Chamber (includes Solo), Choral
8 February 2016
“The Liederkranz Society, as a fitting introduction to their great ball of the 21st, gave a concert at their hall last evening, which was numerously attended. Madame Rotter, soprano; Mr. Schweichardt, clarionet; Mr. Wack, horn; Mr. Mosenthal, piano, and the deserving orchestra of the society were the attractions. The feature of the programme was Frithiof’s legend, by Tegner, the music of Max Bluch [sic], a cantata of considerable merit, sung for the first time in New York. The fine bass voice of Fred Stenis [sic] and the unsurpassed chorus of the society in this work made it a success.”
Bruch has an excellent reputation among modern composers. His composition, performed last night, gave evidence of his skill. The music possesses a rare beauty, a melodious flow for the singing voice and a noble rhythmic structure, which at no point offends the ear, as so many modern pieces do. The chorus of the priests, which is the climax of the work, is so effective that the audience is involuntarily drawn into the intended mood. The chosen sounds for the raging elements expressed by the chorus are outstanding; this correctly continues as a vocal quartet in a slow-paced tempo. The Liederkranz’ performance proved how much attention and dedication was used for rehearsing. Stein’s voice was perfect for the role of Frithiof. Rotter as Ingeborg knew how to move the listener’s heart with the tender sweetness of her voice in Scene 5. The Liederkranz men’s chorus showed the often difficult chorus parts including the “Fugensatz” to its best advantage. Paur’s skills as a conductor added to its success. He conducted with attention and confidence. The audience received Bruch’s work with enthusiastic applause. The works that followed could only capture a fleeting interest.