Chamber (includes Solo)
27 March 2013
“This young lady is, we think, destined to surprise the public; her powers are certainly remarkable. She has more marked and facile talent than most of the debutantes who have flashed upon New-York in the few past years. We do not by any means vouch for her perfection; but she will assuredly make a sensation.”
“Miss Kate McDonald, a young lady already favorably known in musical circles, will make her first appearance to-night at this establishment”
“Her many friends predict that she will achieve a brilliant success.”
“This new aspirant for musical honors, Miss Kate McDonald, gave her first concert at Irving Hall . . . to a large but not crowded audience. Miss McDonald has been quite a star in private circles for some time past, and has gathered around her a circle of very ardent admirers, whose favorable judgments have been well sustained by the result of her first public performance. Miss McDonald is petite in form, but makes an elegant appearance on the orchestra. Her voice is a high soprano of good compass not large in quantity, but equal throughout its registers, and of a pure, melodious and telling quality. Each note is perfect in itself and in relation to the whole, as in a date or in a well regulated piano, and over all she has a thorough control. Her method is excellent, there are no rough places, and she carries her voice with the ease, the grace and the certainty of a practiced artist. Her intonation is unique in its unfailing perfection in all degrees of intervals, and every note throughout the compass of her voice is clear and unwavering, and has a crescendo power. Lacking great volume, she is still able to produce marked contrasted effect, for her pianissimo is so soft, and so vocal, that her full power gives the effect of a fortissimo. This proves the perfect training of her voice, and reflects the highest credit upon Signor Bassini, who has treated her voice of limited power though of beautiful quality, in a manner to produce the greatest possible results.
Miss McDonald has great espirit, and dash, and sentiment, and seems to have a genuine enthusiasm for her profession. These qualities, restrained by patience to acquire experience, will give her great power over her audience, and insure her a future brilliant success.
She sang ‘With Verdure Clad,’ and as a specimen of vocalisation it was delightful; but the interpretation was not thoughtful—it was mere singing. Such compositions require the impress of thought to give them their true musical significance and dignity. In this recitative, in the last line—‘And it was so’—the emphasis should be on the word was, and not on the word which, in Miss McDonald’s rendering, using two notes, appeared as so-o. Her Italian music, solo and concerted, was very charmingly and successfully rendered, and fully merited the enthusiastic applause it received. In response to an encore she sang ‘Home, Sweet Home,’ transposing it and warbling it like a bird, away up in altissimo. It was sung in perfect tune, and every note was round and true; but as a general rule the higher tones of the voice should only be used rarely or in fioriture, for like the harmonics on a violin, their great effects consist in their purity and the rarity of their use. Miss McDonald’s debut must be acknowledged as an unequivocal success, and we think, with more and faithful study, the way is open to her for a brilliant career.
She was assisted by Miss Toedt, who as usual won the most enthusiastic recognition from her audience, receiving a double encore. Unless she keeps her eye steady on the future and her mind earnest upon the improvement necessary for an advance in excellence with increasing years, the present popularity will be fatal to her future. Her accomplishments are sufficient for to-day, but a year hence they must be much greater to insure her a relative position. Mr. Farley sings with exquisite taste, and if he could only pronounce the English language, he would be a great acquisition to our concert room; but it is unpleasant to hear a ballad vocalised, when we are led to expect to hear the words as well as the air. Messrs. Castle and Campbell sang really admirably, and added much to the success of a very delightful concert.”
A promising young soprano made her debut at Irving Hall on Saturday night. Miss Kate McDonald has been very favorably known in private circles as possessing a brilliant and well trained voice. Her first appearance in public did not disappoint her friends, and, judging from the success she met with, she deserves to rank among the very best of our American sopranos. Haydn’s ‘With Verdue Clad,’ from the Creation, a most trying test for a soprano voice, was rendered by her in such superior style that she received a double encore, a rather rare compliment to a cantatrice at this hall. She was nervous, of course, as might be expected from a first appearance, but displayed sufficient talent and training to convince us that she will yet gain, if she perseveres with a course of practice and thoroughness that she has adopted, one of the highest positions among American sopranos. She sang in the trios and duets with equal success. Her assistants were unexceptional in every respect. [List of performers] played and sang admirably throughout. We hope that such a rare artist as a good American soprano like Miss McDonald will be heard again in public before the season closes.”