Central Park Mall
Harvey Bradley Dodworth
5 April 2020
“The heavy rain clouds which hung overhead all the afternoon of yesterday, wrapping the City and its surroundings in a murky gloom, were so suggestive of a ducking, that even the habitues of the Mall on music day after inmemorable [sic] longing looks in the direction of the Park and dissatisfied ones at the melancholy sky, withdrew into the shadow of comfortable interiors and consoled themselves in their disappointment as best they could. The Park, therefore, was comparatively deserted. True, there was a number of the weather-wise of both sexes ‘who knew it wouldn’t rain to sundown,’ and a goodly crowd of the irrepressibiles who would have their Park and music on Saturdays if, like sugary Tom, their melting was the consequence of a shower, and that they left traces of their dissolving sweetness all along the Mall coming home. Besides these, there were the thousand and one young ladies, and a similar number of either sex, who couldn’t stay away without forgetting their plighted faith to admire the turtle doves in pairs every Saturday. Altogether, perhaps, a thousand or so gathered around the pavilion, another found seats in the immediate neighborhood, and one or two thousand more dotted the Terrace stops, the promenade around the lakes, the green slopes that skirt the Mall and the walks sheltered most from the cool breeze blowing from the northeast. As the rain did not come down, it is to be regretted that those who love their Park gale-day, did not defy the threatening cloud, wrap themselves up comfortably and enjoy themselves. On no day this season was there so choice a bill of fare as that presented yesterday afternoon by Dodworth, and the style in which the intellectual feast was served, was worthy of the maitre. The carte was as follows: [Gives program].
The audience though small, comparatively, was both attentive and appreciative, and not unfrequently demonstrative in the expression of their pleasure. The ‘Larghetto,’ from Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, was given with much delicacy of expression, and the selection from ‘Les Huguenots’ was fine. The ‘Shamrock Garland’ received the welcome always given to selections of Irish airs when rendered by those who know how to interpret justly the wedded mirth and sorrow in the music of the isle of Saints. In a cornet solo, ‘The Wearing of the Green’ was interpreted by Mr. Jeff. Dodworth with much feeling, and the applause which followed was a complimentary acknowledgment of the rare skill of the performer. The ‘galop,’ which wound up the programme, and a few drops of rain which fell as the waters ‘clapped their hands’ in upper air, were unmistakeable hints to the crowd to make southward with all decent haste, and in half an hour the Mall was deserted by all but the irrepressibles, who ‘wore neither sugar nor salt,’ and the unquenchables in gray and buttons.” Remainder discusses other aspects of the Park, including carriages.