16 May 2016
“The first concert of the Liederkranz Society this season will take place this evening at the hall of the society, on Fourth street. The programme is very interesting.”
The review covers only the first part of the concert. Abt’s “Volkslied” was performed with accuracy. Bertha Johannsen proved she is still a fine singer although her voice has lost some of its glamour. Pattison played his frequently performed Faust fantasy with the usual technical skill. Mr. Biedermann possesses an excellent tenor voice especially for a chorus singer (amateur); however, he seemed overwhelmed with the demands of the difficult Schumann piece he chose to perform. The finale of the first part was Wagner’s “Brautgesang” which was performed and conducted excellently by the chorus and Mr. Paur. The pompous introduction of the piece was sung with accuracy and energy and the piano parts were sung tenderly and sensitively.
“The first concert of the season of this excellent vocal society came off at their rooms in Fourth street. The programme comprised selections from the works of Abt, Schumann, Kücken, Faubert and Hiller. The choruses were all sung with precision and in general with expression, and the voices were very well balanced. It is seldom in a German society that the quality of the tenor voices is as good as in the Liederkranz. Mr. A. Paur made a very good director. Mr. J. N. Pattison played one of Chopin’s dreamy studies in his usual masterly style, and Madame Bertha Johannsen sang as she always sings, like a true artist. Although her voice is much worn and has lost its freshness and melodious tones, yet she sings with such finished and consummate skill that she is still enjoyable in those matchless German lieds. The next concert will take place on Sunday next.”
J. R. Pattison has returned from Europe and also seemingly left his inappropriate ideas behind. It is very important for an artist to have a healthy self-confidence and pride. However, some self-reflection is also essential. He could be a good addition to the American artist scene, if he is willing to present himself appropriately. If he has not found satisfaction in his ambition yet, he has only himself to blame.
Bertha Johannsen will only give vocal lessons from now on. She will attract many students.
The performance of the choruses left nothing to wish for, especially the “Chor der Geister”. Wm. Steinway took on the solos in the chorus. Bertha Johannsen sang tastefully as usual; however, the Faubert song was out of her range and thus the coloratura was too heavy and thick. Mr. Pattison has improved significantly, yet less so as a composer. His performance on the piano however has become purer, more accurate and refined and he himself is calmer. With his energy and continued education he will accomplish much.
Mr. Biedermann is clearly an amateur, as we could hear. It is questionable if that entitles him to sing in these concerts.