Pedro de Abella
Chamber (includes Solo)
12 January 2015
“DEBUT IN AMERICA, OF MR. ALFRED H. PEASE, PIANIST.”
“Mr. Alfred H. Pease, a pianist belonging to Cleveland, Ohio, but lately returned from six years’ study in Germany, gave his first concert at Dodworth’s Hall last night, assisted by Mrs. Van Zandt and other vocalists. The lady sang with considerable brilliancy Bellini’s Qui la voce, the Venzano Waltz, and a plaintive local composition by Mr. Pease.
This young pianist possess a powerful and showy style of execution, which by no means disqualifies him for the lighter graces of piano-forte playing. He has devoted much attention to the music of Liszt, and played last night his difficult arrangement of ‘Rigoletto,’ and the Tannhauser March. Quite as pleasing, however, to the general audience were the miscellaneous selections given in response to the calls for encores, among which may be specially noticed an arrangement from ‘Faust,’ showing considerable versatility of style. Mr. Pease was warmly applauded after each of his efforts.”
Part of review of multiple performances. “…on Monday evening…Mr. Albert H. Pease made his début in America—the land of his birth. The gentleman has studied extensively in Germany, and is, we believe, a pupil of Hans von Bulow, the chief of the modern school of pianism. He has certainly profited by good instruction, and can boast of a fine mastery of technical difficulties combined with fair strength. His left hand is singularly bold and free, and was excellently illustrated in the octave passages of the ‘Tannhauser March.’ The entire repertoire of the piano is, of course, open to a gentleman of Mr. Pease’s attainments. What further instruction he needs will come best from experience—from that self-criticism which all intelligent people exercise when they are brought face to face with the public, and feel, as the greatest must, a sense of inadequacy. Much of Mr. Pease’s knowledge requires to be crystalized. It is at present in a somewhat fragmentary condition. The study of the schools seldom gives fluent continuity of thought; it only supplies the material. This material Mr. Pease possesses, and the rest may fairly be left to himself. The début was a success that must have been peculiarly gratifying to the gentleman, inasmuch as his honors were borne off in the presence of nearly all the leading pianists of the metropolis. Mme. Van Zandt, Mr. Himmer, the German tenor, and Mr. J.R. Thomas, the popular song-writer, assisted in the vocal department. Signor Abella conducted.”
“Pease, executioner on the piano, will make his debut in America, on the 8th inst. We will now no longer be compelled to cry, ‘Pease, Pease, where there is no Pease,’ will we?”
Gives program. “Mr. Pease has been studying for several years in Berlin, Germany, enjoying the instruction of such eminent men as Hans v. Bulow and Kullak. He returns to us as a pianist of great powers, whose technical ability is of the first order. Of course, we should not always like to endorse his conception of the pieces he played, but on the whole, he gave satisfactory evidence of his being a very valuable addition to the stock of eminent pianist we have in our midst. His left hand is exceedingly well trained; the octave passages in the march from ‘Tannhæuser’ were rendered in a very quick tempo (faster than we have ever heard them done), yet they were perfectly clear and faultless. Mr. Pease played two pieces by Raff, not known here. We understand that he has in his repertoire a great many pieces by modern German authors. We hope he will make them the chief feature of his concerts, for they form a very agreeable and very necessary change from the monotony of the concert programmes mostly given by pianists in our days.
Mr. Pease was very ably supported by Mrs. Van Zandt, and Messrs. J.R. Thomas, Himmer and Abella. The song ‘Alone,’ rendered by the German tenor, was not Schubert’s, but is composed by Storch. Mr. Thomas created quite a stir by his performance of the song, ‘Our Duty to our Flag,’ by A. Wood, a very vigorous and appropriate composition, which pleased the audience so much that it had to be encored. The same honorable reception was given to Mr. Pease’s setting of Tennyson’s well-known poem, ‘Break! Break! Break!”
“Mr. Alfred H. Pease, a young American pianist, who has been studying in Berlin under Hans von Bülow and Kullak, gave his first concert last week, and won much praise for his executive ability. Pieces by modern writers for the piano are expected to enter largely into his programmes. This time he played two of Liszt’s transcriptions: the March in Tannhäuser and ‘Rigoletto,’ [sic] and two pieces by Raff. He had the assistance of several singers, Mrs. Van Zandt, and Messrs. J. R. Thomas, Himmer and Abella, who sang songs by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bellini, and one or two English ones.”