Price: $1; $1.50 reserved
4 February 2016
Includes program. “Overture, ‘Nachtlager’ Troops . . . . Kreutzer.”
“Musical. Mr. Oscar Pfeiffer’s benefit concert came off at Irving Hall last night, and the attendance was much better than might be expected from such an unpromising state of affairs outside. Mr. Pfeiffer, to judge from his rendering of an Ernani fantasia of his own, and Liszt’s illustration of the Prophet, is a pianist of no mean order. His touch is somewhat hard, but of considerable power and nervous vigor, and he possesses the first essential attributes of a pianist—intelligibility and correct phrasing—in the highest degree. These qualities are seldom united with such a strong, massive style as Mr. Pfeiffer displays, and both tend to develop fully the boundless resources of the grand piano in the most ample manner. Mme Altieri and Messrs. Pollack and Hennig assisted in the concert, and were favorably received.”
“Mr. Oscar Pfieffer [sic], of whose piano performances we have already given some account, gave his first public concert at Irving Hall on Saturday evening. The storm permitted him but a slim audience, but the few present had cause to be pleased. Mr. Pfieffer [sic] is a vigorous player, and in such pieces as Kreutzer’s overure to ‘Nachtlager in Grenada,’ and his own paraphrase from ‘Ernani’ and introduction and variations to that poor ‘Carnival of Venice’ was heard to the best effect. Mr. Pfieffer [sic] was assisted by Madame Altieri, Mr. Ignatz Pollock, (a very endurable baritone for the concert room,) and Mr. Henning [sic], who gave with excellent sentiment an adagio and mazurka by Chas. Schuberth.”
“Music. At Irving Hall, on Saturday, Mr. Oscar Pfeiffer, a pianist of merit from Europe and South America, appeared in public for the first time in this city. He was assisted by Mrs. Altieri-Pfeiffer, by Mr. Ignatz Pollock, a baritone of good taste and ambition, and by Mr. Rudolph Hennig, one of our best violincellists [sic], whose nervous, broad-toned, correct giving of Charles Schuberth’s Adagio and Mazurka was one of the most interesting performances of the evening. Mr. Pfeiffer’s own part in the concert was assuredly a success. His transcript of Kreutzer’s Nachtlager in Granada is excellent; its rendering was bold and graceful. The Ernani paraphrase expressed considerable energy in bravura passages. Liszt’s illustrations of The Prophet (obscurations, they might be called) were a broader, more exacting test of Mr. Pfeiffer’s style. This style is evidently earnest, skillful, straightforward, brilliant in its way, but not especially delicate or susceptible. The public which, in spite of the snowstorm, attended Mr. Pfeiffer’s performance in good numbers, will be very glad to hear him again. We cannot promise so well for Madame Pfeiffer. Her voice is not insignificant; the scena and aria from Verdi’s Ballo were dashingly sung. But Godfrey’s not uncommon Waltz was less fortunately selected, and we hesitate to speak of the mannerisms under which Madame Pfeiffer loses true expression. She can do better both as an actress and singer—better, let us hope, than to take unmeaning and not unmingled applauses as cues for her re-intrusion on her audience four successive times after one song.”
The snow storm affected the attendance significantly. Pfeiffer’s technique is accurate and consistent; his style is vigorous without influencing his skill for nuances. All works, including the challenging Liszt piece, were performed perfectly. Hennig, Pollack, and Altieri did their best to support Pfeiffer in his concert.
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