Severini and Pease Morning Concert: 2nd

Event Information

Steinway's Rooms

Price: $1

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 August 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

05 Dec 1866, 3:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Cachouca caprice
Composer(s): Raff
Participants:  Alfred Humphries Pease
aka Variations on L’elisir d’amore
Composer(s): Thalberg
Participants:  Alfred Humphries Pease
Composer(s): Pease
Text Author: Tennyson
Participants:  Antoinette Sterling
aka Favorita; Favoured one; Spirito gentil
Composer(s): Donizetti
Participants:  Signor Severini
aka Sing, smile, sleep; Chantez, riez, dormez; Canti, ridi, dormi; Serenade; Berceuse
Composer(s): Gounod
Participants:  Signor Severini


Announcement: New York Herald, 27 November 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 December 1866.
Announcement: New-York Times, 03 December 1866, 4.
Announcement: New-York Times, 05 December 1866, 4.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 05 December 1866.
Review: New York Herald, 06 December 1866, 10.

“The second matinée of Messrs. Pease and Severini took place yesterday afternoon, at Steinway Hall. The audience, which consisted principally of ladies, was in the best humor, to judge from the frequent encores. The most noteworthy features on the programme were two of Mr. Pease’s compositions—a fantasia on themes from Martha, for two pianos, and a song, ‘Break, break, break,’ sung by Miss Nettie Sterling. The Martha fantasia is the best work that Mr. Pease has yet brought before the public. It is not strictly a work of art, but a very ingenious and pretty potpourri worked up in a highly effective manner. Mr. Pease is very happy in his ornamentation of a subject and in this fantasia he places the different themes in a very handsome setting of chromatics, trills, arpeggios, &c. The song is also a very clever work, and it was admirably sung by Miss Sterling. There is not, we opine, a contralto in the city possessing a richer, more thrilling and sympathetic voice than this lady. It requires much training still. In solos, such as she sings she is generally very successful, but in concerted pieces there is a want of control over her voice, stiffness and mere [illeg]ism in execution, and an absence of that abandonemont and expression that distinguishes the true artist in singing. With such a voice as hers, however, anything is possible. Signor Severini sang in his usual manner, and did not exhibit any new features in his voice or method of using it to change our already expressed opinion of it. Mr. Colby assisted Mr. Pease in the Martha duet and accompanied the two singers. We do him justice alone in placing him first of accompanists at present among us.” 

Review: New York Post, 06 December 1866.

“It is but a few years since that a matinée was a species of entertainment almost unknown in New York. Managers of places of amusement thought they were doing very well if they secured good audiences for their evening entertainments, and, not daring further to tempt the taste of a fickle public, morning performances, except of some Christmas pantomime or peripatetic circus company, were scarcely thought of. Now, however, ‘we have changed all that,’ and the number and excellence of matinées have gradually increased to meet the public desire until there is scarcely a theatre in town that does not advertise day performances on Wednesday or Saturday, while concerts, readings or exhibitions are given during the season at different halls on almost every afternoon of the week. It is a sign of greater love for the elegant and artistic than formerly existed, and a proof that we have a rapidly growing class of persons of taste and leisure who find in these amusements something to fill up the otherwise unemployed hours of an afternoon. Messrs. Pease and Severini are giving this season at Steinway’s Rooms a series of very delightful matinée concerts, which, for excellence of the music presented, and taste and fashion of the audiences, rank among the highest. They are admirably fitted for the class of persons above alluded to, and should be well supported by them. The second concert of the series was given yesterday afternoon before a select and appreciative audience, and was an undoubted success. Mr. Pease, who is already taking a high position among our leading pianists, played superbly Raff’s ‘Cachouca Caprice,’ which is well known as a delicate and beautiful composition. His grand duo on themes from ‘Martha,’ played with Mr. Colby, was also well received. We were not so well pleased with this as with his first selection. In some of the variations the meaning was obscure, and the melody was slurred over or covered up by a too great force to the lower notes. This was fully redeemed, however, by the really charming manner in which Mr. Pease played Thalberg’s fantasie on ‘L’Elisir d’Amore.’ This received a well-merited encore. Signor Severini seemed to be a recognized favorite with the audience, for everything he sang was encored. He has a very sweet and well modulated voice, which he manages well, with the one great fault, however, of singing many of his upper notes in falsetto—a fault which is now getting so common among tenors that it is almost useless to call attention to it. With this exception, he sang the ‘Spirito Gentil’ from ‘La Favorita,’ and Gounod’s beautiful serenade, ‘Chantez, Riez, Dormez,’ in a very appreciative manner, the latter calling out the most enthusiastic encore of the afternoon. Miss Nettie Sterling has a fine, full contralto voice of considerable power, but lacks experience in her art, and is faulty in the pronunciation of her words after blending them together in a somewhat indistinct manner. We think, however, she possesses the elements of a very fine singer, and, after overcoming the defects above alluded to, she will be one of our most acceptable concert singers. Her best effort yesterday was the ‘Break, break, break,’ of Tennyson, with the music of Mr. Pease’s composition. It is a beautiful study, and was delicately and feelingly given. An encore was demanded and obtained. We congratulate Messrs. Pease and Severini upon their success thus far, and hope they will soon give us another opportunity of hearing them.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 08 December 1866, 8.

“Well attended. One of the features of the programme was Mr. Pease’s new duo fantasia on themes from Martha. It is a very effective arrangement, but it is weak in one respect, namely, a too great tendency to overload the subjects with brilliant fiorituri passages, which are, after all, merely passages of showy execution, bearing little relation to the development of the themes. This is an error traceable to the fashionable school, and not peculiar to Mr. Pease, but he would do well to use it more sparingly. Mr. Pease played with a certain aplomb, which added delicacy and certainty to his execution. He has evidently made up his mind to conquer success, and gives evidence on each appearance that he is in the right way to achieve his aim. Miss N. Sterling sang well. Her beautiful voice always commands admiration; and Signor Severini rendered his selections in fine taste and with much expression.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 16 December 1866, 4.

Complete failure.