2 January 2016
“The fifth and last concert of the Liederkranz Society took place last night, under the direction of the excellent president, William Steinway, at the hall in Fourth street. Mr. Dawson, pianist, Mr. Rudolph Hennig, violoncellist, and the Leiderkranz [sic] chorus and amateur orchestra were on hand and contributed to the success of the concert. Gade’s interminable, stupid idea of the ‘Erl King’ was sung by the mixed chorus of the society and was very tiresome and uninteresting.”
(…) The performance of an amateur orchestra can certainly not be compared to a professional one, thus we have to recognize the good intention and honest efforts of the amateur musicians. The “Nachtlager” overture was played the best. In the other pieces, the “noisy” instruments such as big drums and cymbals often overpowered the others in a disturbing fashion. Hennig’s performance was appreciated and applauded well by the rather large audience.
The young and confident pianist Dawson overestimated his skills when choosing the Rigoletto fantasy. He could only give some parts of the composition justice. The well-done performance of “Kriegers Gebet” by the Liederkranz men’s chorus was influenced negatively by the orchestra’s “indiscreet” performance.
Gade’s “Erlkönigs Tochter” is not well-known here. It is characterized by a beautiful melodic flow for the individual and choral voices. It also offers a vast number of interesting sections; however, it also has its monotone and dry parts. The solos were performed satisfactorily, and the chorus parts were excellent except for a few insecurities.
(…) The orchestra consists mostly of members of the Liederkranz. Certainly one shall not compare the performance with professional orchestras; the effort of the members has to be acknowledged. The overture was done best. Dawson, a young American pianist, played Liszt’s phantasy with over-estimation of his skills. The men’s chorus sang Lachner’s “Gebet”, which lost some of its effects due to the “indiscreet” and insecure orchestra accompaniment.
Gade’s cantata is composed in the style of Mendelssohn. Although there were not enough rehearsals with all participants for this work, it was still performed satisfactorily, and the beauty of it was conveyed well. The solos performed by Haag, Brickel and Steins, were done well enough. Rembach accompanied on the grand piano.