Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
6 December 2017
“Patronized by the most intelligent and fashionable audiences.”
"Patronized by the most intelligent and fashionable audiences."
“Every Sunday night since the concerts commenced in Irving Hall the audience has been overwhelming in point of numbers and enthusiasm. Every seat was occupied from the beginning of the concert and a large number had to content themselves with standing room. The orchestral pieces opened with Mendelssohn’s symphony in A, No. 4. Although the third symphony is considered by some to be his greatest work, will we think that in this symphony there is more unity and completeness of idea. The second and last movements are the best. The andante has a charming theme, colored with an accompaniment of grace and beauty. In the last movement, Salterello Presto, is something novel in a symphony. The same spirit that breathes in the Midsummer Night’s Dream is apparent in this movement. [Illeg.] flutterings of the violins with dialogues of flutes, clarinets, and oboi, reminiscences of Puck, [illeg.], and Oberon sparkle through it. Mendelssohn displays the most consummate skill and talent in all his symphonies, but in this movement he surpasses himself. There is not the greatness and soul in his works that we find in the immortal Beethoven symphonies, but they possess in charm and winning grace that must ever make them popular. He is greatest in his shorter works. He cannot grasp an epic theme with the Titanic imagination of Beethoven, but in some simple work the exquisite finish and adornment he bestows on it render it a chef d’ouvre of art. The Turkish March, by Mozart, was next played by the orchestra. It has the real, wild Tartarring about it and admirably illustrates the barbaric spirit that led the followers of the Prophet from Mecca to Grenada. Mr. Henry Schmitz played a solo on the French horn admirably. Madame Bertha Johannsen sang as usual in the style of a finished artiste. Her voice is much worn in the upper notes, but she is still an acceptable feature in a concert. Nearly every piece on the programme was encored and received with applause. These concerts are increasing in popularity, as with such an orchestra as that of Mr. Thomas and with such vocalists as appear at each concert, they deserve to do. The overture to the Poet and Peasant and the grand fantasia L’Africaine, played in the second part of the programme, would alone have been a sufficient bill for the night.”