Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
4 July 2015
Features excerpts from other newspapers praising Parepa.
“The third concert will take place on Friday evening, September 18.”
Mademoiselle Parepa made her appearance at Irving Hall again last evening, drawing a large, fashionable and delighted audience. She sang a recitative and aria from ‘Judas Maccabæus,’ a serenade by Gounod, a polacca from ‘Puritani,’ and the lively English ditty, ‘Five o’clock in the Morning,’ and responded twice to deafening encores. This lady has fairly taken the town by storm. Her fresh, pure and beautiful voice, her perfect independence and her noble presence make up a sum of attractions which leaves nothing to be desired. She is so thoroughly valuable an acquisition to our company of concert singers, ranking at the head of all that New York will be loth to part with her, even for the brief period when she must visit the adjacent cities.
Messrs. Rosa and Dannreuther—the former especially—received another most cordial welcome last night.”
“The third concert of Madame Parepa, the weather being cooler, was the most successful of the series. A very large audience attended, and the enthusiasm was generous and appreciative from the beginning to the end. The first selection of Parepa was Handel’s famous song ‘From Mighty Kings’ from his Oratorio, ‘Judas Maccabæus.’ The style of this music differs from every modern idea, but its difficulty as to pure singing, transcends most of our modern compositions. The recitatives require high declamatory power, and the musical elocution of the Aria, which with ordinary singers is simply quaint and square-cut, is capable of strong dramatic effect, when rendered by a singer of intelligence and thorough education. Oratorio music is, in point of fact, the most exigeant [sic] test of the education of an artist. If he or she can sing written fioriture of the old sacred music, with the perfect legato, the force, the brilliancy, the declamatory power, and the passionate inspiration required by the text, the vocal art can offer nothing, in excellence, beyond such an interpretation. We have had but few representatives of this school, Madame Anna Bishop and Madame E. Loder being the most prominent of its interpreters. Madame Parepa filled out the measurement of its requirements, and presented to us one of the finest examples of pure singing in the most rigid school that we have listened to for many years. It was a performance of the highest excellence and exhibition of the most consummate art. She was vehemently encored. Gounod’s delicious ‘Serenade’ made as marked effect on its first performance. Its execution is a fine specimen of natural singing. The two first verses are sung without attempt at effect, but the third verse, sung in a delicious mezzovoce [sic], with the violin con sordini, is exceedingly beautiful and exquisite in its effect. This was also encored.
The Polacca from ‘I Puritani’ was very charmingly rendered, but there are things adapted to one class of voice which are scarcely suited to another. Parepa executed all by foriture passages faithfully and brilliantly, but the context is less suited to her voice than to that of a soprano legere. Still her brilliant rendering of the Polacca insured an unanimous encore which she acknowledged by singing that well-written and most charming song, ‘The Nightingale’s Trill.’ In purity of vocalism, in all that goes to prove thorough education—grace of style, truthful intonation, blending of the registers, the portamento of the voice, and exquisite neatness of the details, the trillo, the grupetti, and the complete control of the power of vocal coloring, the execution of this song is absolutely perfect. The enthusiasm it created was irrepressible and the demand for its repetition unanimous, but it was finally subdued by the good sense of the majority, who thought the demand was inconsiderate. The little ditty, ‘Five O’Clock in the Morning,’ her last song, a quaint little composition, was charmingly and effectively sung, and was encored vehemently.
Decided as her success has been on her previous performances, her great triumph was achieved last night. The audience was more miscellaneous and much larger, and they more than indorsed the verdicts of their predecessors. We can only repeat our previously expressed opinion, that Madame Parepa is one of the truly great artists who have visited our land. She is admirable in all the essentials of art, and a model that should at once be a mark for general admiration, and an esthetical standard in the vocal art.
Mr. Dannreuther played well upon this occasion. He executed the first movement of Beethoven’s Concerto in C Minor both understandingly and brilliantly. He seemed more assured of his technique than heretofore, and his execution was clear, rapid and accurate. The cadenza, added to the concerto by himself, is conceived in the true spirit of the composition, and is highly creditable to him. His other seductions were very ably performed, but that by Chopin was too matter-of-fact and lacked that sentimental appreciation of the spirit of the tempo rubato.
Carl Rosa, the atmosphere being less humid, played to much better advantage. His tone was fuller, his execution more clear and decided, and his expression was more emphatic. He made an impression upon his audience, and won the well-deserved honor of an encore.
The instrumental performances were in every way commendable.”