A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

January 1, 1897 – December 31, 1897

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January 1, 1897: Frank W. Hale, business manager for New England Conservatory, goes to the Boston home of George Whitefield Chadwick (42) to inform him that the faculty wish to remove the current president, Carl Faelten, and elect Chadwick in his place. Chadwick is reticent to accept. He will begin a transition next month.
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January 2, 1897: The Swedish newspaper Nya Dagligt Allehanda publishes the will of Alfred Nobel.
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January 3, 1897: Symphony in C by Paul Dukas (31) is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. The audience reacts with jeers and protestations, a feeling shared by many of the musicians. There are attempts by some in the orchestra to sabotage the performance. The press is negative. The symphony will be successful when revived in 1902.
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January 4, 1897: A British-Colonial expedition to Benin is set upon by Benin warriors near Gwato (Nigeria). Only two British officers survive.
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January 4, 1897: Violin Sonata op.34 by Amy Cheney Beach (29) is performed for the first time, in Association Hall, Boston, the composer at the piano.
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January 10, 1897: Saint-Georges de Bouhélier publishes the manifesto of the Naturiste movement in Le Figaro. It is anti-symbolist and advocates clarity, social action, and comprehensible answers to problems.
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January 14, 1897: A British expedition led by Mattias Zurbriggen become the first humans to stand atop Mt. Aconcagua, on the border of Argentina and Chile, the highest point in the Western Hemisphere.
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January 14, 1897: 13 songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) are performed for the first time, in Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin: Benedeit die sel'ge Mutter, Der Mond hat eine schwere Klag' erhoben, Ein Ständchen euch zu bringen, Gesegnet sei das Grün, Heut Nacht erhob ich mich, Laß sie nur gehn, O wär' dein Haus durchsichtig wie ein Glas, Treibe nur mit Lieben Spott, Was für ein Lied soll dir gesungen werden, and Wir haben beide lange Zeit geschwiegen, all to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), Keine gleicht von allen Schönen and Sonne der Schlummerlosen, both to words of Byron (tr. Gildemeister), and Tief im Herzen trag' ich Pein, to words of Camões (tr. Geibel).
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January 16, 1897: Edvard Grieg (53) is elected a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
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January 20, 1897: The Schubert (†68) exhibition opens in Vienna, eleven days before the one hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth.
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January 20, 1897: Several songs for voice and piano or orchestra by Charles Koechlin (29) are performed for the first time, in Paris: Rondels op.1 to words of Banville and Charles d’Orleans is performed completely for the first time, along with La Paix op.8/7 to words of Banville, and Les clairs de lune op.9 to words of Leconte de Lisle. See 30 April 1896.
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January 23, 1897: Königskinder, a melodrama by Engelbert Humperdinck (42) to words of Rosmer (pseud. of Bernstein-Porges), is performed for the first time, in the Munich Court Theatre. It is an enormous success.
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January 23, 1897: Three Lieder op.27 by Ernest Chausson (42) to words of Mauclair, are performed for the first time.
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January 27, 1897: Troops of the Royal Niger Company defeat Nupe and capture Bida (in present Nigeria).
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January 30, 1897: English bacteriologist Almroth Edward Wright reports in the British Medical Journal of his use of killed typhoid bacilli as a vaccine against typhoid. It will be used on troops heading for India with dramatic results.
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January 31, 1897: Briséïs, ou Les amants de Corinthe, an unfinished drame lyrique by Emanuel Chabrier (†2) to words of Mendès and Mikhaël after Goethe, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting in Paris. See 14 January 1899.
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February 2, 1897: Venezuela agrees to the US plan for arbitration of its boundary dispute with Great Britain.
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February 5, 1897: José Luciano de Castro Pereira Corte-Real replaces Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro as Prime Minister of Portugal.
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February 6, 1897: Two songs from op.10, Tonight and Greeting by Carl Nielsen (31), to words of Holstein, are performed for the first time, in the Koncertpalæet, Copenhagen.
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February 8, 1897: Alyeksandr Glazunov (31) conducts the premiere of his Symphony no.6 in the Hall of the Nobility, St. Petersburg.
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February 9, 1897: A British punitive invasion of Benin begins in response to the events of 4 January.
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February 9, 1897: Fierabras D.796, an opera by Franz Schubert (†68) to words of Kupelwieser after Büsching, von der Hagen, and de la Motte Fouqué, is performed for the first time, in Grossherzögliches Hoftheater, Karlsruhe, 74 years after it was composed and nine days after the centennial of the composer’s birth.
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February 13, 1897: Paysage op.38 for piano by Ernest Chausson (42) is performed for the first time.
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February 14, 1897: 2,000 Greek soldiers land on Crete, at Kolimvari near Hania, to effect union of the island with Greece.
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February 14, 1897: Kaiser Wilhelm proposes a joint blockade of Piraeus to the ambassadors of Britain, Russia, and Austria.
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February 15, 1897: The Christian governor of Crete, Georgi Pasba, flees to a Russian warship. The protecting powers (France-Great Britain-Russia) land troops and demand that the Greeks leave. Greece refuses.
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February 15, 1897: In Annalen der Physik und Chemie, German physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun publishes his invention of the Braun Tube. It is the first cathode ray oscilloscope.
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February 15, 1897: Octet for two clarinets, two violins, viola, cello, bass, and harp by Charles Martin Loeffler (36) is performed for the first time, in Association Hall, Boston.
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February 17, 1897: Rudolf Diesel first successfully tests his engine, in Augsburg.
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February 17, 1897: After five days of fighting, British forces capture Benin. They destroy the city and plunder its art works.
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February 17, 1897: The Serenade, an operetta by Victor Herbert (38) to words of Smith, is performed for the first time, in Cleveland. See 16 March 1897.
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February 18, 1897: Johannes Brahms (63) suffers a slight stroke which stiffens the left side of his face. This will pass in March.
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February 20, 1897: The first and third of the Trois Gymnopédies by Erik Satie (30), as orchestrated by Claude Debussy (34), are performed for the first time, in the Salle Erard, Paris.
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February 21, 1897: Warships of the European powers bombard Greek forces near Hania, Crete.
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February 22, 1897: Hugo Wolf (36) makes his last public concert appearance, accompanying his songs in a recital at the Bösendorfersaal, Vienna.  Performed for the first time are Daß doch gemalt all deine Reize wären, Gesegnet sei, durch den die Welt entstund, Hoffärtig seid Ihr, schönes Kind, Ihr seid die Allerschönste, Und willst du deinen Liebsten sterben sehen, and Wer rief dich denn?, all to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), Der Scholar to words of Eichendorff, and the first complete performance of Drei Gedichte von Robert Reinick.
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February 23, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) accepts baptism as a Roman Catholic in the Kleine Michaeliskirche in Hamburg.
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February 25, 1897: Two songs for voice and piano by Edward Elgar (39) are performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London: Through the Long Days to words of Hay, and Like to the Damask Rose to words of Wastell.
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February 25, 1897: Five songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (36) are performed for the first time, in Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin: Preciosas Sprüchlein gegen Kopfweh (first public) to words of Cervantes (tr. Heyse), An die Geliebte, Auf eine Christblume I, and Bei einer Trauung, all to words of Mörike, and Nun wander, Maria to words of Ocaña (tr. Heyse).
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February 28, 1897: French forces depose Queen Ranavalona III of Imerina, and institute a French administration from Tananarive. The French protectorate of Madagascar becomes a colony. The Queen is sent into exile on Réunion.
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March 2, 1897: The European powers demand that Greece withdraw its troops from Crete and refrain from annexing the island. They demand of Turkey that plans for Cretan autonomy go ahead.
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March 3, 1897: Suite for organ op.16 by Max Reger (23) is performed for the first time, in the Dreifaltigkeitskirche, Berlin.
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March 4, 1897: March “Intercollegiate” with “Annie Lisle” for band by Charles Ives (22) is performed for the first time, in Washington.
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March 4, 1897: William McKinley replaces Grover Cleveland as President of the United States. The 55th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. Despite many losses in the House of Representatives, Republicans retain control of both houses. Victor Herbert’s (38) band plays at the Pension Building in Washington for festivities surrounding the inauguration. They will play six performances in three days.
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March 7, 1897: Johannes Brahms (63) appears for the last time at a performance of his music, the Fourth Symphony, at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna. Every movement is applauded. Afterwards, the composer stands in the director’s box to thunderous applause.
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March 9, 1897: The third and sixth movements of Symphony no.3 by Gustav Mahler (36) are performed for the first time, in Berlin. Response to the third movement is mixed. The sixth causes an uproar. See 9 November 1896 and 9 June 1902.
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March 10, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) departs Berlin for Moscow.
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March 11, 1897: 08:30 Henry Dixon Cowell is born at 2156 Harkins Avenue, Menlo Park, California, USA, only child of Irish immigrant Henry (Harry) Clayton Blackwood Cowell, an aspiring essayist and poet, himself the son of the Dean of Kildare Cathedral, and Clarissa Belknap Dixon Davidson, a writer and daughter of a cabinet maker. Mrs. Cowell has one son by a previous marriage.
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March 11, 1897: Wiegenlied im Winter for women's chorus by Hugo Wolf (36) to words of Reinick, is performed for the first time, in Saal des Steiermärkischen Musikvereins, Graz.
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March 12, 1897: Fervaal, an action musicale by Vincent d’Indy (45) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels.
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March 13, 1897: Die Göttin der Vernunft, an operetta by Johann Strauss (71) to words of Willner and Buchbinder, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. One audience member, Johannes Brahms (63), is so weak that he must be carried home after the second act. It is the last public appearance Brahms will ever make.
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March 14, 1897: Joaquín Turina (14) performs on the piano for the first time in public, in the Sala Piazza, Seville.
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March 15, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) conducts for the first time in Moscow. The critics are not impressed.
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March 16, 1897: The Serenade, an operetta by Victor Herbert (38) to words of Smith, is performed for the first time in New York, at the Knickerbocker Theatre. See 17 February 1897.
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March 17, 1897: Bob Fitzsimmons knocks out Jim Corbett in round 14 to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Title in Carson City, Nevada. It is the first boxing match to be filmed.
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March 18, 1897: The great powers (France-Great Britain-Russia-Germany-Austria-Hungary) institute a blockade of Crete.
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March 20, 1897: Ethiopia enters into an agreement with France defining the border with French Somaliland (Djibouti).
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March 22, 1897: The first session of the Australasian Federal Convention opens in Adelaide to discuss a constitution.
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March 23, 1897: 5,000 additional troops of the protecting powers (France-Great Britain-Russia) land on Crete.
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March 24, 1897: Enoch Arden, a melodrama for reciter and piano by Richard Strauss (32) to words of Tennyson translated by Strodtmann, is performed for the first time, in Munich the composer at the piano.
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March 25, 1897: The Scottish Trades Union Congress is formed in a three-day meeting beginning today in Glasgow.
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March 26, 1897: Clear and Cool op.5 for chorus and orchestra by Gustav Holst (22) to words of Kingsley is performed for the first time, in the Athenaeum, London. This is part of a choral and dramatic evening featuring Holst’s chorus, the Hammersmith Socialist Choir. Following the choral program, a one-act play is presented, The Anarchist by Fritz Hart, wherein Holst takes a leading role.
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March 27, 1897: One day after the 70th anniversary of the death of Beethoven, Johannes Brahms (63) takes to his bed with liver cancer.
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March 27, 1897: Prince Konstantinos departs Athens for Volos in Thessalia to take command of Greek troops.
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March 27, 1897: Symphony no.1 by Sergey Rakhmaninov (23) is performed for the first time, in the Hall of the Nobility, St. Petersburg, conducted by Alyeksandr Glazunov (31). The work is a disaster, partly due to the performance, partly due to the music. Rakhmaninov can not force himself to enter the auditorium, hiding on the stairs to the balcony and pressing his fists to his ears, finally running out into the street. He will later blame the conductor. “…all my hopes, all belief in myself, had been destroyed; abject misery had taken the place of my former arrogance.” (Scott, 48)
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March 28, 1897: Heut’ ist heut’ op. 471, a waltz by Johann Strauss (71), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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March 29, 1897: A gold standard is established in Japan.
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April 1, 1897: Storchenbotschaft, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Museumssaal, Munich.
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April 3, 1897: Two works by Gabriel Fauré (51) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Barcarolle no.6 op.70 for piano, and Prison op.83 for voice and piano to words of Verlaine. On the same program, two works by Ernest Chausson (42) are performed for the first time: Serres chaudes op.24 for voice and piano to words of Maeterlinck, and Quelques danses op.26 for piano.
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April 3, 1897: 08:30 Johannes Brahms dies of liver cancer at his home at Karlsgasse 4, Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire, aged 63 years, ten months, and 27 days.
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April 3, 1897: Gustav Klimt, Josef Engelhart, and Carl Moll form the Association of Austrian Fine Artists in Vienna. It is better known as the Secession and is meant to further the cause of modern art in the city.
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April 4, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) agrees in principle to a one-year contract with the Vienna Opera.
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April 6, 1897: After an elaborate funeral in the Protestant church of Vienna, including many musical figures from throughout Europe and thousands of mourners, the earthly remains of Johannes Brahms are laid to rest in the Zentral Friedhof of Vienna near those of Beethoven (†70) and Schubert (†68). In Hamburg, the composer’s birthplace, ships lower their flags to half-mast.
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April 6, 1897: Austrian Chancellor Kazimierz Felix, Count Badeni rules that the Czech language is granted equality with German in Bohemia.
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April 6, 1897: Sultan Sayyid Hamud ibn Muhammad of Zanzibar abolishes slavery.
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April 6, 1897: Thaddeus Cahill receives a US patent for the “art of and apparatus for generating and distributing music electrically.” It is the first version of what will be known as the Telharmonium.
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April 7, 1897: The Ottoman Empire declares war on Greece due to direct Greek involvement in Crete.
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April 7, 1897: Chant for english horn and piano by Charles Koechlin (29) is performed for the first time, in Paris. Koechlin will orchestrate it as Au loin. See 23 February 1908.
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April 8, 1897: The Wiener Abendpost announces that Gustav Mahler (36) has been engaged as a conductor at the Vienna Opera.
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April 8, 1897: John Philip Sousa (42) directs the Sousa Band in the last performance arranged by his business partner, David Blakely, who died last November. Sousa considers his contract with Blakely now terminated and stops splitting profits with Blakely’s heirs. Mrs. Blakely will take him to court and, after three years of litigation, will largely fail.
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April 9, 1897: While in a Vienna restaurant with Engelbert Humperdinck (42) and Frau Humperdinck, Hugo Wolf (37) shows the first signs of his impending illness. He seems irritable and changes his seat several times so that he will not be seen by acquaintances.
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April 10, 1897: Greek irregulars begin attacking Turkish outposts in Thessalia in support of the Cretan revolt. This will be followed within a week by an attack by Greek regular troops.
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April 10, 1897: Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin dies in Cannes and is succeeded by his 15-year-old son Friedrich Franz IV under regency.
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April 10, 1897: A bill of complaint is filed in Philadelphia against John Philip Sousa (42) by the widow of his business partner David Blakely. She claims that the contract between Sousa and Blakely is still in force and applies to Blakely’s heirs.
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April 12, 1897: Dimitrie Alexandru Sturdza replaces Petre S. Aurelian as Prime Minister of Romania.
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April 15, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) signs a definitive contract to conduct the Vienna Opera.
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April 16, 1897: The openly anti-Semitic Karl Lueger is confirmed as Mayor of Vienna by Emperor Franz Josef II.
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April 17, 1897: Hostilities begin between Greece and Turkey at Analipsi.
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April 18, 1897: Greece declares war on Turkey.
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April 19, 1897: Imperial March op.32 by Edward Elgar (39) is performed for the first time, in the Crystal Palace, London as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria. Credit for the composition is ascribed to Richard Elgar.
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April 19, 1897: The first Boston Marathon takes place. 18 runners start, ten finish. It is won by John J. McDermott in a time of 2:55:10.
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April 23, 1897: The first session of the Australasian Federal Convention ends in Adelaide. A draft constitution is complete.
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April 25, 1897: After Greek defeats and a precipitous retreat, Turkish forces enter Larisa in Thessalia.
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April 26, 1897: Edward Elgar’s (39) song Roundel: The Little Eyes that Never Knew Light for voice and piano to words of Swinburne is performed for the first time, in Worcester, the composer at the piano.
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April 27, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) arrives in Vienna from Hamburg to take up his position as a conductor at the Vienna Hofoper.
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April 27, 1897: Following a series of military setbacks, Greece calls on the great powers to intervene.
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April 27, 1897: Hymnus amoris op.12 for solo voices, children’s chorus, male chorus, chorus, and orchestra by Carl Nielsen (31) to words of Olrik, translated into Latin by Heiberg, is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen. Both the public and critics are enthusiastic.
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April 28, 1897: Liebesglück, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Eichendorff, is performed for the first time, in the Hirschensäle, Wiener Neustadt.
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April 28, 1897: Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Tsar Nikolay of Russia agree that Macedonia and Thrace will be divided by Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia at some future date.
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April 30, 1897: Demetrios Rallis replaces Theodoros Pangaiou Diligiannis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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April 30, 1897: John Joseph Thomson announces to the Royal Society of London that he has discovered the electron. He calls it a corpuscle.
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May 1, 1897: Gustav Mahler (36) enters upon duties as conductor of the Vienna Hofoper.
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May 1, 1897: A new march by John Philip Sousa (42) is performed for the first time, in Augusta, Maine by the Sousa band. Sousa tells a reporter that this new march does not yet have a name. There is good reason to believe that this is The Stars and Stripes Forever. See 14 May 1897.
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May 3, 1897: John Ireland (17) becomes a composition student of Charles Stanford (44) at Cambridge University.
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May 4, 1897: The annual Bazar de la Charité is held in the Rue Jean-Goujon in Paris. Materials used to project moving pictures catches fire. About 125 people are killed, over 200 injured.
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May 5, 1897: The Japanese warship Naniwa arrives in Hawaii to enforce Japan’s demand that Hawaii stop restricting Japanese immigration.
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May 5, 1897: Wo uns’re Fahne weht op.473, a march by Johann Strauss (71), is performed for the first time, in “Zum wilden Mann”, Vienna.
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May 6, 1897: La bohème, a commedia lirica by Ruggero Leoncavallo (40) to his own words after Murger, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. The production is saved by the singers. Critics like the libretto, not so much the music.
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May 8, 1897: Ottoman forces take Volos, 325 km north of Athens. During the battle, British reporter Frederic Villiers takes the first moving pictures of war.
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May 8, 1897: Austria-Hungary and Russia agree to maintain the status quo in the Balkans and not let their rivalry erupt into war.
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May 11, 1897: After one rehearsal, Gustav Mahler (36) conducts his Vienna Hofoper debut with a performance of Lohengrin. It is a great success with both the press and public.
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May 11, 1897: Following the removal of their troops from Crete, and with military disaster looming, Greece asks the great powers to mediate their war against Turkey.
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May 13, 1897: Guglielmo Marconi sends the first wireless message over open water from Lavernock Point to Brean Down, about 14 km.
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May 14, 1897: British diplomat J. Rennell Rodd concludes a treaty with Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. It marks the border between Ethiopia and British Somaliland, allows commerce between the two, and allows transport of weapons by each country through the other’s territory.
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May 14, 1897: The Stars and Stripes Forever, John Philip Sousa’s (42) most famous march, is performed officially for the first time, in Philadelphia at the unveiling of a statue of George Washington. It is a spectacular success. See 1 May 1897.
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May 14, 1897: The Vienna Hugo Wolf (37) Verein meets for the first time and gives a very successful concert.
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May 16, 1897: Caelestis urbs Jerusalem for chorus by Alphons Diepenbrock (33) to anonymous words, is performed for the first time, in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
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May 17, 1897: Helene “Jelka” Rosen, lover of Fritz (Frederick) Delius (35), buys a house at Grez-sur-Loing, France and moves in. Delius will move in next month. It will be his home for the rest of his life.
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May 18, 1897: L’apprenti sorcier by Paul Dukas (31) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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May 18, 1897: The Banner of St. George op.33 for chorus and orchestra by Edward Elgar (39) to words of Wensley is performed for the first time, in Earl’s Court, London.
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May 18, 1897: Chansons de Miarka op.17 for voice and piano by Ernest Chausson (42) to words of Richepin is performed for the first time.
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May 19, 1897: Oscar Wilde is released from prison after serving two years at hard labor for homosexual offenses. He will go to Paris.
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May 20, 1897: An armistice is signed between Greece and Turkey.
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May 23, 1897: Hugo Egmont Hørring replaces Tage, Baron Reedtz-Thott as Prime Minister of Denmark.
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May 25, 1897: Victoria and Merrie England, a ballet by Arthur Sullivan (55) to a choreography by Coppi, is performed for the first time, in the Alhambra Theatre, London.
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May 25, 1897: Light Leaves Whisper for chorus by Gustav Holst (22) to words of Hart is performed for the first time, in Stafford (Lancaster) House, London. The work is one of two winners of prizes offered by the Magpie Musical Society, who perform it. It is the first major performance of a Holst work in London and receives a favorable review in The Times.
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May 26, 1897: Dracula by Bram Stoker goes on sale in London.
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May 28, 1897: Hells Bells: “Hail to Phi”, a fraternity show by Charles Ives (22) to words of Hinsdale, is performed for the first time, in New Haven, Connecticut.
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May 30, 1897: Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897 by Jean Sibelius (31) to words of Koskimies is performed for the first time, in Helsinki.
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May 31, 1897: A monument to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment by Augustus St. Gaudens is unveiled in Boston.
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June 1, 1897: Licht, Du ewiglich eines, a hymn for chorus and orchestra by Richard Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in Munich conducted by the composer. The work helps to open an art exhibit.
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June 3, 1897: Symphonic Variations by Hubert Parry (49) is performed for the first time, in Queen’s Hall, London. It is well received.
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June 4, 1897: Hugo Wolf (37) writes to his mother that the conductor at the Vienna Opera, Gustav Mahler (36), has given him assurances that his opera Der Corregidor will be performed during the next season.
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June 12, 1897: An earthquake of magnitude 8.8 strikes Assam and devastates an area of 400,000 sq km. The known death toll is 1,542.
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June 12, 1897: Pearson’s Weekly begins serialization of The Invisible Man by HG Wells.
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June 12, 1897: Swiss manufacturer Karl Elsener receives a Swiss patent for a knife containing two retractable blades. It is the beginning of the Swiss Army Knife.
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June 16, 1897: Representatives of the United States and the Republic of Hawaii sign an agreement whereby the US annexes Hawaii. The Senate puts off action on ratification.
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June 20, 1897: The hymn O king of kings, whose reign of old by Arthur Sullivan (55) to words of How is heard for the first time, at services celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
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June 22, 1897: Celebrations take place in London and throughout the British Empire for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Services take place at St. Paul’s Cathedral and there is a dinner party in the evening at Buckingham Palace.
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June 28, 1897: Chief Ologbosere of Benin is executed by the British. He is blamed for the events of last 4 January.
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June 30, 1897: Ecce jam noctis for male chorus and orchestra by George Whitefield Chadwick (42) to words of St. Gregory of Tours translated by Parker is performed for the first time, at commencement exercises of Yale University at which the composer receives an honorary MA.
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July 1, 1897: The city council of Milan votes 31-22-8 to remove subsidies for Teatro alla Scala. See 26 December 1897.
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July 1, 1897: A strike of coal miners begins in the Midwest of the United States.
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July 6, 1897: Brothers Frances and Freelan Stanley of Newton, Massachusetts begin construction of a steam powered automobile. They will put it on the road in October.
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July 10, 1897: Arthur Farwell (25) arrives in London for two years of travel and study in Europe.
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July 11, 1897: A balloon carrying the Swedish expedition of Salomon August Andrée and two others lifts off from Spitsbergen. They hope to float across the North Pole and land in either Russia or Canada.
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July 13, 1897: Baron von Bezecny, General Manager of the Vienna Hofoper, informs Director Wilhelm Jahn that during Jahn’s medical leave, his deputy Gustav Mahler (37) will perform his duties.
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July 14, 1897: Andrée’s polar expedition, launched 11 July, hits ground at about 83° north.
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July 15, 1897: After a six month investigation, a select committee of the British House of Commons severely criticizes Cecil Rhodes in the Jameson Raid, but exonerates Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain and the Colonial Office.
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July 17, 1897: The first gold from the Yukon reaches Seattle.
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July 20, 1897: Four months after he receives a British patent for a wireless communication device, Guglielmo Marconi founds the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company, to be centered in Chelmsford.
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July 21, 1897: The National Gallery of British Art opens in London. It will be known colloquially as the Tate Gallery after its founder, Sir Henry Tate.
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July 27, 1897: Nicolas Gerhard Pierson replaces Joan Roëll as chief minister of the Netherlands.
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July 29, 1897: The British Workmen’s Compensation Act goes is passed. Employers are now required to compensate any worker injured on the job.
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July 29, 1897: The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad is published.
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August 1, 1897: While director Wilhelm Jahn is on medical leave, Gustav Mahler (37) begins serving as interim director of the Vienna Hofoper.
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August 7, 1897: British and Egyptian troops capture Abu Hamed in the Sudan, 450 km north of Khartoum, routing the Mahdists in the town.
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August 8, 1897: Kyoshi Shiga discovers and names the bacterium that causes dysentery.
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August 8, 1897: Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo of Spain is shot to death in Santa Agueda by Italian anarchist Michele Angeliolli to avenge the execution of several anarchists in Barcelona. He is replaced ad interim by Marcelo de Azcárraga y Palmero.
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August 14, 1897: Richard Strauss (33) meets Sergey Diaghilev for the first time, at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich.
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August 16, 1897: The Yukon District is created as part of the Northwest Territories.
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August 17, 1897: Arthur Farwell (25) meets Engelbert Humperdinck (42) in Bayreuth. Humperdinck agrees to give Farwell lessons in the Fall.
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August 19, 1897: In Secunderabad, India, Ronald Ross finds the malarial parasite in a mosquito, thus proving that mosquitoes transmit malaria to man.
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August 21, 1897: Marcelo de Azcárraga y Palmero, since 8 August interim Prime Minister of Spain, attains the office in his own right.
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August 21, 1897: Ransom Olds founds the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan.
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August 27, 1897: Today ends a five-day formal nuptial service joining Alyeksandr Nikolayevich Skryabin (25) and Vera Ivanovna Isakovich, a pianist and conservatory gold medalist.  "I didn't love Vera in the slightest." (Copley, 61)
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August 29, 1897: The first Zionist Congress opens in Basel.
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August 31, 1897: Thomas Edison receives a US patent for his motion picture camera.
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September 1, 1897: Bohuslav Martinu (6) begins school in Policka, simultaneously beginning violin lessons.
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September 1, 1897: Hans Pfitzner (28) takes up duties at the Stern Conservatory, Berlin where he will teach piano, theory, composition, and conducting.
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September 1, 1897: The first subway line in North America begins service from the Public Garden to Park Street in Boston.
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September 2, 1897: The second session of the Australasian Federal Convention opens in Sydney to reconsider the draft constitution and propose changes.
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September 2, 1897: Registration for Fall classes opens at New England Conservatory. By this time, George Whitefield Chadwick (42) is in full control.
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September 5, 1897: Dämmerung for chorus by Alphons Diepenbrock (34), to words of Goethe, is performed for the first time, in Waalsche Kerk, Delft.
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September 10, 1897: The British/Egyptian invasion force takes Berber, northeast of Khartoum.
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September 10, 1897: Sheriff’s deputies fire into striking coal miners at Lattimer, Pennsylvania. 19 people are killed, 36 wounded. Many are shot in the back as they flee.
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September 12, 1897: 21 Sikh colonial soldiers battle 10,000-12,000 Afghan tribesmen at Saragarhi (now in Pakistan). Estimates are that they killed over 400 Afghans before being wiped out. Their action delays the Afghan advance, allowing the British to reinforce and hold nearby Fort Gulistan.
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September 12, 1897: Te Deum and Benedictus op.34 for chorus, orchestra, and organ by Edward Elgar (40) is performed for the first time, in Hereford Cathedral.
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September 15, 1897: Magnificat for soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Hubert Parry (49) is performed for the first time, in Hereford. The critics are ecstatic.
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September 18, 1897: Great Britain and France come to an agreement over Tunisia. Britain ends its trade agreement with Tunis and France agrees to keep the duty on English cotton goods at five percent.
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September 18, 1897: The new opera director, Gustav Mahler (37), and Hugo Wolf (37) dispute Wolf’s desire to have Der Corregidor produced in Vienna. This appears to be the event triggering Wolf’s madness. Later in the day he proclaims himself to be the director of the Opera. Because of this and other bizarre, uncontrolled behavior, his friends make arrangements for his committal. (approximate date)
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September 18, 1897: US Minister Stewart Woodford delivers an ultimatum to the Spanish government to resolve the conflict in Cuba or the US will intervene.
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September 20, 1897: The Idol’s Eye, an operetta by Victor Herbert (38) to words of Smith, is performed for the first time, in Rand’s Opera House, Troy, New York. See 25 October 1897.
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September 20, 1897: Yefim Golishev is born in Kherson, Russian Empire (Ukraine).
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September 21, 1897: Believing himself to be going to see Court Opera Obersthofmeister Prince Liechtenstein to be presented as the new opera director, Hugo Wolf (37) is transported to the “mental home” of Dr. Wilhelm Svetlin.
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September 21, 1897: An editorial in response to a letter from eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon appears in the New York Sun and includes the words, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
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September 23, 1897: Richard Strauss (33) receives an invitation from Edouard Colonne to conduct in Paris for the first time.
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September 24, 1897: The second session of the Australasian Federal Convention closes in Sydney.
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September 24, 1897: Arthur Farwell (25) arrives at his lodgings in Boppard am Rhein. In the evening, he dines at the estate of Engelbert Humperdinck (43) with whom he will presently study.
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September 27, 1897: Gustav Mahler (37) signs a contract with Josef Weinberger, Viennese publishers, to print his first song cycle, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
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October 1, 1897: After one year of active service in the German army, Max Reger (24) is discharged into the reserves.
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October 2, 1897: The three-man polar expedition of Salomon Andrée makes camp on Kvitøya Island. Within a few days, they will all be dead, although they will not be found until 1930.
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October 3, 1897: Alexandros Thrasivoulou Zaimis replaces Demetrios Rallis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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October 4, 1897: Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta Escolar replaces Marcelo de Azcárraga y Palmero as Prime Minister of Spain.
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October 5, 1897: At the Vienna premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s (38) La bohème attended by the composer, Gustav Mahler (37) “laughs derisively” through the entire performance.
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October 6, 1897: A New York Journal reporter rescues Evangelina Cisneros from a jail in Havana and brings her to the US. She is the niece of the leader of the Cuban rebels and the Journal has been running lurid articles about her imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Spanish. It is all part of a campaign by Journal owner William Randolph Hearst to whip up war hysteria against Spain.
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October 6, 1897: Requiem Mass op.63 for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Charles Villiers Stanford (45) is performed for the first time, in Birmingham, conducted by the composer.
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October 7, 1897: A typhoon in the Philippines causes 1,500 deaths.
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October 8, 1897: The Vienna Hofoper announces that it has named Gustav Mahler (37) as director.
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October 8, 1897: Three works by Ferruccio Busoni (31) are performed for the first time, in the Singakademie, Berlin conducted by the composer: Concerto for violin and orchestra op.35a, Second Orchestral Suite (Geharnischte Suite) op.34a and the Comedy Overture op.38. Reviews are widely mixed.
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October 9, 1897: Ralph Vaughan Williams marries Adeline Fisher at Parish Church, All Saints, Hove, Sussex, three days before his 25th birthday. The couple are joined by Rev. WJ Spooner, later of Spoonerism fame.
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October 9, 1897: Lied eines Verliebten, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Saal des Hotels "Stadt Mödling."
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October 15, 1897: Gustav Mahler (37), already the conductor, enters upon duties as artistic director of the Vienna Hofoper.
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October 15, 1897: Wo wird einst, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Heine, is performed for the first time, in the Altes Rathaus, Vienna.
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October 18, 1897: Incidental music to Heiberg’s play Folkeraadet (People’s Council) by Fritz (Frederick) Delius (35) is performed for the first time, in Christiania Theatre, Christiania (Oslo). The audience is strongly divided and many whistles are heard as a result of Delius’ use of the Norwegian anthem. Demonstrations will occur at every performance of the play. See 1 November 1897.
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October 18, 1897: Four songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) are performed for the first time, in the Saal der Sing-Akademie, Berlin: Wenn du, mein Liebster, steigst zum Himmel auf to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), Waldmädchen to words of Eichendorff, Wie sollt' ich heiter bleiben (first public) to words of Goethe, and Schmerzliche Wonnen und wonnige Schmerzen.
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October 19, 1897: Vladan Djordjevic replaces Djordje Simic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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October 23, 1897: Concerto for piano and orchestra op.20 by Alyeksandr Skryabin (25) is performed for the first time, in Odessa the composer at the keyboard.
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October 23, 1897: Westerly Wind EG 173 for male chorus by Edvard Grieg (54) to words of Dahl is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo).
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October 23, 1897: Three Bavarian Dances for orchestra by Edward Elgar (40) is performed for the first time, in Crystal Palace, London, conducted by the composer.
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October 25, 1897: The Idol’s Eye, an operetta by Victor Herbert (38) to words of Smith, is performed for the first time in New York, at the Broadway Theatre. Critics are widely mixed.
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October 27, 1897: Charles Villiers Stanford (45) gives his first performance as conductor of the Leeds Philharmonic Society, in the Town Hall.
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October 27, 1897: For the first time, Sergey Rakhmaninov (24) publicly conducts music that is not his own, in his operatic debut in Moscow. He directs Camille Saint-Saëns’ (62) Samson et Dalila.
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November 1, 1897: The Ferryman’s Brides for solo voice and orchestra by Jean Sibelius (31) to words of Oksanen is performed for the first time, in Helsinki conducted by the composer.
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November 1, 1897: At the height of the demonstrations occurring at every performance of Folkeraadet in Christiania (Oslo) since 18 October, a man fires three shots (albeit blanks) at Per Winge as he conducts Frederick Delius’ (35) incidental music. The man is removed by police.
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November 4, 1897: The Cape Railway reaches Bulawayo, 1,800 km northeast of Cape Town.
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November 4, 1897: Le parfum impérissable op.76/1, a song for voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (52) to words of de Lisle, is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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November 4, 1897: Ferruccio Busoni (31) gives his first performance in London, at St. James’ Hall.
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November 4, 1897: Frederick Delius (35) removes his incidental music from subsequent performances of Folkeraadet in Christiania (Oslo). See 18 October 1897 and 1 November 1897.
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November 5, 1897: Italy and Austria-Hungary reach agreement on Albania. If the Turks quit the Balkans, there will be an independent, neutral Albania.
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November 5, 1897: At a military ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Corporal Marcelino Bispo de Melo levels a gun at President Prudente de Morais. The gun misfires and bystanders fall upon the assassin at which point he brings forth a knife. Bispo stabs the chief of the military, Colonel Luiz Mendes de Moraes, and the Minister for War, Marshal Carlos Machado Bittencourt, the latter fatally. Bispo is thereupon taken into custody. The President is unhurt.
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November 9, 1897: Naval commanders of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia deliver an ultimatum to the Turkish commander on Crete to remove his troops from the island.
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November 9, 1897: Enrique Granados (30) appears with the new Philharmonic Society as pianist at the Sala Estela, Barcelona. He will make more than 25 appearances with them. He performs the Beethoven (†70) Trio op.70/1 with Mathieu Crickboom, violin and Pablo Casals (21), cello.
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November 11, 1897: Sr. de Castro, a stock-broker from South America, notices a facsimile of the original treasonous message in the Dreyfus affair on sale at a newspaper stand. He realizes that the writing matches that of one of his clients, Major Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, and immediately contacts Dreyfus’ brother Mathieu.
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November 13, 1897: The first all-metal dirigible, designed by Hungarian David Schwarz, takes off from Templehof Field, Berlin, powered by a Daimler engine. The craft flies several kilometers before crashing due to a gas leak.
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November 13, 1897: On Devil’s Island, the hut of Alfred Dreyfus is surrounded by a double stockade two and a half meters high.
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November 13, 1897: Over the Hills and Far Away, a fantasy overture by Fritz (Frederick) Delius (35), is performed for the first time, in the Elberfeld Stadthalle. The reviews go from mediocre to worse.
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November 14, 1897: German forces occupy Kiaochow (Jiaozhou) on the Shantung (Shandong) Peninsula. Their excuse is the killing of two German missionaries.
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November 14, 1897: 16:30 Giuseppina Strepponi Verdi dies of pneumonia at Villa Sant’Agata in the presence of her husband, Giuseppe Verdi (84). The two have been together for 54 years.
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November 15, 1897: In response to the ultimatum of 9 November, Turkish forces withdraw from Crete.
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November 15, 1897: In an open letter to Le Temps, the vice-president of the French Senate, Auguste Scheurer-Kestner, declares the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus.
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November 16, 1897: Mathieu Dreyfus, brother of Alfred Dreyfus, writes to the French Minister of Justice. He names Major Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy as the author of the original treasonous note and says he will sue him.
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November 17, 1897: The military governor of Paris, General Saussier, opens an investigation of Major Esterhazy.
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November 20, 1897: Edvard Grieg (54) begins a month-long performing tour of Britain, in Liverpool.
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November 25, 1897: Emile Zola begins a campaign in Le Figaro to exonerate Alfred Dreyfus.
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November 25, 1897: The Spanish government enacts plans to grant Cuba political autonomy.
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November 27, 1897: Sapho, a pièce lyrique by Jules Massenet (55) to words of Cain and Bernède after Daudet, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris. It is a resounding success.
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November 28, 1897: The Spanish government releases all US citizens held in Cuba.
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November 28, 1897: Le Figaro begins publishing letters from Major Esterhazy to one of his mistresses wherein he insults the French and declares his intention to become a German.
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November 28, 1897: An der Elbe op.477, a waltz by Johann Strauss (72), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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November 29, 1897: Führ mich, Kind, nach Bethlehem!, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to anonymous words (tr. Heyse), is performed for the first time, in Saal B des Architektenhauses, Berlin.
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November 30, 1897: France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia announce that their choice for the Christian governor of Crete is Prince Giorgios of Greece.
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November 30, 1897: Paul, Baron Gautsch von Frankenthurn replaces Kazimierz Felix, Count Badeni as Chancellor of Austria.
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November 30, 1897: Charles F. Bennett of Chicago receives a patent for the jockstrap, which he actually invented in 1874.
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November 30, 1897: Four songs for voice, viola, and piano by Charles Martin Loeffler (36) are performed for the first time, in Steinert Hall, Boston: La cloche félée and Harmonie du soir to words of Beaudelaire, and Dansons la gigue! and Sérénade to words of Verlaine.
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November 30, 1897: Edvard Grieg (54) makes his only concert appearance in Scotland, in Edinburgh.
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November 30, 1897: Agnes, a song for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in the Falkensaal, Heilbronn.
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December 1, 1897: Zululand is annexed to Natal.
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December 1, 1897: The Bells of Yale for baritone, male chorus, piano, and violin by Charles Ives (23) is performed for the first time, in South Norwalk, Connecticut.
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December 4, 1897: The Treaty of Constantinople establishes peace between Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Crete is left under nominal Turkish sovereignty but with an international force to maintain order. Greece gives up a small amount of territory and 4,000,000 Turkish pounds.
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December 6, 1897: Edvard (54) and Nina Grieg, and violinist Johannes Wolff, perform a program of Grieg’s piano, violin, and vocal music at Windsor Castle in the presence of Queen Victoria. “The Queen is sweet...She is full of enthusiasm.”
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December 7, 1897: Rondel op.16c, a song by Edward Elgar (40) to words of Longfellow after Froissart, is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London.
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December 7, 1897: Richard Strauss (33) conducts for the first time before a British audience, in Queen’s Hall, music of Wagner (†14), Mozart (†106) and himself. Among the trombonists is a Royal College of Music student named Gustav Holst (23).
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December 8, 1897: Three Shakespeare Choruses for female chorus and piano op.39 by Amy Beach (30) are performed for the first time, in Detroit.
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December 11, 1897: Ferruccio Busoni (31) departs London for Vienna after his first visit of six successful weeks.
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December 12, 1897: A French protectorate is extended over the Sultanate of Dar al-Kuti in central Africa.
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December 12, 1897: Romanians carry out pogroms against Jews in Bucharest.
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December 12, 1897: The capital of Minas Gerais is moved to Belo Horizonte.
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December 13, 1897: Marche religieuse for organ op.107 by Camille Saint-Saëns (62) is performed for the first time, in the Church of San Francisco, Madrid, by the composer.
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December 15, 1897: Spain concludes the Pact of Biak-na-Bato with Philippine insurgents. In return for ending the insurgency, Spain pays the revolutionaries 800,000 pesos, grants full amnesty, and allows rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo safe passage to exile in Hong Kong.
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December 15, 1897: Three songs for voice and piano by Hugo Wolf (37) to words of Goethe are performed for the first time, in the Altes Rathaus, Vienna:  Wenn du mich mit den Augen streifst, Der Schäfer (first public), and Mignon II.
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December 25, 1897: Italy cedes Kassala to Egypt.
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December 26, 1897: Three handwriting experts declare that the original treasonous document in the Dreyfus case was not written by Major Esterhazy.
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December 26, 1897: Due to the removal of subsidies last 1 July, the Teatro alla Scala does not open for the traditional Carnival opera season.
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December 28, 1897: The Bride Elect, an operetta by John Philip Sousa (43) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Hyperion Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut.
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December 28, 1897: Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand is performed for the first time, in Paris. It is an overnight sensation and will receive over 200 performances.
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December 29, 1897: Wary of the recent German acquisition of Kiaochow (Jiaozhou), Russian forces seize Port Arthur (Lüshun) from China.