Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
Price: $.50; $1 reserved
18 June 2018
“There were some features about this concert which make it the most interesting and important of all the sacred concerts given previously in Irving Hall. The introduction of Mr. Theodore Thomas’ excellent orchestra and the songs of an American composer, which will certainly become this season a necessary and attractive part of every vocal programme, were the principal points of interest on Sunday evening. The immense audience, that almost overcrowded the hall, seemed to think favorably of them, too, for the artists all received a perfect ovation. A word regarding those songs and the composer, Mr. Robert Goldbeck: One of them, ‘The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls’ (Tennyson’s bugle song) dedicated to and sung by Mr. Campbell, is a rare instance of dramatic treatment of a poem. Too many of our songs consist of pretty melodies applied to words with which they have not the slightest relation in point of sympathy or even meaning. Mr. Goldbeck vividly illustrates the sentiment of this characteristic, weird little poem of Tennyson. The frequent changes of time in it—thirty three in number—although at first sight they might appear cumbrous and unnecessary, add wonderfully to the effect. The echo refrain, ‘Blow, Bugle, Blow’ is very effective. The second song, given in response to an encore, was a national anthem, composed by Mr. Goldbeck on Sunday morning. It is of the same class as ‘Martin Luther’s Choral,’ or ‘God Save the Queen;’ rich, sonorous style that characterizes this voice and execution, still it requires a full chorus and orchestra to do it justice. Mr. Goldbeck, who accompanied Mr. Campbell in both songs, explained the circumstances connected with the composition of this national anthem in a neat address to the audience. The rest of the series of his songs are of equal mark to these. He interprets the spirit and meaning of the poet faithfully, and ignores all meretricious display of mere prettiness. His orchestral works partake of the same character. Messrs. Castle and Campbell san a beautiful duet by Gabussi ‘I Pescatori,’ in which they surpassed even their celebrated Betley duet. Mr. Campbell, in the national anthem referred to above, reach G, a feat for a baritone voice, and a note which more properly belongs to a tenor. It was no weak, forced or indistinct note either, but as round and full as could be desired. Mr. Castle sang much better than at the previous concerts. The fantasia on the Midsummer Night’s Dream, two movements from the second symphony in D, and the introduction and chorus, William Tell, were performed by Mr. Thomas’ amiable orchestra in a manner such as might be expected from such artists. The andante, with variations (a septette from the first divertimento), by Mozart, was also one of its marked features. We have not attended a concert that was more successful in a musical point of view. Such a beginning augurs well for the future of these Sunday evening concerts, and stamps them as entertainments worthy of the present high standard of music in the metropolis.”
Well attended and well received event. The performance of the orchestra was excellent due to the membership of fine musicians. The classical concerts on Sundays are becoming more popular even in the circles of the American and German high society.