Chamber (includes Solo)
28 November 2018
“Miss N. Millet gave a complimentary concert at Steinway’s small hall on Saturday evening. In her 1st section, a movement from Chopin’s Concerto in E minor, she did not do herself justice; nervousness made her playing hard, cold, and heavy. The choice of this piece was injudicious in so young an artist. Her subsequent morceaux were much better played; Thalberg’s ‘Don Juan’ quite acceptably and with creditable taste and finish; Delioux’s ‘Valse Brillante’ with much dash and vigor and with charming delicacy in the piano passages. Her best performance was Chopin’s lovely Nocturne in F sharp, which she played as an encore with a great deal of poetic feeling and excellent taste. We cordially recommend this young lady to continue the careful study of her instrument, of which her playing gives good evidence already. She should remember that the great aim of a lady pianist should not to be to hammer the instrument in imitation of the power which can only be advantageously employed by men. A woman should play like a woman. Our young artist must also be more discreet in the use of the forte pedal.
“Miss Toedt played a fantasia of Vieuxtemps on the violin. Her sweetness, purity and pathos of tone, her smoothness and clearness in the rapid passages and the feminine delicacy and tenderness of expression which she gives to her music make the lady a true artist. Mme. Gazzaniga delighted the audience with several songs; and Signor Forsati’s [Fossati’s] fine voice was heard to good effect in two Italian selections.”
“On Saturday evening Steinway’s smaller hall was the scene of a really attractive invitation concert given by Miss N. Millet, a new piainste [sic], who played extracts from Chopin and Thalberg with good effect. The young lady has all the elements to make, with further study, a first-class player. She was assisted by Miss Toedt, violinist, and by Madame Gazzaniga and Signor Fossati, vocalists.”
“CHRONIQUE HEBDOMADAIRE. -- . . . . Finally I arrive . . . at the most interesting musical event of the week. I wish to speak of the concert given by Mlle N. Millet, at Steinway’s rooms, with the cooperation of many artists of merit.
“Mlle N. Millet is a charming young person, full of distinction, and, what’s better, a beautiful and great talent. In spite of the fellow-feeling that she inspires at first sight we listened to her without any preconceived idea, with the calmness and serenity of a Burgrave [Count of a castle], taking great care above all—according to the counsel of Talleyrand—to challenge the first emotion that carries us away [illeg.]. . . and the rigidity of the sullen critic gives way to the sweet feelings that the listener experiences. I would swear to you, the second movement resembling in every the first, I concluded from that that you had to abandon yourself to it without reserve. Mlle N. Millet has fingering of irreproachable vigor and accuracy. The [fine] points of knowledge have delivered their secrets up to her, for she accomplishes the apparent antithesis of uniting strength with the most exquisite delicacy; it’s solid as bronze, it’s as tenuous as a maiden’s hair. Here’s the blessed result of serious work, of well-directed studies, and, I must also avow, of a prime musical nature.
“Of the four pieces that Mlle N. Millet performed, it would be difficult to say which one prevailed. We incline readily toward Chopin’s beautiful concerto, without however forgetting the lovely fantasy entitled Havaneras and also the serenade of Don Juan by Thalberg . . . . You’ll see that I have to cite all of them! To say that Mlle N. Millet was applauded, encored, strewn with flowers—of course.
[Digression about the proliferation of pianos, too much Offenbach played by young ladies, etc.] . . . .
“Here’s why you have to at least create a nursery of serious teachers. When you can’t stop a bad thing, you dam it up. Now, we’ve learned with pleasure that Mlle N. Millet has no other goal than to dedicate herself with devotion (and it has to be like that!) to the arid but useful career of the professoriate: It’s good luck for the city of New York that a young person so dazzlingly gifted and who could look for glory and success by marching in the steps of Thalberg, Gottschalk, Pfeiffer, resolutely embraces a serious cause. We foretell the greatest success for Mlle. Millet.
“A young person who also deserves a very special mention is Mlle Matilda Toedt who performed a fantasy-caprice by Vieuxtemps on the violin. The elegance of her playing, the sweetness of the melody, the clearness of the bow-strokes recalled the celebrated Camille Urso. Again another great artist in the ranks.
“Mme Gazzaniga sang two pieces with her usual artistry and M. Fossati, one of our good concert singers, was also strongly applauded, above all in the cavatine from Mercadante’s Bravo. . . ."
“The first concert of Miss N. Millet was given in Steinway’s smaller hall, last Saturday evening, in presence of a select audience invited for the occasion. The young artist gave ample proofs of talent as a pianist, and bids fair to take a high rank among the musical celebrities of the city. She has been well taught, and in some of her pieces—especially Thalberg’s fantasia from Don Giovanni and a nocturne of Chopin’s—she played excellently.”
If the young artist had not filled the audience with an entourage of friends and supporters, this concert could have been a fiasco. It is not beneficial for beginners to only hear praise, for that can lead to over-confidence, which often results in an early downfall at the beginning of a career.