Academy of Music
24 August 2012
“Every one has heard that beautiful waltz called ‘Il Bacio,’ recently made so famous by the splendid singing of Mlle. Parepa. It was written in this country by Signor Arditi, and dedicated gallantly to the favorite of the moment. That excellent and wiley conductor has since left our shores, but wherever he has reposed on his arduous labors, and experienced the necessity of a gallant act, he has at once copied out ‘Il Bacio,’ tied it up with a piece of blue ribbon, and dedicated it afresh to the lady of the hour.”
“Mr. Levy, the celebrated cornet-a-piston player, will make his New York debut at these entertainments. His success in Boston has been most enthusiastic.”
“. . . . We have often spoken of Mlle Parepa, whohas made such a grand reputation for herself in New York in such a short time. This artist, after having gathered new laurels in Boston, should be heard tomorrow at the Academy of Music, by virtue of an arrangement concluded between MM. Maretzek and Bateman. This time the hall at Irving Place, as vast as it may be, will surely find itself too small. That’s because Mlle Parepa is a singer above the ranks, and we hope that it will be given us to hear her often. Since Adelina Patti, nobody has vocalized like Mlle Parepa in New York.”
“No singer since the days of Jenny Lind has created so great a furore. . . . [T]he cornopean player, J. Levy, who is the greatest proficient on his instrument now living.”
“Grand Combination Performance of Concert and Opera. First grand concert of the H. L. Bateman Concert Co.”
“Academy of Music.—The performances here last evening were truly of a gala character. They commenced with singular promptness at 8 o’clock, and terminated toward midnight. During this rather long session there was a concert of nine vocal and instrumental pieces—without counting encores—and the entire opera of ‘Lucrezia Borgia.’ It is safe to say that either of these attractions would have filled the house. The combination sufficed to produce a jam.
The concert introduced Mlle. Parepa to an academy audience, by whom she was received with warmth. The cavatina from ‘Ernani’ was sung with extraordinary effect. At its conclusion, Mlle. Parepa was twice called out, but very properly declined the encore. The Shadow song from ‘Dinorah’ was given finely but with less than the lady’s usual brilliancy. Indeed, notwithstanding the artist’s gratifying reception it was apparent that she was not in good voice, and when ‘Il Bacio’ was reached Mr. Bateman came forward, and explaining that Mlle. Parepa was really sick, begged permission to substitute a less trying piece for the waltz. A pleasing ballad, ‘Five O’Clock in the Morning,’ gave ample gratification to the audience, and relieved Mlle. Parepa from the necessity of forcing her voice into the upper regions.
Mr. J. Levy, the celebrated English cornet player, made his début on this occasion, and carried the house by storm. His tone is rich, full and lustrous—not languid, attenuated and fine drawn as our trumpets are apt to be. There is at times a manly daring about it which is thoroughly inspiring, and this quality also pervades Mr. Levy's execution. The extent of the latter may be inferred from the fact that Paganini's ‘Carnival of Venice,’ written for the violin, presents no difficulties to the performer. The introduction to this piece was played superbly, with a breadth and clearness which could not be surpassed. The variations were given in the most brilliant manner, with the greatest distinctness and facility. They were simply amazing, especially the one in octaves. Mr. Levy's tonguing is as extraordinary as anything else he does. Indeed, in more senses than one, he has his instrument—a superb cornet of Distin’s make, with no newfangled arrangements about it—completely at his fingers’ ends. Nothing could well exceed the enthusiasm with which the gentleman was received. He is evidently destined to be one of the most attractive members of the Bateman troupe.
Messrs. Dannreuther and Rosa contributed materially to the pleasure of the evening, and displayed, we think, the reasonable improvement which might be expected from their frequent performances before the public. Mr. Dannreuther played a movement from Beethoven's C Minor Concerto with exquisite taste. We doubt, however, the policy of such a selection for an entertainment so general a character. Herr Rosa's best effort was the Elegie by Ernst, which he played admirably.
The opera commenced at the comfortable hour of 9:30. We have recently had occasion to speak of the cast, which was the same as on the first revival of the opera last week. Zucci, Adelaide Phillips, Irfre and Antonucci were included in it. All were in good voice and the performance passed off amidst much applause.”
“There was a brilliant and crowded audience . . . last night to witness the great combination of the Bateman and Maretzek companies. The performances were divided very distinctly, the concert company taking the lead and occupying the stage for an hour and a half, a great portion of which, though neatly played, were utterly ineffective in the immense auditorium of the Academy, the violin from the smallness of its tone being absolutely absorbed.
Mdlle. Parepa sang ‘Ernani, involami’ most exquisitely. It was a luxury to listen to a voice so pure, so steady, so melodious, so educated, and a style so free from all vitiated and exaggerated expression, together with a finish which is perfect in the minutest point. Her singing told with admirable effect, and awakened the enthusiasm of the audience and a loud demand for repetition, which however, Mdlle. Parepa did not comply with. Her second selection, the ‘Shadow Song,’ from Dinorah, was a delightful piece of facile vocalism, but was wanting somewhat in the spirit and dash which distinguished it heretofore. Her voice seemed as clear as usual, but after the conclusion of the ‘Shadow Song,’ Mr. Bateman came forward and asked for consideration of the audience for the lady, as she was suffering from a severe cold, which would compel her to substitute a simple ballad, ‘Five o’clock in the Morning,’ instead of ‘Il Bacio.’ This she sang deliciously, throwing into it a charming naivete, and giving out her words with a clearness, an emphasis and a refined accent, which may be held up as a model for English singers.
Mr. Levy, the famous English cornet player, who, coming with a European reputation, has since been endorsed by Boston, more than fulfilled all the expectations which were raised as to his merits. His tone is bright, brilliant and certain, with great power, and with a sympathetic quality at once tender and expressive. It would be folly to attempt to describe the character or the extent of his execution, as the difficulties are purely technical to the instrument, but we will say that he executes with as much facility and brilliancy as the most accomplished flutist; that he executes the double and triple tongueing (that is repeated notes) with more rapidity and distinctness than we have ever heard from any performer. Both his selections were encored.
Mr. Dannreuther plays very neatly and gracefully, but he lacks force to do justice to the piano, and made a selection only suited for a classical concert.
After the concert the Opera of Lucrezia Borgia was performed with the previous cast—Carrozzi-Zucchi, Adelaide Phillips, Irfre and Bellini. We noticed the performance at length last week, and deem it unnecessary to repeat it in detail. Zucchi was in better voice last night and not only acted the character superbly, but sang the music brilliantly and effectively. Adelaide Phillips looked charming, and sang and acted Orsini in the manner which has before called forth the warm eulogisms of the press. She is an artist true in every sense of the word.
Irfre and Antonucci maintained their reputations well, and Irfre with Zucchi fairly roused the house to enthusiasm at the close of the second act.”
“. . .let’s talk a bit about last week. The grand success of that period was the soiree combined by MM. Maretzek and Bateman, and in which one witnessed a meeting of artists such as one had never before found in America. We have exhausted all the praises for Mlle Parepa; what can we add? She’s a singer above the ranks, and she has the value that, if one can compare her success to that of the greatest artists, one cannot take back her talent at any point of comparison. Musician to her fingertips, she is profoundly original. Such delicacy of feeling, and such secure intonation! During the concert that preceded the performance of Lucrezia Borgia, we also heard the pianist Dannreuther and the violinist Carl Rose. The first is a tedious maneuverer of the piano; the second, who is not lacking in charm, in return, doesn’t have any strength. But one marvel is a young Englishman—who cultivates the keyed cornet [rest of review is missing]”