Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
16 January 2018
"To several announcements of music we commend attention. This evening an extraordinary Concert will be given for the benefit of the Ladies' Southern Relief Association--a benevolence in itself worthy of extensive sympathy and aid. Mad. Gazzaniga, Miss Kellogg, Miss Adelaide Phillips, Miss McCulloch, Sig. Brignoli, Sig. Ferranti, and the eminent pianist Wehli, will appear, in addition to Thomas's orchestra."
“The Grand Charity Concert, under the patronage of the New-York Ladies’ Southern Relief Association, took place on Saturday evening at Irving Hall. Everything was worthy of the occasion, except the weather, which was pitiless. Notwithstanding the latter drawback, the attendance was very large. It did not, we are happy to hear, represent the full sale of tickets, although had it done so there would have been a large surplus for the fund. As it is, the return will be in the highest degree liberal. All the artists, with the exception of the orchestra, volunteered their services. The programme illustrated almost wholly the modern Italian school. The singers were Miss Kellogg, Mme. Gazzaniga, Miss McCulloch, Miss Adelaide Phillips, Signor Ferranti, Signor Albano (harp) and Mr. James W. Wehli (piano.) Signor Brignoli promised to be present, but was prevented by fatigue. His place was filled by Signor Baragli, who at the last moment volunteered his services, and thoroughly gratified the audience with his sweet and beautiful voice. It would be wrong, on an occasion like the present, to criticize the performance, and indeed there was little to criticize. Where all are good it is difficult to discriminate. The programme was interpreted excellently throughout. Miss Kellogg was received with much warmth, and deservedly so. She is not only the best, but the most reliable artiste now before the public. Instead of Arditi’s new waltz, ‘L’Estasi,’ she sang the Rondo Bohemienne, from ‘L’Etoile du Nord,’ and (as an encore) Stigelli’s Isolena. The orchestra was under the direction of Mr. Theodore Thomas, and Signor Albites presided at the piano.”
(…) Kellogg’s first aria was enthusiastically applauded and shouts for an encore were heard. She accompanied herself in her encore composed by Stigelli. Philips and McCulloch also received much applause. Brignoli was too exhausted to sing. He was replaced by the lyrical tenor of the Italian Opera Baragli, who pleased the audience with his beautiful voice. Wehli and Albano were the instrumental virtuoso delights of the evening. Except for the orchestra, all performers performed for free. Despite the pouring rain, the event attracted a large audience.
“Mr. Thomas’s Symphony Soiree on Saturday was successful. Grimm’s fine Suite in canon form, a work new to concert-goers, led the programme. It is entirely for stringed instruments, and is adroitly and exquisitely worked in all its parts – its best passage being an Andante, in which occurs a very complex and charming fugue. The march and chorus of Beethoven’s ‘Ruins of Athens’ was strongly, though we cannot say grandly rehearsed by the Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Chorus. Finally, we most heartily compliment the orchestra for the real care with which Beethoven’s Heroic Sympathy [sic] was brought from the awful beauty of the funeral march to the grand resumption of the heroic sentiment in the final Allegro. May we hear it again so impressively discoursed.”