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17 August 2019
The musical public will be glad to hear that Parepa, having recovered from her long illness, will give a concert at Steinway Hall next Wednesday evening, the 21st. Of course, there will be a large audience present to welcome her back again.”
“All the admirers of this popular singer—and the list includes about everybody in New York at all interested in musical matters—will be glad to hear of her recovery from a long and painful illness, and of her forthcoming reappearance at Steinway’s, where she will give a concert next Wednesday evening. On this occasion Mr. Nordblom, a young Swede, who possesses a fine tenor voice, and has been studying of late under Madame Rosa’s direction, will make his first essay before a New York audience.”
Brief. “Mme. Parepa-Rosa makes her first appearance in public since her recent illness in Steinway Hall on Wednesday next.”
One sentence: “Mr. Nordbloom, Parepa’s new Swedish tenor, is said to possess a voice of rare power and sweetness.”
“The reappearance of Madame Parepa-Rosa is the musical event of to-night, and will no doubt draw a gay and glittering crowd to Mr. Steinway’s hospitable doors. A new tenor, Mr. Nordblum, a young Swede of whom report speaks highly, will make his debut on this interesting occasion.”
“This evening Parepa appears at Steinway Hall, with Nordblom, the new tenor, Mr. Rosa, violinist, and Mr. Pease. This evening, also, Mr. Bussmeyer [sic] gives his concert at the same place—at least his advertisement says so, though, of course, there must be some mistake.” [Bussmeier’s concert took place in Steinway’s Rooms.]
“There can be no pleasanter announcement to those musically inclined than that of the return of Madame Parepa-Rosa. There is, and has been since the days of Jenny Lind, no concert singer in this country in hearing whom the public takes such solid satisfaction as in listening to this great artist. She has been long absent, detained by sickness, and will be doubly welcome now.
“The performances at present announced are a miscellaneous concert this evening…” Goes on to list upcoming appearances of Parepa-Rosa
“There was a good, although not crowded house at this hall last night to welcome back this favorite artist to the scene of her earliest and most lasting triumphs. Her superb voice has lost nothing from her long and severe illness, although there was nothing worthy of it on the programme. A glittering selection from ‘Gazza Ladra’ full of cadenzas, trills and all those freaks of vocalization in which the swan of Pesaro delighted, was the first piece. The inevitable encore which follows a solo by this cantatrice brought forth one of her exquisite little ballads, ‘I cannot sing these old songs.’ In the second part she sang the ‘Il Bacio’ waltz, which she first introduced in this country. She gave the D in alto in the finale with a ringing tone, which showed that her vocal powers were still in their prime. After Madame Rosa, one of the noticeable features in the concert was the new tenor, Mr. Nordblom. His voice is one of the purest and sweetest tenors we have heard in this city, the tones being particularly melodious. He has very much to learn, however, before he can claim the title of artist, and we think the selection of Beethoven’s ‘Adèlaide’ was very injudicious for his début. It required an artist of eminence and thorough culture to sing such a work. In Abt’s beautiful song, ‘Sleep Well,’ he was eminently successful. With proper study and experience Mr. Nordblom will make a first class artist. Mr. Carl Rosa renewed his former success as a violinist by his rendering of Alard’s ‘Faust’ fantasia. Mr. Pease played two of his own arrangements very badly, and Ferranti brought in his ‘Tra la, la’ songs rather obtrusively.”
“Steinway’s large hall was not so well attended last evening as we expected that it would have been—considering that it was Mme. Parepa-Rosa’s first appearance since her protracted and serious indisposition. The public, we take it, has its own preferences, and it is probably that in the choice of two nights the public preferred to go to the oratorio of to-night rather than the concert of last night. Be this as it may, there was an excellent bill for those who had the pleasure of hearing it interpreted. Mme. Rosa was received with enthusiasm. She appeared to be in excellent health, and was never in better voice. The well-known cavatina ‘Di Piacer’ was sung with exquisite clearness and sweetness. It won an encore, and Mme. Rosa sang the pretty ballad, ‘I cannot sing the old songs,’ with remarkable feeling. The lady selected in the second part other pieces from her repertoire, and was equally successful. There is not a trace of distress in her voice. It is as sweet and persuasive, as large and commanding as ever it was. Mr. Nordblom, a new tenor from the north of Europe, made his début on this occasion. The gentleman has a soft tenor voice, which he controls with more ease than skill. In Beethoven’s ‘Adelaide,’ he missed everything that was earnest, and accomplished everything that was artificial. Nevertheless he was agreeable to the audience, and in less ambitious flights may succeed. Mr. Pease was the pianist, and played a fantasie from ‘Crispino,’ and a duet from ‘Barbe Bleue,’ with considerable brilliancy, the latter with Mr. Colby. The well-known artists, Signor Ferranti and Mr. Carl Rosa, were also on the programme.”
“Madame Parepa-Rosa sang last night at Steinway Hall for the first time since her long illness, and an excellent audience, as might have been anticipated, assembled to hear her. The hall was not full; but we should judge from appearances that an unusually large proportion of the company had paid for their tickets. Beauty, fashion, and millinery were all richly represented. The entertainment was a miscellaneous concert, the programme being short, varied, and interesting. Madame Rosa sang the Di piacer from ‘La Gazza Ladra,’ Arditi’s ‘Il Bacio’ waltz, and two of her most popular ballads—‘I cannot sing the old songs’ and ‘Five o’clock in the morning.’ Criticism is entirely unnecessary upon her performance. It was a great comfort to hear once more her royal voice, and to perceive that it had not lost its power or its richness. In the waltz especially it rang out with even more than its wonted strength and clearness, although during a portion of the evening it seemed to be a little affected by the fatigue naturally expected in a convalescent. Mr. Nordblom, the young Swedish tenor, of whom rumor had told us many good things, made his debut on this occasion, and produced a very favorable impression. He has a voice of most excellent quality, rich and mellow, and its cultivation is more than respectable. It is a manly voice, and what Mr. Nordblum chiefly needs is a little more manliness of style. This, we think, he will easily acquire; but even as he is, we can cordially welcome him as a valuable addition to our small stock of tenors. He sang Beethoven’s ‘Adelaide’ and Abt’s ‘Sweet Angel.’ Signor Ferranti gave several of his exuberant buffo exhibitions which, with all their extravagance, have many admirers, and took part with Madame Rosa in a duet from ‘Don Pasquale,’ wherein the lady showed a much more genuine spirit of humor than the gentleman. The laughing trio of Martini’s, Vado si via di qua, sung by Madame Rosa, Mr. Nordblom, and Signor Ferranti, was irresistibly comical, and though it was the last piece on the programme was heartily encored. Madame Rosa in this was particularly funny. Mr. Carl Rosa gave Alard’s violin fantasia on ‘Faust’ with his characteristic neatness and intelligence, and Mr. Pease played a piano fantasia of his own on ‘Crispino,’—a scrappy and uninspired production to which, weak as it was, the player did scanty justice.”
“The mere announcement that Parepa-Rosa will give a concert is always of itself enough to attract a goodly audience—and the appearance after a protracted illness of so great a favorite was acknowledged by a large attendance at Steinway Hall last night. The concert, under the direction of Mr. George Colby, whose assistance both as accompanyist [sic] and performer contributed largely to its success opened with an organ performance by Mr. Tully, but his selection—Auber’s ‘Cheval Bronze’ overture—was hardly calculated to exhibit to advantage the capacity of the player. Signor Ferranti next delighted the audience with Traventi’s ‘Ballata Nazionale Italiana.’
“Madame Parepa-Rosa’s appearance on the stage gave rise to an outburst of applause, which was renewed at the last note of Rossini’s Di piacer, in which her voice and execution were displayed to rare advantage. For the encore she sang with much feeling and taste the charming ballad ‘I Cannot Sing the Old Song.’
“The debut of Mr. Nordblom, the young Swedish tenor, was one of the events of the evening, but the selection of Beethoven’s ‘Adelaide’ was an unfortunate one, alike unfitted to the display of the debutant’s voice and for introduction in such a programme. To say it was well sung is not possible, yet it was not discreditable. Mr. Nordblom possesses a sympathetic voice, not of extended compass, but sufficiently powerful. He is young and unassuming, and with further cultivation with doubtlessly attain a good position. The first part of the programme closed with a duet from ‘Don Pasquale,’ in which Parepa and Ferranti quite won the hearts of the audience.
“The opening piece of the second part, announced as a piano-forte duet on themes from the inevitable ‘Grand Duchess’ was substituted by a fantasia on ‘Barbe Bleue,’ arranged by Mr. Pease and played by him and Mr. Colby. It was a series of rather ineffective variations not up to Mr. Pease’s usual mark. Ferranti then sang artistically a pleasing ballad, ‘Già la Luna,’ and was warmly applauded. Carl Rosa played in his best style a graceful arrangement of ‘Faust’ by Alard, and his wife followed, with the ever popular ‘Bacio’ of Arditi, giving for the inevitable encore which this bit of dashing vocalism always secures, the well-known ballad ‘Five o’clock in the Morning.’ Mr. Nordblom in his selection of Abt’s ‘Sweet Angel’ was enabled not only to display to advantage his fine voice, but sang the piece in admirable style. This charming evening concluded with the insignificant but still enjoyable ‘Laughing Trio’ of Martini.”
“Madame Parepa made her reappearance last evening at Steinway Hall, and was greeted with an enthusiasm that must have convinced her how greatly she has been missed. Aside from her own singing and the violin playing of her husband, the programme was not a very attractive one.
“Mr. Nordblom, the young Swedish tenor, who made his debut on this occasion, has a voice of much sweetness, a real end pure tenor in quality, and not, like too many so-called tenors, a baritone forced into the tenor register.
“He made, it seems to us, an unfortunate selection to open with. The ‘Adelaide’ of Beethoven is a large and noble aria, but it falls perfectly flat and without effect on every ordinary audience. It lacks all the essentials of easy comprehension and of popularity, and especially so when sung in a foreign language. Several others of the same series of songs (‘An die ferne Geliebte’) to which this belongs [sic; this song was independently published and predates the cycle], are better for concert purposes. But no singer can hope to make a strong impression or to get any firm hold upon any American audience by singing in any other language than the English.
“Mr. Alfred Pease was the pianist of the occasion. With every disposition to be pleased, we could not find his playing in the slightest degree pleasurable. Though he performed nothing but compositions by Pease, a composer beyond whom he never seems to venture, and in whom he finds large content, still he played even these badly, and with handfuls of mistakes.
“But Mme. Parepa fully atoned for all else that was a miss. She sang Rossini’s fine cavatina ‘Di Piacer mi balza il cor,’ with splendid facility of vocalization. It requires an artist to sing its florid passages for Rossini wrote only for artists.”
“To the Musical Critic of The Tribune.
Dear Sir: In your notice of the Parepa-Rosa Concert, on Wednesday evening, your brief mention of Mr. Pease’s performance does injustice, in one sense, to that gentleman. The Crispino Fantasia is certainly ‘scrappy,’ and it is equally certain that Mr. P. did not play with his customary dash and brilliance; but the circumstances were somewhat discouraging. Mr. Pease, who resides in Buffalo, had been telegraphed (by the manager of the Parepa Concert Troupe, with which Mr. P. is soon to make a tour of the Western States) to send to this city the names of his solos. He did so, adding the proviso that certain ones were not to be performed in this city. Among these was the ‘Crispino,’ which, as ill-luck would have it, was placed by mistake on the programme. On Wednesday evening, Mr. Pease’s natural chagrin at this contretemps, and the fatigue consequent upon the journey from Buffalo, combined to ‘throw cold water’ upon his spirits, and therefore he scarcely did himself justice. I make this explanation neither by his request nor at his suggestion, but simply as an act of justice to an artist of ability and alent, as well as to a valued friend. New-York, April 23, 1869.”
“One of the events of the month has been the re-appearance before the public of Madame Parepa Rosa, after a somewhat lengthened retirement, caused by severe illness. Her thousands of friends and admirers will gladly learn, that her voice, so far from being impaired by her silence, has actually seemed to acquire new power and elasticity. She sang in a concert at Steinway Hall, April 21st, and the next day performed her incomparable part in the solos of ‘The Creation.’ Before the season closes she will give several other oratorio performances, besides assisting at various concerts.”
“On the evening of Wednesday, the 21st April, Parepa-Rosa sang for the first time in this city since her illness; she appeared at Steinway Hall, and a good, although not crowded audience, assembled to hear her. The concert was of a miscellaneous character, and the programme was light, none of the pieces set down being calculated to test the powers of Mad. Rosa’s voice. She sang ‘Di Paur,’ a glittering selection from ‘Gazza Ladra’ and Arditi’s ‘Il Bacio’ waltz, which she was the first to introduce into this country. The first piece was full of those musical freaks which abound in Rossini’s compositions, and was given in a spirited manner, and the encore elicited the ballad ‘I Cannot Sing the Old Songs.’ The high notes in the finale of the waltz were given in a clear, ringing tone, which proved that the artiste has not lost any of her vocal power; another ballad, ‘Five O’clock in the Morning,’ was given for the encore. In addition to the above, she appeared with Sig. Pietro Ferranti in a duet from ‘Don Pasquale,’ and in a trio, ‘Vadosi vie di qua,’ with Messrs. Nordblom and Ferranti, and although the trio was the last piece on the programme, it was rendered in such a manner as to gain an encore for the performers. Mr. Nordblom, a new Sedish tenor, made his debut, and was well received; he has a clear voice, but it lacks compass, and his deportment is not manly enough. With culture he will be an acceptable addition to our tenors, but we do not think he is destined to become a second Mario in the musical world. Ferranti was, as usual, full of that extravagant buffo acting which is his chief merit. The other features of the concert were a violin solo by Carl Rosa, executed in an artistic manner; a solo on the pianoforte by Alfred Pease, ‘Fantastie on Themes from Crispino,’ by his own composition, rather a tame affair, and a duet, ‘Grande Duchesse,’ by Messrs. Pease and Colby.”
“On Wednesday evening Mme. Parepa-Rosa made her re-appearance (after her long illness) in a miscellaneous concert at Steinway Hall; she was assisted by A.H. Pease (pianist), Carl Rosa, Mr. Nordblom (a new Swedish tenor), and Messrs. Ferranti and Colby. Mme. P. was warmly welcomed and sang excellently well, barring a slight tendency to sharpness in the upper notes. Mr. Nordblom made a favorable impression by his rendering of ‘Adelaide;’ his voice is clear, pure, and strong, besides being well-cultivated. The artists whom I have named constitute the ‘Parepa-Rosa Concert Troupe,’ which is very soon to start for the Western States on a tour of some five or six weeks.”