Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
6 December 2017
“First appearance at these concerts of Miss Rosa Cooke, Soprano. Second appearance of the celebrated trombone soloist, Mr. F. Letsch.”
"Sunday Concerts.--The sixth of Mr. Harrison's Sunday concerts will be given at Irving Hall to-morrow, (Sunday.) [sic].We have, on several occasions, spoken of these entertainments, and again commend them as the best of their kind we have ever had in the City. The singers and soloists are always good: the programmes are made up with taste and propriety; the interpretation under Mr. Theodore Thomas' able bâton is invariably perfect. An orchestra of forty of the best solo players--playing together as with one impulse--imparts singular brilliancy to the instrumental works. A bright hall, fine programme and good performers have caused these Sunday concerts to become a popular feature of New-York life. They have, indeed, become so popular that Irving Hall--spacious as it is--can barely contain the audience, and we learn that it is Mr. Harrison's intention to tranfer [sic] them to Steinway's new hall so soon as that spacious and beautiful edifice is ready."
“Haydn’s immortal symphony in D, the Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overture to Rienzi, andante from Beethoven’s first symphony, and visions in a dream by Lumbye, will be given at Irving Hall tonight, by Thomas’ renowned orchestra. Miss Rosa Cooke, one of our best vocalists, Mr. Letsch, the trombonist, and Mr. Colby, the pianist, will also appear.”
“The sixth concert at Irving Hall on Sunday showed no diminution in the popularity of those entertainments regarding numbers and appreciation on the part of the audience. A symphony, as usual, commenced the concert, being Haydn’s well known one in D. Haydn’s music is easily characterized. It shows clearness of style, neatness and elegance in detail, and thorough intelligibility in expressing and illustrating ideas. His symphonies are the most genial and popular with the general public, because they are the least strange and abstruse. He is like a lively, easy conversationalist, and whatever subject he treats on he conveys his ideas in a pleasing, off handed manner, never philosophizing, but skimming over the surface without plunging into the depths of his subject. In elegance and polish of style, he is the Addison of music, for he could not express an idea ungracefully. Without possessing the tragic pathos of Mozart or the sublime yearnings of Beethoven, his music is healthy and sunny and enjoyable by all, even those who are uneducated in the divine art. Nature is his goddess. He never soars away from the earth, but is a constant worshipper at her shrine. The D symphony was played by Theodore Thomas’ orchestra of forty performers. The execution was all that could be desired. The other orchestral pieces were the Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, overture to Rienzi, Andante from Beethoven’s first symphony in C, and Visions in a Dream, by Lumbye. Miss Rosa Cooke sang a Salve Maria by Mercadante, and, although evidently suffering from a severe cold, gave evidence of being an artist both in voice and style. We would suggest that in these concerts more of the vocal element be infused. Mr. Thomas’ orchestra is very good in itself, but to make a Sunday concert popular to all, there should be variety. Three or more vocalists are necessary for this. Besides, there are many excellent sacred pieces which would certainly be more in keeping with a Sunday evening concert than love songs and operatic airs. Rossini’s beautiful quartette, ‘Charity,’ would be far more enjoyable than Hatton’s ‘Good, night, beloved.’ Then selections from oratories, masses, and such works as the Stabat Mater would also increase the popularity of those concerts and do much to break down the puritanic antipathy to them that prevails among a certain church going class. The seventh concert will be given on Sunday next.”