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(Montreal, 1892-1893)

Prepared by Kathleen McMorrow
Online only (2017)

Arcaia: A Journal Devoted to Music, Art and Literature (ARC), a semi-monthly which achieved twenty-one issues, was published in Montreal from May 2nd, 1892 to March 1st, 1893. The editor and proprietor was Joseph Gould. The issues, which contain forty-four literary pages printed in two-column format, are divided into three large sections, beginning with articles about music, followed by sections on art and literature. These main literary sections are preceded and followed by a changeable number of pages of advertisements.

The music section usually begins with one or two articles about particular aspects of the art, copied from various published sources. Among these articles are French song literature, Couture’s studies at the Paris Conservatoire of Music, an explanation of descriptive or programme music, church and devotional music, views of Wagner’s music dramas, ballad concerts in London and concert programmes that either please or elevate listeners. A summary of Reginald De Koven’s article in which the possibility of a distinct national school of American music is questioned. Some articles are reviews dealing with specific operas or instrumental compositions, important contemporary performers and musical concepts: Verdi’s Falstaff, Ernest Reyer’s Salambo, Massenet’s Werther, Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, Dvořák’s Requiem, Hans von Bülow’s criticism of Verdi, the recollections of baritone Charles Santley, the pianist Paderewski and musical modernity.

Reviews of musical life in major cities deal with concerts and operas in London, Scotland, Paris, at home (Montreal), Ottawa, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D. C., and Philadelphia. The reports from the Canadian cities give biographical sketches professional musicians, concert reports and remarks on the establishment of various institutions. From home, that is from Montreal, reports of visiting musical events feature British tenor Edward Lloyd, the New York Symphony Society Orchestra, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, concerts of compositions by French Canadian composers, the Mendelssohn Choir, and the concert activities of resident musicians, such as violinist F. Jehin Prume and violoncellist Collet. Reports from Toronto and Ottawa are similar presenting reports of concerts by local and visiting musicians.