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The National Music of America. 281
latter being New York's first great choral society. The taste for oratorios was not nearly so universal in New York as in Boston.1
Contemporaneous with these advances in choral performance the western and southern cities were influenced by foreign causes ; the German population instituted many male choruses (Maennerchoere), and the opera was accepted with some avidity by cities outside of New England. It is not to our purpose to follow the establishment of Italian and French opera in the United States, yet the following facts may present a summary of matters.
New York was the pioneer. In 1825 an effort was made to establish Italian opera in that city. The era of high salaries began at once, America surpassing England in the extravagance of its remuneration of foreign artists. Henry T. Finck, in an interesting article on this subject, states that the price
1 Bitter's " Music in America," p. 296.