Price: $.75 single ticket at the door; $2 for 4 concerts
12 August 2013
“Then there is the ‘Liederkranz,’ under the direction of Mr. Paur, announcing four concerts made up of some rare selections; such as: Finale from Mendelssohn’s Lorely; Gade’s ‘Comala;’ the ‘Mignon-Requiem’ and the ‘Manfred’ music (melo-drama, solo and chorus) by Schumann; the Symphony-Cantata by Mendelssohn; Eight-part choruses by Palestrina and Lotti; Gloria from Beethoven’s great Mass in D; and Credo from the Mass written by Liszt for the Convent at Gran. Truly a tempting feast in these dry times!”
“The second concert on Tuesday evening at Irving Hall, of the German Liederkranz, was very successful, and attracted a large number of musical people. A very liberal and commendable spirit was shown in the selections, the programme bearing the distinguished names of German, Italian and Scandinavian composers. The Meditation by Bach, given by the piano, organ and violoncello is the very divinity of music, and showed its wonderful effect on the audience in their hearty efforts for its repetition. The male chorus of Mozart, from the opera ‘Casi Fantutti,' [sic] was sung with due regard to the composer’s great fame. The aria from Pacini’s ‘Saffo’ is too well known to need commendation, but its rendering by Miss Wollenhaupt was not wholly satisfactory, owing, doubtless, to her embarrassment.
The motette from Palestrina was imposingly sung, and must have left a deep religious impression on the audience. It showed the importance of well-drilled numbers in our church choirs, most of which require a great musical reformation.
The lyric drama of 'Comalo,' by Niels William Gade, the great Danish coposer, was a principal feature of the evening. This composer, little known here, was born at Copenhagen in 1817. Cast in a musical mould, he soon evinced great ability, and by the composition of the 'Echo of Ossian' took a decided position as a composer. He has produced many pieces, and we believe one opera called the 'Niebelungen.' His ‘Comala,’ so admirably given last evening, abounds in the finest melody, and is unusually rich in instrumentation. The third chorus of warriors was particularly fine, and grateful, too, to the uneducated ear. The tenth chorus of bards and virgins was equally good, and brought out all the most remarkable qualities of the gifted composer.”
[Full program precedes review]
“The chief interest attached to this concert, was concentrated in the performance of the Chorus by Palestrina, a composition, which interests considerably by its simplicity, its grandeur, its age (it is nearly three hundred years old,) and its perfusions of triads pure and simple… We can not help, however, remembering the old saying: 'Everything in its right place.' This chorus on a solemn occasion at church sung (in its soprano parts) by boys with sound good voices, will not fail to make a deep impression, but in a concert room, mixed up with all kinds of music, it strikes us to be little more than a curiosity.
Mozart’s chorus from the opera ‘Cosi fan tutte,’ was well sung. This too has but a historical interest; for a good many better choruses for male voices have been written since the great master died. Gounod's arrangement of Bach’s prelude lost somewhat in interest from the fact that the organ or rather melodeon, which was used on this occasion, could not be heard. By the bye, why is this called Bach’s composition?
Schumann’s overture to 'Julius Caesar' could have made a better impression if a little more variety of expression would have been used on the part of the orchestra.
We have still to speak of the ‘Cantata,’ by Gade, with which the performance concluded. [summary of the plot]
Mr. Gade has composed ten pieces of music for this very peculiar subject, in which the sopranos take the greatest part. With exception of three choruses of Warriors, the color of the soprano voice prevails, a circumstance which adds considerably to the monotony of the whole composition. There are not sufficient contrasts in the work, an evil, of which we have to complain very often in modern composition.
Besides there is no progression interest, Comala may have interested Mr. Gade very much, but he fails to convince the public that she is that highly interesting person he imagines her to be. There is not one instance in the work where the composer takes hold of us by dint of his ideas; all is dragging along at the same rate of exceedingly well done--dreariness. The work was satisfactorily performed by the orchestra, the Liederkranz and the soloists, Miss Adeline Wollenhaupt, Mrs. Paulitsch, Mrs. Vetter and Mr. Steins.
We still have to mention the able manner in which Mr. Bergner sustained his solo on the violoncello, as well as the fine and pure soprano voice, which Miss Wollenhaupt displayed in her rendering of Pacini’s aria from ‘Saffo.’ This young lady ought to appear oftener in public, and she will soon conquer the nervousness, with which she is evidently very much troubled just now.”
[Mistakenly gives date of concert as Jan 6.]
“At the Liederkranz concert of January 6, Gade's cantata 'Comala,' was sung, also a chorus by Palestrina, &c.;--altogether a better programme than that of the first concert; we were not present, but heard that the execution was rather–-slow. ‘Comala,’ being, though dreamy and poetic, rather monotonous in coloring, like the Ossianic poems from which the text is taken, requires much life and spirit in the rendering to make it effective with those who do not know it ‘on the book,’ as the children say.”