St. George's Church (Stuyvesant Square)
Manager / Director:
Henry Stephen Cutler
Chamber (includes Solo), Choral
20 January 2015
Part of announcement for multiple performances. “Mr. Paine’s organ concert takes place at St. George’s, Stuyvesant Square, where, in addition to the performance of this eminent organist on one of Erbon’s [sic] largest and noblest organs, the entertainment will include choral singing by the choir of Trinity Church and vocal solos by Mrs. C. B. Williams, soprano, and Mr. S. D. Mayer, tenor. The success of the organ concerts in Boston is beginning to awaken a lively interest in organ music in this city, where exist, unappreciated, a large number of first-class instruments. The proceeds of Mr. Paine’s concert will be devoted to the mission of St. George’s Church.”
“The Organ concert given by John K. Paine at St. George’s Church last night was highly appreciated by the many organists and other professional gentlemen present, though the programme was too severely classical to exactly coincide with the taste of the general public, which, by the way was represented by a large audience. Mr. Paine confined himself chiefly to Bach, of whose music he is perhaps the best recognised [sic] exponent in this country. He plays with ease and neatness, and even in his most difficult pedal passages indulges in none of those twistings and contortions of the body which some otherwise good organists affect when seated at the keyboard; while his execution and manipulation are most unexceptionable. The gems of the evening—as far as the organ performance was concerned—were the adagio movement from Bach’s ‘trio sonata,’ and the Toccata in F of the same composer. By request of the rector, Mr. Paine added to the programme a set of variations on the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’ As the entertainment was a concert of organ music and not an organ exhibition, there was no attempt at displaying the solo stops or the more fanciful peculiarities of Erben’s noble instrument; and while the musician and musical student cannot fail to have highly appreciated the performance just as it was, a slight concession might [illeg.] have been made to the simply popular taste.
The organ performances were varied by vocal selections, the boy choir of Trinity Church, under charge of Mr. Cutler, singing choruses by Handel and Mozart, with excellent precision and telling effect. Mrs. C. B. Williams, a vocalist who is better known in Brooklyn than in this city, also sang with grace and delicacy Haydn’s ‘With verdure clad,’ creating a highly favorable impression, though the sacredness of the locality prevented any expression of appreciation. Mr. S. D. Mayer’s tasteful and unaffected rendering of Mendelssohn’s ‘If with all your hearts,’ deserves a word of praise.
Mr. Paine, who has studied in Germany and is the Music Instructor at Harvard, gave, as did all the others assisting, his voluntary service on this occasion; and his performance certainly much enhanced his reputation among all those who appreciate the higher style of strict organ music.”