10 May 2013
"There was but a poor attendance at this concert, which, we think, is entirely owing to the want of arrangement, displayed not only on this but on similar occasions by this society. It can hardly be expected, that the public will go to a concert, if it does not know that it takes place. Besides most members of the Press did not even receive their usual tickets, which will by no means add to the publicity of the concert. The Programme offered all kinds of music from Panny and Leopold de Meyer to Beethoven. This may please a good many tastes, but it is decidedly not tasteful.--The most interesting feature of the Programme was a Serenade by Schubert for Soprano Solo and female Chorus and Orchestra, a charming composition, which with a little more light and shade in the performance might have produced a still better impression. The Leonore Overture No.3 went off well, especially in the Allegro part. The Introduction was rather muddy. But why playing this overture, which has been heard lately over and over again, while No.1 in C is scarcely known?
Mr. Mills performed de Meyer's difficult fantasia with his usual bravura. The Steinway Grand sounded splendidly, in fact, more body of tone would hardly be produced.
Mr. Steins, a member of the society and an amateur, sang his songs (Faded Flowers and The two Grenadiers) with a voice, which is decidedly the best baritone, we have heard for a good many years. Every tone is telling, the pure metal worth, according to the judgment of a so-called smart manager, a good many thousand dollars, but in our opinion worth the highest culture a man can give to such a jewel. One hour's judicious practice everyday would produce with this material in a couple of years a voice which would astonish the world. For the present it is but a rough diamond without any setting.
Last, but not least, came Mendelssohn's ˜Hymn of Praise," an imitation of Beethoven's Ninth, equally formless, but we need hardly add, by far not equally grand. The work is neither symphony nor cantata, and for this very reason will never make the impression which its interesting details partially warrant. Besides the endless repetitions in the music make even those traits of real inspiration monotonous, which distinguish this work."
COMMENT: "Two grenadiers" is not listed in the program given at the top of this article.