Manager / Director:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
Price: $1; $1.50 reserved
7 December 2017
“Although the audience at Steinway Hall last evening was not quite as large as on the opening night, as might be expected, still it was much larger than we have seen at almost any previous concert elsewhere since the season commenced. The only exceptions to be made are the Irving Hall sacred concerts, which are always crowded to excess. Signor Brignoli sang, ‘La Mia Letitia,’ from I Lombardi. In it his flute-like tenor, with its delicate shades of expression, complete ease and control of tone, received an enthusiastic encore. Madame Parepa’s rendering of “From Mighty Kings” (Judas Maccabeus) was a genuine triumph of art. Besides the tenor and prima donna there was Rosa, the violinist; Mills, the pianist; the Italian baritone and buffo singers, the worthy old composer, Hatton, at the piano and an orchestra of forty-five, over which Thomas wielded the baton.”
“The attendance was excellent, representing the taste, fashion and strength of New-York. It is not an easy matter to fill a hall of this capacity, but if Mr. Bateman meets with the success which he honestly merits, the establishment—ample as it is—will be taxed to its uttermost limits. A better company has never appeared before our public. If it has a fault, it is simply that of being too full—a fault which we are disposed to regard as a virtue. It is unnecessary to follow the programme in such reference to the performance as we now have occasion to make. The noticeable features of last evening’s concert (where everything was good) were Mme. Parepa's superb rendering of the recitative and aria from ‘Judas Macabeus;’ the duo with Brignoli (changed to the second part instead of being in the first;) the romanza from ‘Lombardi,’ sung by Signor Brignoli, and the new fantasia on ‘L’Africaine,’ played by Mr. S. B. Mills. In largeness of style, fullness of voice, and complete appreciation of a somewhat old-fashioned style of music, Mme. Parepa has never been heard to better advantage than in the aria ‘From Mighty Kings.’ As an oratorio singer Mme. Parepa is without a superior, and no better illustration of her skill in this difficult school can be mentioned than the piece we have named. In response to an encore, Mme. Parepa sang a pleasing ballad by ‘Claribel,’ called ‘I cannot Sing the Songs of Old.’ Nothing could be more opposite in style, or more perfect in rendition. It was a treat to listen to a great piece like that of Handel, and a pleasure to sigh with the sentiment of Claribel. The duo ‘per valli’ is a quiet reciprocal interchange of sound—a sort of musical dialogue. It was given faultlessly. The romanza from ‘Lombardi’ was the well-known one ‘La mia Litizia.’ It has always been a favorite with Signor Brignoli, but we doubt if he has ever sung it so well as on this occasion. The gentleman is in superb voice, and as an artist he has ripened immensely. Mr. S. B. Mills played Liszt’s new fantasia on themes from the ‘African’ for the first time in New-York. The composition is based mainly on the march, but the culmination is wrought in the best manner of the composer. Mr. Mills played it faultlessly, with absolute perfection of touch and execution. We hope that it will speedily find another place in the programmes.
Messrs. Ferranti, Fortuna, Carl Rosa, and J. L. Hatton (who accompanies admirably,) were all capital.”
Description of new venue.
The program was attractive and diverse. Parepa sang with taste, creative expression and skill as usual. Brignoli was welcomed with continuous applause which proves that he was not forgotten despite his long absence. His voice is still as lovely and enchanting as before; it seems as if nothing has changed about him. He performed with sensitivity and tenderness. Ferranti may be an excellent buffo, a concert singer, however, he is not. Nevertheless, the audience was pleased by his “overblown” performance. The instrumentalists Mills and Rosa were also liked.
CONCERTS BATEMAN. – “One can say about M. Bateman’s company’s concerts that they are at one blow the occasion of a new triumph for [both] Mlle Parepa and M. Brignoli. Thursday, the former outdid herself. Nobody has sung the air from Judas Maccabeus better. Enthusiastic success also for a ballad we don’t know that was delightfully rendered. M. Brignoli shared the ovations bestowed on Mlle Parepa in the romance from I Lombardi, the Mia Letizia. Let us also do justice to M. Mills, who played a new fantasy of Listz [sic] for piano, taken from motives of L’Africaine, with great skill. MM. Ferranti, Fortuna and Carl Rosa also contributed to the good effect of this soirée.”