Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
6 December 2017
“Mr. Lafayette Harrison’s ninth Sunday Concert, October 28, at Irving Hall, will introduce some interesting novelties in the programme, both as regards music and artists.”
“Mr. Harrison’s ninth Sunday concert takes place here this evening. The programme is excellent. It opens with Beethoven’s overture to ‘Coriolanus,’ played by Mr. Theodore Thomas’ superb orchestra. Then comes a grand fantasia for piano, played by Mr. J. N. Pattison, his first appearance since his return from Europe. After that the ‘Andante’ from the symphony in C by Schubert. Then a sacred song by Mrs. Anna Payne. The part ends with the Turkish March by Mozart, by the orchestra. In the second part we have the overture to ‘The Poet and Peasant,’ ‘La Campanella,’ by Mr. Pattison; Romanza from ‘L’éclair;’ Sacred Song, Mrs. Anna Payne, and grand finale from the ‘Huguenots,’ played by the orchestra.”
“Another overwhelming audience filled Irving Hall last night at the Sunday concert. The programme was choice as usual, and many new and interesting [illeg.] were introduced. The concert opened with Beethoven’s magnificent overture to Coriolanus, which was played by the orchestra in as effective a manner as could be expected from the number of instruments and such a work. The other orchestral works were, Andante, from Schubert’s symphony in C; ‘Turkish March,’ Mozart; overture, ‘Poet and Peasant,’ Suppe; romance, ‘L’éclair,’ Halevy; and a selection from the Huguenots. The Andante is a beautiful, rich, varied subject finely treated in every respect. The Turkish March and the Poet and Peasant seem to have taken fast hold of the public here, for they are always received with enthusiasm. The latter was vociferously encored last night. Mr. J. N. Pattison played his Faust and La Campanella, by Liszt. His treatment of Faust is artistic, tasteful and devoid of all vulgarity of thought. It is a piece which at first hearing impresses one, if not unfavorably, at least with a feeling of uncertainty as to the meaning of the composer, but on repetition, and when well examined into, Mr. Pattison’s Faust must be acknowledged as a genuine work of art. The Introduction with a few measures from the overture, enough to calm the spirit, the ‘Flower Song’ and Faust and Marguerite, with a spice of Mephisto thrown in at the end are very well delineated. In the use of the cadence and modulation, Mr. Pattison shows remarkable skill and taste in introducing the different melodies, like pleasant surprise parties. Liszt’s piano transcriptions of La Campanella, by Paganini, may be classed among some of his best works. The treatment is vigorous, but not without beauty and intelligibility. The technical difficulties are very great, and require a light, supple wrist and considerable manual dexterity. Mr. Pattison played it well and received an encore, as was just. An American composer and pianist of such ability as Mr. Pattison has shown in his transcriptions and renditions of works like the Henselt Concerto and others deserves to meet with as flattering a reception in the metropolis as he received in Europe. The audience at these concerts show [sic] their appreciation of music in one excellent point by maintaining the most rigid silence while any piece is being played or sung, a decided improvement over the [illeg.] régime. The tenth concert will take place on Sunday next.”
Harrison’s Sunday concerts have attracted large audiences…The performances of Liszt’s “Preludes" and Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor were never better. The effects of Thomas newly introduced even strokes of the bow for strings are beautiful.