Price: $1.50 reserved; $1
4 September 2019
“The Liederkranz Society gives an unusually fine concert to-night at Steinway Hall, for the benefit of the German Hospital. There is an orchestra of fifty performers, and the full chorus of the Society. The soloists are Mme. Frederici, soprano; Mr. Wenzel Kopta, violinist; Mr. Fred. Steins, baritone; and Mr. Ferdinand von Inten, pianist. The programme contains many numbers of unusual importance in a musical point of view, and it ends with the entire music of the ‘Walpurgisnacht,’ by Mendelssohn. We trust that the benevolent object contemplated by the Society will be fully accomplished, and that the German Hospital will be largely helped.”
“The German Liederkranz announce a concert on Saturday night at Steinway Hall, the gross proceeds of which are to be applied for the benefit of the German Hospital. A good programme is offered, Madame Frederic, iMr. [sic] Wenzel Kopta, Mr. Von Intent, Mr. Steins, and an orchestra of 50 pieces appearing in addition to the Liederkranz chorus.”
“One of the largest and we must add most appreciative (considering that the majority were Germans) audiences of the season attended the benefit concert given at this hall last night by the Liederkranz Society for the German hospital. The concert, in a musical point of view, was the best of the season, on account of the faultless rendering of one work which overshadowed everything attempted for some time in concert. This was the grand musical structure which Mendelssohn has built around the wierdest [sic] and most startling of all German legends, the ‘Walpurgisnacht’ of Goethe. In this work Mendelssohn has flung aside the mantle of beauty and delicate texture which invests him when he takes the conductor’s wand in hand, and in its place he has clothed himself with all the terrors and characteristics of a spirit of the Hartz Mountains. His orchestration here more nearly approaches the giant proportions of Beethoven than in any other work, and we think that nothing grander for the human voice has ever been written than the choruses, especially the finale of the ‘Walpurgistnacht.’ While the voices peal [sic] forth in massive and thrilling harmony the orchestra seems to be possessed by the lost spirits which revisit earth on this ominous night. And yet, although the orchestration is wilder and more intensely dramatic than anything ever Liszt or Wagner dreamed of, there is a purpose, an idea in every measure, unlike the crazy, aimless vagaries of these two gentlemen. The chorus was unexceptionable, the voices being evenly balanced and every measure being given with a spirit, unanimity and precision such as we have looked for in vain with other societies during the season. Mr. A. Paur was the conductor, and he carried both voices and instruments through this extremely difficult work with signal success. The other pieces on the programme were rendered by Madame Frederici, Fred. Steins, Herr Von Inten and Wenzel Kopta. Steins sang the bass solos in Mendelssohn’s work with rare effect.”
“The concert of the Liederkranz Society, for the benefit of the German Hospital, attracted a large audience to Steinway Hall on Saturday night. The programme was well chosen, and equally well performed throughout. The ‘Walpurgus nacht’ was very creditably rendered, and gave genuine delight to appreciative hearers. Mlle. Frederici gave Schubert’s ‘Wanderer’ in charming style. Mr. Kopta, Mr. Steins, and Mr. Von Inten also assisted.”
“The Liederkranz Society gave a concert last Saturday night, worthy in its intent but not wholly satisfactory in performance. The mixed choruses in Mendelssohn’s ‘Walpurgis Night’ were but indifferently rendered; for the lady singers, though they presented a most attractive appearance in their uniform white dresses, were not entirely accurate in their time and tune. The male choruses were given with a magnificent volume of voice, and reflected much credit on the society. Madame Frederici was well received, and encored in her first solo.”
“The Liederkranz stands confessedly at the head of our German singing societies. It has taken the first prize at several of the great Saengerfests, and holds itself as the champion club. In proportion to its reputation was our disappointment at its concert Saturday evening. Mendelssohn’s ‘Walpurgis Night’ was, on the whole, very poorly given; the female voices were unsteady and uncertain, the altos frequently out of tune—the whole performance confused and unsatisfactory. We have been accustomed to hear the Mendelssohn Union do the same work better beyond all comparison. Neither were the solo parts up to the mark. The Germans have a way of singing down in their throats, a consequence probably of the guttural nature of their language. This is especially the ease with the men, and was very noticeable last evening. The soloist had fine voices, but did not know how to use them. We except Mme. Frederici, who has a lovely voice and a good method but who sang false to a degree that was astonishing. In Schubert’s ‘Wanderer’ she was, at the end of the third bar, a full semitone flat; and in that piece that she sang by way of encore, a Lied by Robert Schumann, Mr. Paur, the conductor of the Society, played her accompaniment so badly that he led the singer completely out of the key, and finally got so utterly astray that the song had to be commenced over again, to the great embarrassment of Mme. Frederici and the discomfort of the audience. Mr. Von Inten was the pianist. We find his playing dull, heavy, and uninspired. He lacks impulse, sentiment, correctness, and in fine, almost at the qualities that go to the making of a good pianist. The male voice choruses were well sung, especially so a four-part song by Abt, ‘The Singer’s Rest.’ The unity of the Club is great. Mr. Paur has failed, however, to shade them down to pianissimo, the nearest approach they make to this mark of expression being something between mezzo-forte and piano. Finally, if the Liederkranz wish to preserve their reputation, they must not risk it often in such half-way concerts as that of Saturday evening.”
“On Saturday evening the Liederkranz Society gave a capital concert in Steinway Hall. I quote a portion of the programme:
Overture, ‘Jessonda’ … Spohr.
‘Le Trilled u Diable,’ P.F. and V’ln Sonata …Tartini. (Messrs. Von Inten and Kopta)
‘Walpurgisnacht’ … Mendelssohn.
The soloists were Mr. Von Inten (piano), Mr. Kopta (violin), Mr. Steins (basso), Mme. Frederici (mezzo); also there was an orchestra of 50, a male chorus of about seventy, and female chorus of nearly the same number. The Walpurgisnacht, which was naturally the feature of the evening, was rendered in truly admirable style, although the solos might have been more carefully sung; the male chorus, however, was simply perfect.
Messrs. Von Inten and Kopta played Tartini’s quaint Sonata capitally and narrowly escaped an encore. Mr. Von Inten played as his solos a Chopin Nocturne in E flat and ‘[‘there is but one step,’ &c., &c.] a Faust Caprice by Bussmeyer; this latter is simply idiotic and Mr. Von Inten was most injudicious in coupling such trash with the exquisite Nocturne, which he played with great neatness and delicacy. Mme. Frederici sang Schumann’s wonderful ‘Frühlingsnacht’; the accompaniment of the latter was simply butchered by the person to whom it was entrusted. I should recommend him to practice occasionally in reading.”