excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 59-62 (397 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 59-62 (397 words)

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Recollections of an old musician

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Carl Bergmann succeeded Lenschow as conductor [of the Germania Musical Society]. He was a talented composer, and was distinctly a man of great attainments in every line of the art of music. Like Mr. Lenschow, he was a wonderful arranger of musical compositions calculated to win popularity,—an essential thing for all artists who have to work for their bread and butter, among which was a potpourri called Up Broadway that became a great favorite. It was supposed to be a graphic tone-picture of sights and sounds seen and heard from Castle Garden to Union Square, which was at that time the boundary of New York’s bustling life.

This potpourri began with a musical picture of Castle Garden, which was the home, and the only one, good music had at that time in that city. Moving up with the musical diorama, you next came to Barnum’s Museum, with “ Barnum’s Band ” of six or eight brass instruments, which, as all old New Yorkers know, played all day long on a high balcony outside his Museum on Broadway, nearly opposite the Astor House. It was side-splitting to hear the imitation of this brass band. One can even now occasionally enjoy a faint resemblance of it in passing a dime museum.


Returning to the potpourri, a firemen’s parade with brass band came next Naturally it was preceded by a violent ringing of fire- bells, and a rushing down a side street with “ the machine.” When that noise died away, music from the open door of a dance hall was heard; with of course all its accompaniments, —the rhythm of dancing feet and the calling out of the figures. Then, moving on with the diorama, we passed by a church whence came the sound of organ music and the chanting of a service by a number of voices. After that we heard in the distance a faint kind of Turkish patrol music; then a big crescendo and sudden fortissimo introduced us to Union Square and its life; and two brass bands in two different keys prepared our nerves for the usual collision and fight between two opposing fire companies. This latter made a great sensation. Finally, fireworks were touched off, the Star-Spangled Banner was played, and the potpourri ended, sending every one home in smiling good-humor.


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excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 59-62 (397 words)


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