Price: $1.50 reserved; $1
Chamber (includes Solo)
19 December 2018
Mrs. Jenny Kempton, the favorite contralto, and others will sing tonight at Harry Sanderson’s concert. The program looks interesting.
“Harry Sanderson gave his first concert at Irving Hall Saturday night before an immense audience, assisted by the following artists: Mrs. Jenny Kempton, contralto; Mr. W. J. Hill, tenor; Miss Matilda Toedt, violinist; Mr. Davis, basso; and Mr. G. W. Colby, conductor. The program was of a miscellaneous character, comprising both classical and salon pieces, and was in general very well rendered. Mr. Sanderson’s peculiar faculty in octave playing, in which he is unrivaled, was shown to advantage at this concert. The beautiful quartet from Rigoletto in particular was given with an éclat and brilliancy which did full justice to the great Italian composer. Mr. Sanderson has an unrivalled method of his own, which in point of digital dexterity and clearness cannot be excelled, and in this as in his other characteristic pieces he displayed his talents to the utmost advantage. Mrs. Kempton sang ‘Il segreto’ particularly well. Her beautiful contralto voice, well trained in everything that appertains to the opera, is ever welcome in the concert hall. Mr. Davis is a pleasing basso and Mr. Hill is well known.”
“The musical season opened pleasantly and auspiciously at Irving Hall on Saturday night with Harry Sanderson’s concert, the first he has given here since his return from England. The friends of the brilliant pianist were out in immense force, and all of the standing room was required. The programme—the pieces which were performed by Mr. Sanderson, Miss Matilda Toedt, Mrs. Jenny Kempton, Mr. W. J. Hill and Mr. H. W. Davis—was in every respect judicious and satisfactory. Mr. Sanderson played his arrangements of airs from ‘Puritani’ and ‘Rigoletto,’ and his new ‘Lullaby’ and ‘National Guard Polka.’ He was greeted with extreme cordiality and encores were demanded at the close of each of his performances. When he played his popular ‘Rigoletto,’ he was obliged to respond to three successive encores, all of which he bore good-naturedly. His playing has not altered much since he last appeared here. A little greater finish and delicacy are perceptible, while the old brilliancy of his octave playing, in which he has no rival, remains. The ‘Lullaby,’ a composition of great simplicity, tenderness and expressiveness, was given delightfully; and the new ‘National Guard Polka,’ with its dash and stirring movement, was a decided success. Miss Toedt played a violin solo by Vieuxtemps and a tremolo by Beriot superbly. The former was expecially trying, and displayed her mastery of legato-playing finely. Nothing could be more perfect in the way of execution than her rendering of this piece. Miss Jenny Kempton met with a warm greeting and sang with her usual style. Messrs. Hill and Davis were also well received. The company is well calculated to succeed in the concerting tour it has just begun.”
“Mr. Harry Sanderson gave the first concert of the season Saturday evening at Irving Hall. The attendance was all that could be desired—in numbers—and the performance gave general satisfaction. Mrs. Jenny Kempton was the vocalist, and sang several pieces of the contralto repertoire effectively. She has a fine, effective, and well-trained voice, and a presence which is assuring and acceptable to the audience. Miss Matilda Toedt, the violiniste, played a couple of pieces with rare clearness and expression. Messrs. Hill and Davis also rendered good service. Both have good voices. Of Mr. Sanderson it is hardly possible to say more than has already been said. In his line (which, it must be confessed, is rather limited) he is without a rival. He plays his own music exclusively, and is right in doing so, for it exhibits the brilliancy of his peculiar mode of fingering, and enables him to produce effects which no other composer would ever think of committing to paper. Mr. Sanderson's fantasias are always effective and sometimes wonderful, both in conception and execution, but as a rule they are not well proportioned. The harmony is scattered, some of the skips being so inconvenient and curious that no one is likely to adopt them save Mr. Sanderson. It is in a bold, quick style of military music that Mr. Sanderson most excels. Here he exhibits endurance as a player, and imagination as a writer. The “Electric Polka” is one of his best compositions, and he played it on Saturday night in response to an encore, and played it admirably, but with more than the ordinary—and as we think necessary—velocity. Subsequently, in reply to a similar compliment, he favored the audience with a quickstep based on the popular melody of “Capt. Jinks”—which we have no doubt will take well, but which we have no desire whatever to hear again. It has evidently been hastily vamped up for an occasion. The audience, however, seemed to enjoy it, and Mr. Sanderson repeated it two or three times. The “National Guard Polka” is also a new composition, and deserves unquestionably to win favor. It is bright, melodious, and well constructed. Mr. Sanderson played these pieces as none, save himself, could possibly do, and with terrific results in the way of applause. The piano used on the occasion, and a very fine one, was from the factory of Mr. A. Weber. Mr. Sanderson will give several other concerts here, and then proceed on a lengthened tour through the Western States.”
“The opening of the musical season by Mr. Harry Sanderson drew a very large audience to Irving Hall on Saturday evening. The performance was unusually successful, there being no fewer than ten recalls, five of which were compliments to Mr. Sanderson himself. He played with his accustomed dash, rapidity, and brilliancy, and his dance music, sparkling with showers of octaves, was excellent. His ‘Lullaby’ is a very pretty and graceful composition, and was played with good taste; but we cannot give the same praise to his fantasias, on ‘I Puritani,’ and ‘Rigoletto,’ which are showy but lack sentiment. A far more artistic performance than anything we heard from Mr. Sanderson was that of De Beriot’s ‘Tremolo,’ by Miss Matilda Toedt. This young lady uses the violin not for the display of her own skill, but for the expression of musical feeling. She has intelligence, and taste. She has studied in a good school, and her culture already entitles her to a high rank in the profession. Being recalled after the ‘Tremolo,’ she played charmingly a melody in two parts, and finished with ah excellent harmonized passage which would have done no discredit to Ole Bull himself. The vocalists of the evening were Mrs. Jenny Kempton, Mr. W. J. Hill, and Mr. W. H. Davis. Mrs. Kempton chose for her first song an anonymous aria of the Italian school, which, if it had little other merit at least served very fully to display the characteristic defects of this lady’s method. Both the composition and the execution of it belong to what may be termed the Grecian Bend [a dance] style of music—a style which is all puff, trimmings, and contortion, disguising nature and destroying grace, and sacrificing truth to the vanity of unmeaning affectation. Mrs. Kempton did better in the Il Segreto, which she gave as an encore, and very much better in two ballads later in the evening, one a pleasant little song by M. Naughton, ‘As we went a Haying,’ which is new, and the other the familiar ‘Three Fishers.’ Mr. Hill sang a ballad of Reichardt’s a romanza by Ascher, and, in obedience to a demand from the gallery, The Marseillaise. Mr. Davis gave us the Prayer from ‘Nabuco [sic].’ ‘The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls,’ and ‘The Exile,’ by Keller, besides joining Mr. Hill in the well-known duet from ‘Martha.” He has an excellent bass voice, of considerable compass and strength, and very agreeable quality, and his enunciation is both smooth and bold; but, like Mr Hill, he is altogether too vociferous. In the Prayer he seemed bent upon taking heaven by storm, and in the duet many of the beauties of the music were drowned in clamor. The performance closed with the trio from ‘Maritana,’ ‘Turn on, Old Time, thine Hour Glass,’ in which the gentlemen were more subdued, and the lady was natural and pleasing. Mr. G. W. Colby was the accompanist.”
“Irving Hall was filled with an attentive and appreciative audience on Saturday evening upon the occasion of the opening concert of the season. It was given by Mr. Sanderson (pianist), assisted by Miss Mathilda Toedt (violinist), Mrs. Kempton, and by Messrs. Hill, Davis and Colby.
Mr. Sanderson’s pianism is of a kind readily appreciated by the general public, and his surprising dexterity of finger—which was especially displayed in octave passages---elicited the warmest demonstrations of applause; indeed his second solo was three times encored. In response to the first demand he dashed off a jaunty and frothy arrangement of a popular song called ‘Captain Jinks of the Hoss-marines.’ This of course took immediately with a not too discriminating audience.
Miss Toedt, whose remarkable ability and talent we have frequently had occasion to mention, played two solos in a very admirable manner; her bowing seems to be stronger than it was last winter, and her tone is very clear and pure. She was recalled in each instance.
Mr. Davis, who made his debut before a New York audience, was favorably received, and obtained much applause. His voice is a strong, vigorous bass, especially good in the upper and lower tones, and less excellent in the intermediate ones.
Mr. Hill, Mrs. Kempton, and Mr. Colby acquitted themselves creditably, and their efforts added to the interest of the entertainment.”