Paul Eisler on Tour with Andreas Dippel, 1903

February 14, 1903 - Paul Eisler plays piano, on tour with German tenor Andreas Dippel

February 14, 1903 – Paul Eisler plays piano, on tour with German tenor Andreas Dippel

Paul Eisler first arrived in the United States in 1902 according to the ship “Cuxhaven” manifest notes when he arrived again in New York City in 1904. Under the heading “Whether ever before in the United States? And if so when and where” and along side his name is the response “Yes, 1902. Different places“. Different places he did go because he was on a cross country tour with the German tenor Andreas Dippel at least in the beginning of 1903.

The announcement leads with “The Apollo Club’s second concert will be given Tuesday Evening in the Lyceum Theater at 8:15 o’clock and the Minneapolis musical public is looking forward with a great deal of interest to the appearance of the distinguished German tenor, Andreas Dippel, for he has no superior on the operatic or concert stage. His numbers selected for the program are without question the best of his concert repertory. The Club’s patrons will be happily surprised in the appearance of Paul Eisler, a distinguished pianist, who has been sharing honors with Herr Dipple on his Southern Tour.”

The above graphic shows a portion of the Saturday edition copy of the Music section from The Minneapolis Journal dated February 14, 1903 that notes the upcoming Tuesday evening concert at The Lyceum Theater of the well known Andreas Dippel and Paul Eisler described as “a distinguished pianist, who has been sharing honors with Herr Dipple [sic] on his southern tour.” The only thing that could make Minneapolis part of a “Southern Tour” was if everything had begun in Canada, but I haven’t any information if that happened or not.

The Lyceum Theater in Minneapolis in 1896

The Lyceum Theater in Minneapolis in 1896

The program, as published in the newspaper, notes that Paul Eisler will play solo three pieces and they are “Nocturne” by Chopin, “Moment Musical” by Schubert and “Feuerzauber” by Wagner-Brassin. Eisler accompanied Dippel on twelve other selections that evening and The Apollo Chorus, host for the evening, was “acapella” for another four.

To get a feel on how those three solo pieces might have sounded played back to back listen to some modern recordings.

First for the Nocturne – the program doesn’t say which passage of the Nocturne was selected for the evening and the complete set is practically a concert in its own self. So, he are some guesses, listen to Arthur Rubinstein play Nocturne Op.9 No.2

Or perhaps it was Nocturne Op.27 No.1, again here is Arthur Rubinstein

For the second selection listen to Horowitz play Moment Musical by Franz Schubert

For the third selection listen to Chitose Okashiro play “Feuerzauber” by Wagner-Brassin

This is an interesting read and I have included it for everyone but especially for Charlotte (British Charlotte!). Andreas Dippel was asked to write some thoughts on vocal training from the point of view as a parent for a hypothetical daughter.
“… She must have, first of all, fine health, abundant vitality and an artistic temperament. She must show signs of being industrious. She should have the patience to wait until real results can be accomplished. In fact, there are so many attributes that it is difficult to enumerate them all. But they are all worth considering seriously. Why? Simply because, if they are not considered, she may be obliged to spend years of labor for which she will receive no return except the most bitter disappointment conceivable. Of the thousands of girls who study to become prima donnas only a very few can succeed, from the nature of things. The others either abandon their ambitions or assume lesser roles from little parts down to the chorus.

You will notice that I have said but little about her voice. During her childhood there is very little means of judging of the voice. Some girls’ voices that seem very promising when they are children turn out in a most disappointing manner. So you see I would be obliged to consider the other qualifications before I even thought of the voice. Of course, if the child showed no inclination for music or did not have the ability to “hold a tune,” I should assume that she was one of those frequent freaks of nature which no amount of musical training can save.

Above all things I should not attempt to force her to take up a career against her own natural inclinations or gifts. The designing mother who desires to have her own ambitions realized in her daughter is the bane of every impresario. With a will power worthy of a Bismarck she maps out a career for the young lady and then attempts to force the child through what she believes to be the proper channels leading to operatic success…

…The first new language to be taken up should be Italian. Properly spoken, there is no language so mellifluous as Italian. The beautiful quantitative value given to the vowels—the natural quest for euphony and the necessity for accurate pronunciation of the last syllable of a word in order to make the grammatical sense understandable—is a training for both the ear and the voice.

Italy is the land of song; and most of the conductors give their directions in Italian. Not only the usual musical terms, but also the other directions are denoted in Italian by the orchestral conductors; and if the singer does not understand she must suffer accordingly.
After the study of Italian I would recommend, in order, French and German. If my daughter were studying for opera, I should certainly leave nothing undone until she had mastered Italian, French, German and English. Although she would not have many opportunities to sing in English, under present operatic conditions, the English-speaking people in America, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa, and Australia are great patrons of musical art; and the artist must of course travel in some of these countries…

It is better to leave the study of repertoire until later years; that is, until the study of voice has been pursued for a sufficient time to insure regular progress in the study of repertoire. Personally, I am opposed to those methods which take the student directly to the study of repertoire without any previous vocal drill. The voice, to be valuable to the singer, must be able to stand the wear and tear of many seasons. It is often some years before the young singer is able to achieve real success and the profits come with the later years. A voice that is not carefully drilled and trained, so that the singer knows how to get the most out of it, with the least strain and the least expenditure of effort, will not stand the wear and tear of many years of opera life.

After all, the study of repertoire is the easiest thing. Getting the voice properly trained is the difficult thing. In the study of repertoire the singer often makes the mistake of leaping right into the more difficult roles. She should start with the simpler roles; such as those of some of the lesser parts in the old Italian operas. Then, she may essay the leading roles of, let us say, Traviata, Barber of Seville, Norma, Faust, Romeo and Juliet, and Carmen.

Instead of simple roles, she seems inclined to spend her time upon Isolde, Mimi, Elsa or Butterfly. It has become so, that now, when a new singer comes to me and wants to sing Tosca or some role that (sic) the so-called new or verissimo Italian school, I almost invariably refuse to listen. I ask them to sing something from Norma or Puritani or Dinorah or Lucia in which it is impossible for them to conceal their vocal faults. But no, they want to sing the big aria from the second act of Madama Butterfly, which is hardly to be called an aria at all but rather a collection of dramatic phrases. When they are done, I ask them to sing some of the opening phrases from the same role, and ere long they discover that they really have nothing which an impresario can purchase. They are without the voice and without the complete knowledge of the parts which they desire to sing.

Then they discover that the impresario knows that the tell-tale pieces are the old arias from old Italian operas. They reveal the voice in its entirety. If the breath control is not right, it becomes evident at once. If the quality is not right, it becomes as plain as the features of the young lady’s face. There is no dramatic—emotional—curtain under which to hide these shortcomings. Consequently, knowing what I do, I would insist upon my daughter having a thorough training in the old Italian arias…” From “Great Singers on The Art of Singing“, by James Francis Cooke, page 110-111

Here is a short recording of Andreas Dippel from 1906 as recorded on Thomas Edison’s Wax Cylinder device.

About Guenevere Crum

Guenevere Crum is an artist and a great granddaughter of Edith and Paul Eisler. She has been actively sleuthing her Eisler - Vail Ross heritage since 1999.
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