Robert Elder Concert

Event Information

Irving Hall

Price: $.50; $1 reserved

Event Type:
Chamber (includes Solo)

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
19 July 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

21 May 1866, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Prayer; Preghiera; Mose in Egitto
Composer(s): Rossini
aka The Three fishers;
Composer(s): Hullah
Text Author: Kingsley
aka Favorita, The favoured one
Composer(s): Donizetti


Announcement: New York Herald, 20 May 1866.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 21 May 1866.

“[A]n organist of rare capacity, performing in the most brilliant and effective manner notwithstanding his loss of sight.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 21 May 1866.
Review: New York Herald, 25 May 1866.

“Mr. Elder, the blind organist, assisted by Miss Nettie Sterling, Mr. S. C. Campbell and Mr. G. W. Colby, gave a concert at Irving Hall on Monday night.  The organ part of the programme was the least interesting, as Mr. Elder’s style is too much of the sensational order, full of startling, unmusical contrasts and most nonsensical affects, to prove acceptable to a musical ear. The pedal obligato in the prayer from Moses in Egypt, and the Thunder and Hailstorm were ingenious effects, but not music. Miss Sterling sang even better on Monday night than at the previous concerts this season. Her organ-like voice showed more volume, power, compass and sweetness, and her method, which at first was rather crude, is becoming more finished and artistic. There is still a want of perfect command over her voice shown in her singing; but with public practice and self-confidence such a voice as hers will win its way to distinction. She sang the beautiful Nella fatal, from Lucrezia Borgia, and the “Three Fishers.” The latter is a masculine and dramatic style of piece and appears to be more suitable for a baritone rather than a contralto. But the lower register of Miss Sterling’s voice, like a diapason in strength and sweetness, would be acceptable even in one of Russel’s [sic] descriptive scenes.  In the duet from Favorita, she showed a little uncertainly and wavering in time and tone in the beginning; but where both voices came in the effect of Mr. Campbell’s splendid baritone voice, blending with a contralto of no less power and expression, was a rare treat to any audience.  The conductor, Mr. Colby, possesses a good quality which many accompanists in this city lack; that is, he always adapts himself to the singer and attempts no ridiculous display of his powers as a pianist when merely accompanying the voice.  The concert would have been much improved had the organ part been left out. The singing of Miss Sterling alone would be a sufficient programme for any concert.”