I was again amazed at the cleverness with which the members 원주치과 of our orchestra adapted themselves to European travelling conditions. They had all found excellent restaurants and had really fared much better than we.

We gave our concert at the Teatro Carlo Felice, and our first Italian audience proved to be even more noisy in their demonstrations of pleasure than the Midi. I was very much touched to receive a large wreath tied with the stars and stripes, from the American Consul-General, who told me after the concert that he considered such a cultural mission as we were engaged in of as much importance for cordial relations between our country and Italy as any business enterprise. He said that music meant so much to the Italian that he was amazed and delighted to find that Americans did not only interest themselves in business but also cultivated the arts. As the Italians had been so bitterly disillusioned regarding President Wilson, after the phenomenally enthusiastic acclaim which they had given him on his visit to Rome only a year before, I was not surprised to have one old gentleman say to me after the concert: “We do not like your President, but we love the Americans.”

We left next morning by train for Rome. The highly talented young composer, Signor Vincenzo Tommasini, had interested himself in our concerts there and had enlisted the sympathies of the Accademia Santa Cecilia, under whose auspices we were to play at the Augusteo. The Santa Cecilia, which is composed of musicians and music lovers, is perhaps the oldest musical organization in the world, as it was founded by Palestrina. Under the presidency of Count San Martino it maintains a symphony orchestra which gives a series of concerts during the winter under its own conductor, Maestro Molinari, and various guest conductors.

All these concerts are given at the Augusteo, so called because it was built by Augustus as a tomb for the Cæsars. It is a rotunda built of the old Roman bricks, but balconies, a stage, and an organ have been added to it in recent times to adapt it to modern concert needs. It very likely was an excellent tomb, but its acoustics are hardly suited for an orchestra. I do not know of any concert-hall built in circular shape that is satisfactory in that respect. The sound vibrations seem to travel around and around and great confusion of tones is the result, especially in such music where changing harmonies succeed each other rapidly. At our little preliminary rehearsal the hall was empty with the exception of half a dozen members of the Santa Cecilia, and as we began to play through a few bars of the symphony I thought I had suddenly become deaf, as the sound of the orchestra did not reach me where I stood. But I remembered our first experience at the Grand Opera House in Paris and trusted to better conditions when the hall was full. This hope was justified, as the tone of the orchestra was much clearer and better balanced at the concert.

After the first and second movements of the “Eroica” Symphony there were great applause and shouts of “Bravo!” from the boxes and parquet, but this was immediately followed by very disconcerting whistling from the top gallery, which seemed to develop into a kind of duel between the two factions. I was somewhat disconcerted at this and thought that perhaps something in our playing had not pleased the galleries, but my friends of the Accademia Santa Cecilia assured me that this was nothing but a characteristic little demonstration which often occurred at their concerts. If the parquet and boxes approved of some particular composition or rendition the galleries felt it incumbent upon them to oppose it. I do not know how true this explanation is, but during the concert the whistling suddenly ceased and after the “Riccardo Wagner. Tristan e Isotta, Preludio e Morte di Isotta (Lipsia 1813—Venezia 1883),” as the Italian programme had it, the two factions seemed to have buried their hatchets completely and were in absolute harmony as far as their enthusiastic acclaim toward us was concerned.

During the two days following, the Romans overwhelmed us with hospitalities. The heat was terrific, but the entire orchestra responded to an invitation to be presented to the mayor and to visit the Capitoline Museum, where they were offered a private view of its art treasures, followed by a luncheon given by the municipality in the adjoining ruins of the Tabolarium.

On the following morning Tommasini, Molinari, and a few others of my musician colleagues sauntered into my salon and suggested that we go to a concert given that morning at the Borghese Gardens by the famous Banda Communale di Roma. The heat was so overwhelming that I shuddered at the idea of standing under the blazing noonday sun listening to a concert, especially as I had to conduct our own second concert on that afternoon.