nursday . - -Y; . ssVaeW-L I Y" l I A. ,2, Ml , Presenting John McCormack and Fritz Kreisler in Their Xrnriva11ed Parlor Vaudeville Sketch Assisted by the McCormack Youngsters, Introducing Grand Opera Selections by Famous Tenor Seen Apartment of John itcCormack. tht tefular Irish tenor, at tht Holtl Ntthtriand. Ir. McCormack and FrilM Kreisler, tht Austria violinist, pals, art together glancing through a recent book on art. Curtain rises on tht interviewer calling en the linger to loan something of the trouble) of a successful tenor. Congratulates himself ' en finiing Kreisler present. Business of McCormack and Kremler acting as if troubles and concerts and managers were not worrying them. They art just two big boys with an afternoon 'If- . (From New York World Magaslne.) (inp HAT'S enough of that." remarks I Mr. McGormack, closing the art book, "let' get out one of my fld-- dies Frlti; (aside) I can't play 'em but I can listen to Frits." Kreisler selects a violin from McCor-mack's fne collection of four and plays on It. "Now, Hack, a song or two," suggests Kreisler, laying the violin down and seating himself at the piano. The program that follows Is strictly classical songs of Brahms, Schumann and Schubert, the sort that McCormack likes to sing and which he would like Ills publlo to hear him sing more of. One of tha tenor's complaints is that the public seems to regard and accept him as a low brow In so far as his programs are concerned. J'm sorry the public doesn't hear hint sing more Brahms or a classical pro-grim," remarks Kreisler. "It's all bfsh that his audiences don't want them sung as Mack would sing them." "You're wrong. Frits,", replied McCormack, "they would walk out on ine. I'm certain." "The trouble with John," said Kreisler, turning to the visitor, "is he is swamped by his own specialty. Ills personality, his I. old Is too big to be grasped Immediately. His public has to get it gradually. If I were Mack and had his popularity (laying aside all modesty) I should use it to make my following hear and enjoy Brahms, for instance. John could sing Mm artistically, and as no other man could sing him." "All good stuff, Fritz." was McCor- mack's response, "and " Here the family interrupted, at least two of the fkrnlly did, for Cyril, 8, and Owen. 6V4. bounded into the discussion. "Oh, UnciaJ'ritjCLjh.outed . theiby. "have you seen my battleship and submarine T I can blow up the Austrian ' navy." ' Uncle Frits, It should be explained, .is as real an uncle to the McCormack children as though it were a matter of birth, and the big violinist thinks as much of the youngsters as though they were hlj own. Tht Austrian was overcome when, upon his return to America last winter, he-learned that the earnest children had, ee"ry night, prayed for their Uncle Frits who was in the fighting around Lemberg, In far-away Gallcla, where he was wounded. There'are some who doubt that the violinist ever got outside of Vienna and that his wound was a fiction. All of which Is cleared up by Krelsler's book, "Thirty Days In the Trenches." After Cyril, sprawled at length on the floor, the larger half of him under a table, had shown how simple a thing it Is to shatter the largest dreadnaught, he climbed unto Uncle Fritz's lap: X "This lad," commented the violinist, stroking the boy's head, "in time may snatch his father's singing laurels frorn him. If his daddy Isn't careful." "He wlft that," was the father's re-Joinder; "they have sold some 137,000 of my "Tlpperary record, but wait until you hear the lad's. Donald, Just put on that record, will you?" This to Donald Mo- Beat n, the violinist who plays at Mc-Cormack's concerts. The singer claims the young man is a protege of his, but lira. McCormack is always ready to take tha credit herself. The record was made on March 31, so McCormsck's voice announces, and It certainly Is a good one. The youthful Cyril sang "Tlpperary" perfectly, with an enunciation that his father could scarcely'ex-cel. Mr. Schneider, McCormack's accompanist, played the ptano part, while Mfl- uvv, wmi ins viuui, ana aicviormacK himself came In on the chorus. There were but two dozen of the records made but McCormack thinks they would be f big success if put out, only he is still , Jealous of his reputation. xuu uk me wnai me irouDies or a tenor are?" he remarked: "Well, this lad isn't one of them." Then, at McCormack's request, Schu- mvi w 0 wuiuiiMUO IIU ilia VU1II 1 vposer's "Ave Maria," the two popular Mc-V' Cormack-Krelsler records, were put on the machine. These, with "I 'Hear You iimis ie ui wiucn aou.wu nave oeen v bought by the public, and "Mother Ma- : ' chree" are Still rinlnr wall nrA "hln In '' keen the wolf fnm th nnn" Mc Cormack expresses It. The "question of adlences aroused v Kreisler to ask the tenor which type he M a . m . . S, . preierrea, me auaience that was with the ; artist, or a cold one, the "Missouri" kind. ' Both agreed that the latter sort was the more interesting. It Is a fine thing to win , 'them over. And It's a much easier Job hi. , . wing imi Aivivmr nverrea wnen me' ; artist Is established in the public's affec-; " tlon. 1 "If John McCormack's name was John ,8nlth, for example," said Kreisler, "he -, would have to expend three-quarters of ' bis '.personality in getting his auditors With him. But, being John McCormack, ; he la greatly assisted because every vla- ' ttor who Is an admirer of the artist brings ' Mnmathln alnnsF with him tHat aUxtrtfl.a 141 tv lite nuuieiiuc, . 1 . ;'I can (eel the attitude of my audience i, " , in minute a sp. onio tne stager ne Hv-kdded. . ,, ,J . " ' Nor doe the amount, of applause mls. lead th artist, although Kreisler and Mc: I fillllf I i ET- ' ' I KAH Y','tefrl U lUJ I II It Grips the Heart and the Mind of the Listener, and Because of His Talent and the Charm of His Manner the Great Irish Tenor Has Been Named the Song Painter sign of good fellowship to the artist." argued, the violinist. "Not at all." replied McCormack, "It Is the audience's manner of expressing H appreciation. Why, in San Francisco, when I first appeared there in 1911, I didn't gat a hand when I walked out on the stage. Now I am overwhelmed when I sing for them." The huge gatherings that occupy even the unused portion of- the stage when McCormack sings or Kreisler plays don't phase either artist by their nearness. McCormack can pick out from the audience anybody he knows, while Kreisler doesn't have the same opportunity, his eyes being on his fiddle most of the time. One thing that bothers the tenor Is to feel that somebody is laughing at him. If they liugh with him It is all right. Are critics numbered among the troubles of a tenor or of a violinist? Not at all, and both men subscribed to the following: That critics the world ovfcr are generally very fair. They don't think that artists need criticism but that audiences do. The critic Is the bridge between the public and the artist, at least it a his duty to be. They don't believe criticism could either make an artist or undo him, but fair criticism is, in every sense, impersonal. Up to five years ago Kreisler used to feel badly when a critic spoke disparagingly of his work, but he has come to realize that the Influence of criticism on the public mind is not so far-reaching. Artists are too nervous a lot, too self conscious and everything said about them takes on a magnitude out of all proportion to its importance. Do these two artists get their share of "mash notes?" Well, as for John, ask Mrs. McCormack. "I get many letters, but few mash notes," says the singer. "How about that poem from the Providence lady?" Inquires Mrs. McCormack. "Yes," replies McCormack, "but how old was she? No, scented missives are not among a tenor s troubles. But I get some tine compliments. The greatest one,-1 think, was from Mary Anderson. She sent me a photograph with this lnscrip- TO those who have had the privilege of hearing John McCormack, the great . Irish tenor, there must always remain, in addition to the memory of his wonderful voice, the memory of a personality that charms at once, and continues to hold Its charm. " "Personality," a word more often than not abused In Its use, alone explains the power with which John McCormack sways his hearers. From the moment that he walks upon the stage, with that boyish, buoyant air of his, until reluctantly, at the end of his program, the audience al- lows him to depart, he grips the heart and Hftid of those who hear him. There is something- about him it may be the whole-heartedness of the man, his debonair Irish manner, the lighting up of his face as he smiles, or his quick, generous response to the demands of hts hearers that one can't quite explain, but that one knows Is most attractive, and that for want of a better explanation one ascribes to personality. Rightly has McCormack been named the "Song Painter," for, as he sings, whether It be that exquisite bit of his accompanist. Edwin Schneider, "When the Dew la Falling"? the palhos of an old Irish folk song; the wondrous melody of "Ah! Moon of My Delight," the tunefulness of "Mavis," or the sweet gravity of "Ave Maria," he sways his audience with the sentiment of each song, and seems almost to visualize It, as it were. In "Mavis," for instance, one sees the fields, the flowers and the children, as he sings of them; In "Mother Machree," the silver of her hair and the careworn hands come vividly before one; in "Macushla" the pleading of the lost loved one Is most real. A large and beautiful talent is that of McCormack's, to be able to give such exquisite pleasure, as he does, through the medium of music. And a beautiful talent Is it also that he has a charm, and an nfluence, that are lasting. It is mpst remarkable how he draws the same people concert after concert. During his season Just past In New York, It was nothing unusual to hear remarks such as "this Is the sixth time I've heard McCormack this season"; "I've heard him sing Mother Machree' five times, and I could hear him five times over and he would still bring the tears"; "I never miss a MoCormack concert, and I've come from out of town today to be here1 and divers others along the same line. Perhaps one of the reasons that one enjoys htm so much is that he sings, with bat few U ceptlons, in English, and, after H- we like to understand what we are listening1 to. To say that Mr. McCormack dislikes being interviewed doe, not mean : thai he has not been Interviewed; he ha several times. A few months ago a rep-i resentatlve of the New York Sun obtained sufficient "copy" to cover half a page,. The following extracts show very clearly hut Mr MirVir-m o I'lf i tint nnlv A llnMp. Kit. a .. -.w. , .t.i.n, . m,All "The memory of an interesting incident observed at the McCormack recital, a . week ago Sunday, was still fresh In the mina Oi tne interviewer wnen vauaw nn thn HivtlncriilahAH Trfah trniftr at hla apartment In a Fifth avenue hotel, one afternoon last week. A party of four yung people had sat in the row directly In front of me. There were two girls and two men. They sat in rapt attention -through the Beethoven number and the first group of songs; then came the encores, one of which was 'Mother Machree It was sung in an inimitable and lrre- eiauuiB maimer. "One of the young men in the party cast a furtive glance at his companion and brushed away a tear McCormack's sing ing of the song had reached his bean. Thus the first question of the Interviewer was, 'How do you weave the spell over. vour audlAnce?' " 'The secret lies in the personal equa , it n 1 .1 'T .. n n,.a null, itspuvju rav.ui uiai;a. A 117 vu rui myself In the place of the audience. I feel I am one of them and not a bit bet" ter than any one of them. It is only by accident that I happen to have a voice and to be able to sing. I never take it by ray audience knows less than I do. This talk about educating the publio as) I. !.. 1.1ml mn.ln l V. m ill aw ahMllil iv mini ninu vi uiuohi 1 aiiuu.u, ui awwia not like, annoys me. ' " "There Is no use In trying to force any particular kind of music down the throat of the public. Give them the particular kind of music they like. I always learn something from my audiences. I endeavor to make my appeal to the hearts of my audience, not to their heads, if I can touch their hearts, I am sure to. reach the head in time, and soon enough, too. " 'I remember I used to be excessively nervous when I sang in concert, but X cured myself of that. An old chap said to me once: "There Isn't a man in your audience who wouldn't be up where yon are if he could sing as you can, so why be nervous about It?" I thought it out and the more I thought about It the more) simple it seems to be, so I made up my, mind that facing an audience was like meeting a lot of old friends and it worked I am not nervous any more. " 'I find my audience sympathetic; why Because I assume that attitude toward them. My attitude U on of appreciation It pleases me If I please them, and I ap-l predate their applause. - I remember my. first appearance In Ban Francisco. It seemed as though every one in the atidi-ence was "from Missouri." and I had to "show thenv" By the time I finished there was the greatest enthusiasm.' " -, - (VI JUU ASSISTED BY BonaldtMleatli, Violinist idnin Schneider, Pianist Wife and Children of John McCormack. tion: 'From a lover of the beautiful to a possessor of It;' and Hall Caine has said of me 'the most beautiful and human singing I have ever listened to.' But, notwithstanding this bunch of bouquets, there are things McCormack would rather do than give a recital. One is to sing in the opera "La Boheme," a work he classes as a real tenor's opera. A man can sing it with hts hands In his pockets, as It were, and the hands are hard articles to handle on a concert stage, although they are not one of Kreisler's troubles. And, rather' fnan listening to grand opera, McCormack prefers a trip to the movies some movies, that Is. The late John Bunny was a good friend of his, and Bunny attended the, recent concert the tenor gave in the Century theater. The ubiquitous Charlie Chaplin is another personage who helps to put opera la the background. ' As for singers, Nora Bayes, though she ma not know It, stands high in McCormack's estimation. He thinks she can put a song over about as well as he himself can. She may be further pleased with the information that Mr. Kreisler admires her also.' . ' . Matured Genius Of McGormack (By Walter Anthony in San Francisco Chronicle.) When he first visited us, nearly three ' year Ago, John MoCormack was a good as his discs; the second time, about a year ago, he had a cold, and now, on tii - third visit', "the Irish tenor proves r Corjiok were not at on on th applause, greater than his record. J- theory"!.' hut ,' symbol, an outward visits, to his interpretation of classic compositions, as evidence that McCormack's fame was safest in his smaller numbers the songs .of Intimate heart appeal ot the "Mother Machree," or "I Hear You Calling Me" type. Now I begin to suspect that the great artist is on the point of feeling the restraining, hand of such a reputation withholding him from the more enduring fame as a singer who does the greatest of the world's masterpieces of song. . He will always be more popular, and will owe, for many, many years, I hope, his vogue with the publlo through his expression of the more obvious, the simpler and less pretentious imelodles; but he showed himself yesterday to be the equal of any tenor in the Interpretation or those songs that experience has Justified and which Judgement of time have Indorsed the songs that will live for generations, bearing along with them the memory of the few great artists who have been 'able to give them adequate utterance. Caruso himself, does not cares with more loving breath the phrase of the "ft Mio Tesore" entreaty, from Motart's "Don Giovanni," nor render with greater elegance Its Ineffable beauties. Though the program yesterday afternoon at th Cort was long and tripled In it numbers by the conjunction of the audience' enthusiasm, with the artist's generosity, he did nothing during th entire afternoon to eclipse the memory of hi superb presentation of the romantic melody of Mosart. s To any one, Jtaullar .with tht literature of song. It will be Interesting to couple in the memory the first programmed offering with the last, Coleridge-Taylor's "Life and Death." which was as impassioned as the Mozart melody was elegant, and as torrential as the other was limpid-dear. To sing them both is to sound the length and breadth of song; it Is almost as though a tenor were to sing Siegmund anil Fernando In an evening. "Die Walkuro" and "Favorita," Wagner the mighty and Donizetti the melodious; one all turgid, passionate and titanic tne other all tender, suave and sugary. It was lnuch contrasts as these, heightened, by a Rachmaninoff and a Singing song, that the matured genius of McCormack sounded clearest, and showed that an art which might easily have satisfied the McCormatck ot three year ago was not sufficient for him, 'arfd that he has been encouraging growing pains, which all real genius endures. He need not put the great masterpieces of artful songs on his program to prove tht he can "do" them; rather he must now Include them, because he finds something In them to say, unique among all tenors. How many encores did McCormack alng? I do not remember, but they were still insufficient to supply the appetite that waxed hungry with the dream food it enjoyed. Taken all In all the afternoon provided more music and more enjoyment from every point of view than any reeital It has been my good fortune to attend thus far this season, and I do not expect to hear again ao superb a program unless I go to Oakland tomorrow night, to the Scottish Rite auditorium next Friday night, or to the Cort again next Sunday afternoon at all of which time and places this charming Irish singer of International, melody will sum again.. . r . : . Appears Under the Auspices of the TpelbD Cleff'CDub Chorus, Orchestral Accompaniment JULIEII BLITZ, Director flMitorimJiieJ Tickets on Sale at Goggan's Music House Boxes $20 (four seats); Parquet and Dress Circle $2.50; Balcony $2.00. Gallery (not reserved) $ 1 .50 and $ 1 .00 ' X rmubr alluding, on - hi previous 1 . 4 1 v ,1,1 .j I , . 1,'

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