17 September 2012
“Mr. Sanderson has always been a sort of pet of the public, and has hosts of private friends. We hope that on this occasion he will be liberally supported, for he deserves it both as an artist and a man.”
“Mr. Harry Sanderson, the brilliant young American pianist, will give a matinee at Wallack’s Theatre on Wednesday next. Mr. Sanderson has been in ill-health for some time, and his friends will, doubtless, be glad to give him a hearty welcome on his return to the concert-room. He intends shortly to visit Havana, where he is a great favorite. Mr. Sanderson will be assisted to-morrow by Mons. Prume, the famous violinist; Miss Zelda Harrison, Mr. W. Castle and Mr. Ed. Seguin.”
The young self-taught pianist Harry Sanderson has been celebrated for his phenomenal technique of playing octaves here and in Havanna. He will return to Havanna with Jehin Prume to give more concerts. After he has come back here, he will leave for Europe. The climate change was advised by his physician.
Sanderson is known “as an exceptional but brilliant pianist” and “will perform several of his most telling and popular operatic transcriptions, which are really very charmingly made, and will also play some of those dashing concert polkas which have made him known through the whole country. Mr. Sanderson is a young American of most undoubted talent, and we feel a profound interest in his success.”
A respectably sized audience, principally composed of musicians, both professional and amateur, congregated yesterday at Wallack’s theatre, to hear the above favorite American pianist previous to his departure from New York. Mr. Sanderson played a number of his own transcriptions and concert polkas with his accustomed brilliancy. The Electric Polka, Martha Fantasia, Lullaby and Study in Octaves, are too well known to need description here. Mr. Sanderson has a peculiar style of his own, which will, if persevered in, place him at the head of his profession. His wonderful precision in tremolo octave passages, and distinctness of touch in even the most rapid movements, united to a complete abandon of style, constitute his characteristic mode of playing. His transcriptions, therefore, abound in sparkling, vivace passages, which, although they may not possess much largeness of thought or sentiment, are always attractive and popular. We know not any pianist at present, equal to him in rendering salon music. Mr. Sanderson was supported by Mr. Jehin Prume, the celebrated violinist, Mrs. Zelda Harrison, contralto, Mr. William Castle and Mr. Seguin. The duet for the piano and violin ‘Les Airs Styriens’ was most successfully rendered by Messrs. Prume and Sanderson. This piece is a rather tame treatment of a mountaineer’s song, which ought to be more highly colored and more effectively varied in order to develop its native wildness and primitive style. The pièce de resistance for the violin was Paganini’s celebrated Carnival of Venice, in which every intricacy and difficulty, which is capable of being introduced into violin music, is comprised. The most extraordinary and, in some instances, grotesque passages are to be found in it, each variation having a distinctive character of its own. In his ‘La Melancholie,’ Mr. Prume indulged rather too much in pizzicato movements, thereby marring the spirit that breathes through the theme. The minor movement in the coda was rendered with a plaintiveness which we did not expect to find in him. As an executionist he is unsurpassed; but he requires more fullness and breadth of tone. Miss Harrison sang admirably, and received well deserved applause. She does not possess a voice of great power or richness, but one that is, however, pleasing and well trained. Mr. Castle’s fine tenor voice was never heard to better advantage, each note being delivered in a clear, bell-like tone, without the slightest straining of lungs or chest, like what we sometimes shudder at in the Fourteenth street Mausoleum. It is seldom that the accompanist exercises any influence in a concert, but yesterday the gentleman set down in the programme as director was so irredeemably unsuited for that position that both the audience and the persons who were obliged to sing or play to his accompaniment felt very uncomfortable during the performance.”
“MR. HARRY SANDERSON’S MATINEE, though not largely attended, was a success, so far as his individual performances were concerned. He performed his brilliant arrangement of the overture to Semiramide with a force and rapidity which elicits general demand for its repetition. In response, he played one of his spirit-stirring and melodious polkas in a dashing and effective manner. His Lullaby, which is a sweet and graceful composition, was charmingly rendered, and his octave study exhibited his extraordinary facility, rapidity and certainty in executing what may be termed his specialty—octave-playing. We doubt if in that specialty Mr. Sanderson has a successful rival. His transcription of Martha is a well-considered and effective composition, and was executed tastefully and brilliantly. Mr. Harry Sanderson was most cordially received, and the hearty applause which greeted him throughout must have been highly gratifying to him, both as artist and a man.
Miss Zelda Harrison sang her ballad music very sweetly; her beautiful voice and simple style being perfectly suited to its best development. We can say nothing in favor of her Italian singing; it displays a sad want both of method and style.
Mr. Jehin Prume played La Me Lancolie [sic] with fine taste and expression. Mr. Prume has all the instincts of a true artist, and can play in a way to excite genuine admiration. That he caters for popularity is certain, but we can hardly blame him, more especially as his execution is so brilliant that we are forced to admire, even while we partially condemn. Messrs. Castle and Seguin added their vocal efforts to the attraction of the programme.
It is understood that Mr. Harry Sanderson will give another matinée at Wallack’s Theatre on Wednesday next.”