I also began to tackle the question of how to utilize my orchestra during the summer 대구오피 months, and had the good luck to solve that problem for many years very effectively. As early as 1885 and 1886 I was invited by the Southern Exposition of Louisville, Kentucky, to come there with my orchestra and play the entire summer, giving two concerts a day. I shall always look back on those two summers with delight and gratitude. I was very young and it was my first experience of a prolonged stay in a Southern city. Louisville at that time was a small community, but with an old civilization which manifested itself in a circle of charming people of established culture and social relations. They opened their doors and their hearts to my brother and me. The Pendennis Club, in its old-fashioned courtesy and hospitality, was like a page out of Thackeray or Dickens. Most of the people had never heard symphonic music, and as we played twice a day for about three months, I gave them almost the entire orchestral repertoire, ranging from the good popular music of Johann Strauss through the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven, and the modern composers, to Wagner, who immediately became their “favorite composer.” The members of my orchestra were also received with great cordiality, and several very tender and romantic love-affairs were the result. I too would gladly have fallen a victim to the charms of these Southern beauties, but, alas, I was such a hard-worked young man with my two concerts a day and rehearsals that I could not indulge myself much in romance.

One evening, during a terrific thunder-storm, the lightning crashed into the machinery furnishing the electric light of the music-hall, and plunged it in darkness. It was crowded with thousands of listeners and for a few minutes there was an awe-struck silence, broken only by the great crashes of thunder. Gradually hysterical cries from the women were heard here and there and a rush for the doors began. The darkness was intense, but I knew the orchestra could play the march from “Le Prophète” by heart, so I shouted to them to begin this number. I can still hear old Karl Deis, who had been trombone player under my father, beginning all alone with the opening theme, followed immediately by the rest of the orchestra. I was conducting like mad, although, owing to the darkness, not one of the players could see me, except when the flashes of lightning momentarily illuminated the hall; but the music immediately calmed the audience, who sat down and at the conclusion of the march applauded vociferously. We then started the “Beautiful Blue Danube,” and in the second bar the electric lights of the hall blazed up again. The following evening the chief of the fire department and other city officials appeared, and with several bottles of champagne toasted the orchestra and its conductor for their “great life-saving act” of the evening before.

On Sundays there were no concerts, and they became blessed days of peace and rest. I usually spent them at the country place of a friend—a roomy, hospitable, Southern mansion, delicious noon dinner, and afterward a lazy, happy time on the lawn, watching the horses, beautiful, full-blooded, Kentucky bred, gambolling about without saddle or bridle, like young puppies, according to the old-established Sunday custom of the place. To the Kentuckian the love for his horses and pride in their qualities is part of the romance of his life; at least it was in those days, long before the automobile had made its appearance.

The many concerts at the Louisville Exposition, coming at the beginning of my career as an orchestral conductor, gave me enormous routine and acquaintance with the entire orchestral repertoire.

I found the South exceedingly receptive. New Orleans had, of course, been a supporter of French opera for years—its opera-house was one of the most charming I had ever seen—but I also established new centres for music, one of which developed very successfully in the little town of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The impulse here came from the Converse College for Women, which has a high reputation in the South. The young ladies of this institution formed the nucleus of a large and well-trained chorus of two hundred and fifty voices. I went there with my orchestra every spring for over ten years. We succeeded in building up a great love and appreciation for music there and in other near-by places, as it was the custom for the alumnæ of the college to return to Spartanburg for Music Festival week and then to carry back and spread their musical enthusiasm in their home towns.

Gradually I penetrated farther and farther West. In 1904 I made a tour as far as Oklahoma City with the orchestra and quite a large group of solo singers, with whom I gave excerpts from Wagner’s “Parsifal,” connecting the various numbers with a few explanatory remarks. The tour was highly successful, as the public had read much about the first performances of “Parsifal” at Bayreuth and New York, and were keen to hear the music. I recall an amusing incident in Oklahoma City. Our concert had been scheduled as part of a course of entertainments under a local manager. The theatre was crowded and I had just finished the Prelude to “Parsifal” and was ready to begin the excerpts from the first act, when suddenly the manager popped up on the stage and addressed the audience somewhat as follows: “Ladies and gentlemen: I am proud to see so many of you here to-night and take this opportunity of announcing to you that I have already made arrangements for next season for a course which will be in every respect finer than the one I am giving you this year! I also would like to announce that Stewart’s Oyster Saloon will be open after the concert for lunch.” (Sic.) This was, however, our only interruption, and the rest of the music was listened to with evident interest and enthusiastic approval.