Price: $2 reserved; $1
21 March 2022
“The entire gross receipts will be devoted to the German Hospital Fund.”
“The Liederkranz announce a very interesting concert at Steinway Hall next Saturday evening for the benefit of the German Hospital. The programme includes Handel’s sacred cantata, ‘Alexander’s Feast,’ which this society sing exceedingly well, Liszt’s concerto in E flat by Miss Mehlig, an aria from ‘Semiramide’ by Miss Clara Perl, and some male chorus singing. The Liederkranz concerts are always good.”
“As the spring season passes on and there are event hints of the summer—that period when the voice of the concert singer is mute—there is manifested a sudden activity on the part of concert givers. Several interesting entertainments are announced…
“On Sunday night Steinway Hall will be occupied by the Liederkranz Society, who will give a concert for the benefit of the German Hospital. The Society will sing a male chorus by Liszt, and Handel’s oratorio, ‘Alexander’s Feast.’ Miss Clara Perl, the contralto, will sing, and Miss Anna Mehlig will play the piano.”
Lists performers and program. “The entire gross receipts of this concert go to the Hospital fund. The concert has moreover received publicity, and we may expect that Steinway Hall to-morrow night will not present the gloomy, almost untenanted appearance it did last night, when a good concert, in aid of the Cubans, was given to a mere handful of auditors.”
“The Liederkranz Society give a grand concert on to-night [sic] at Steinway Hall for the benefit of the German Hospital. Miss Clara Perl, the renowned contralto; Mme. Rotter, soprano, and Miss Anna Mehlig, pianist, will assist.”
“The Liederkranz Society give an entertainment at Steinway Hall to-night, in aid of the German Hospital, which we need scarcely designate as a noble charity. ‘Alexander’s Feast,’ by Handel, is to be sung by Mr. Fritsch, Miss Perl and the Society, and Miss Mehlig is to play, other musical performances accompanying.”
“The concert given at Steinway Hall last night was completely successful in point of attendance, though less interesting in programme than it might have been. Handel’s ‘Alexander’s Feast’ was sung, and though it was rendered with precision enough by the chorus of the Liederkranz Society, and with correctness and industry by the soloists, Mr. Iritsch [sic] and Mme[.] Rotter, it proved as unprofitable an affair for artists and public as we opined it did when interpreted in presence of a less numerous and better disposed, because more critical audience, at the Liederkranz Hall, some weeks since. German singers are not fitted by culture for the performance of English oratorio music, and it may even be doubted, in this case, if the efforts of the best English singers would make acceptable at the present day the series of thankless recitatives allotted, without even the relief of a single air for the tenor, to the artists alluded to above. The miscellaneous portion of the entertainment included [lists other works and their performers]. Liszt’s piano works, as interpreted by Miss Mehlig, are noticeable for sound, if not always for sense, but his contribution to the chorus-reportory [sic] last night was thoroughly disappointing.”
Right margin quite difficult to read; many words illegible.
“It is interesting to compare with the Harmonic Society’s performance a concert given at the hall on Sunday by the German Liederkranz. [See separate event entry of 04/25/70: New York Harmonic Society: Elijah. This review proceeds a very negative account of that performance.] The [occa]sion was a benefit for the German Hospital, an [illeg.] audience filled the great hall and overflowed into [illeg.] smaller one. The first part of the programme con[sisted?] of Handel’s cantata of ‘Alexander Feast,’ writ[ten, illeg.] the words of Dryden’s famous ode, but wedded [illeg.] occasion to a German translation, and performed [illeg.] full chorus of the Society, about 150 strong, und[er the] direction of Mr. A. Paur. The orchestra was in part composed of amateurs, members of the Lieder[kranz illeg.] but strengthened by a number of our best profess[sional] players. Now if there is any music in w[hich] the Liederkranz ought not to beat the Har[monic] Society, it is Handel’s. To the works of [illeg.] composer the choral societies of England [and?] America are supposed to devote the studies [illeg. – of a?] lifetime. He is the beginning and the end of the[ir] musical education. Germany, on the contrary, is com[para]tively indifferent to her mighty son, and is not ash[amed] to call him an inspired bore. Yet we have rare[ly heard] New-York heard choruses of Handel’s sung with [more] spirit, more intelligence, and more relish than by [the] Liederkranz on Sunday night. The Handel and H[illeg.] Society of Boston can do better, but the Harmonic [So]ciety of New-York cannot. The recitatives in this [can]tata are unusually dry. There is hardly any melody [in the] arias, but the tenor has a good deal of vigor [illeg.] declamation, the soprano less, the bass very little. [Mr.] Fritsch, Madame Rotter-Dieffenbach, and Mr. Remme[ertz] did their best with these ungrateful parts, but the [suc]cess of the performance belonged entirely to the [cho]ruses. Three of these,—and especially the final chor[us] are in Handel’s best vein.
“The second part of the programme included two choruses, in which the Liederkranz were still more [suc]ccessful. The first was Liszt’s effective but immen[sly] difficult Gangum [sic] Mitternacht (‘Midnight March’), [illeg.] which the Philadelphia [illeg.] Maennerchor took second prize at the National Sangerfest in Baltimore [last] Summer. This was admirably sung, though a fast[idious] critic might object that the expression was a [illeg.] exaggerated. The second song was Mohr’s Hoff[nung] (‘Hope’), and this, too, was almost faultless.
“The miscellaneous part of the entertainment cons[isted] of a superb performance by Miss Mehlig of a Pol[illeg.] of Liszt’s, a quartett of Haeser’s for French horn, [illeg.] overture to ‘Ruy Blas,’ and an aria from ‘Semira[amide] (O quell giorno) by Miss Perl. This piece suits Miss [Perl] better than anything else in which we have heard [her] as it gives full employment to her rich lower reg[ister] and does not oblige her to use the upper notes, in [which] her defects of voice and school are most apparent. [Illeg.] being recalled she sang in German the Il segreto [from] ‘Lucrezia,’ taking a great many liberties with it an[d] producing a very happy result.”
“If man and society, from their organic imperfection, produce poverty and suffering in the world, they are, however, very fruitful in devising ways and means of alleviating them. Our German friends made use of the beautiful art of music, at Steinway Hall, Sunday evening, for this purpose. The German Liederkranz gave a concert there for the benefit of the German Hospital. The attendance was very numerous, very brilliant, and highly favorable. The hall, perhaps, never contained a class of people more advanced in musical cultivation. The selection of the vocal and instrumental music, and its perfect execution, fully accorded with such an audience.
“The first part consisted of the Alexanderfest [sic] of Handel, a most inimitable composition, and breathing in every note a master mind [sic], and the overpowering influence of music. The leading parts were taken by Madame Rotter-Dieffenbach, Messrs. Fritsch and Remmertz; and to the fine executive ability of these three artists were added the faultless efforts of the best chorus in the country. As might be expected, the effect was not only charming but electric, and drew from the audience every becoming evidence of their warmest and heartiest approbation.
“The second part introduced the now celebrated pianist Miss Mehlig, who played a Grande Polonnaise [sic] of Liszt with most marvellous [sic] effect. A general call was made for a repetition, to which she acceded, and executed a piece in which she displayed her immense musical resources and her great acquired and natural ability. Miss Clara Perl gave an aria from ‘Semiramis’ with a cleanness and purity of voice and a precision of method surpassing anything we have as yet heard her sing. The quartet for French horns was most admirably given by Messrs. Schmitz, Gould, Birnstein [sic] and Brall. The tones of the instruments were so mellow and so artistically interlaced as to all but rival the human voices. The whole male chorus joined in rendering the ‘Gang um Mitternacht,’ by Liszt, and the ‘Hoffnung,’ by Mohr. The all but supernatural nature of the German musical imagination came forth in these pieces, crept over one like the stillness of midnight. The whole entertainment concluded with Mendelssohn’s beautiful overture to Ruy Blas.”