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CHORAL SOCIETY.

"HIAWATHA." Before a large audience at the Choral Hall last .evening the Auckland Choral Society gave the last two parts, of Cole-ridge-Taylor's fine cantata, "-Hiawatha." This interesting composition is familiar to most of the Society's patrons, as portions of the same work have been rendered by the Society several times. The first two parts were given in October, 1901, the two latter portions in November of the same year, the whole cantata in May, 1903, and the " Feast" and "Death" in August, 1907. The choralists assembled in large numbers, and •with the exception of irresoluteness in some of the leads, acquitted themselves creditably. The. instrumentalists played much of their music in a way that left the impression that better knowledge of their part would have lent additional attraction to the performance. In the orchestral part of the solo, "I am going" they were anything but sure of their intervals, and the same remark applies to their execution of the lento movement leading to the chorus, " And they Said," the chords previous to the solo, "Beautiful is the §un," and the sixteenth notes leading into " Peace be With You." Nice expression was displayed in the chorus, " O, the Long and Dreary Winter." There was a little unsteadiness in time in " With His Mighty Bow." The part-singing was effective in " And the Lovely Laughing Water." In their lead to "And the Desolate " the choir were not by any means unanimous. The tenors and contraltos sang tastefully in " Over Snow Fields," and an expressive delivery was given of " Wahonomin!" by the mixed chorus. The male voices did well in " And he Rush'd," and with, the exception of an irresolute attack in " Then They Buried Minneha:ha," the choir acquitted themselves with distinction in this number. The partsinging was very good in " Farewell! Minnehaha!" but it was not so reliable in " From His Wand'rings." A decisive reading was obtained of "At Each Other They Look'd.". The choir's lead in "And the Warriors" was lacking in decision, and some of the tenors were too previous in their attack in "By the Shore." The first two quavers at the beginning of "It was Neither Goose" were inaudible, and the sopranos felt the high' intervals a great strain. ■' "Then the Generous Hiawatha" was delivered effectively, the voices moving nicely with each other. The male voices were not by any means at home in their chorus, " And the Chiefs." A vigorous reading was secured of " Then they rose up and Departed," and a tasteful performance was secured of " Slowly o'er the Simmering Landscape." Fairly satisfactory performances were given of "Forth into the Village, , -' and "On the Shore." A declamatory delivery of "Thus departed Hiawatha" concluded the choir's efforts. .:■ Mrs. Hamilton Hodges sang the soprano solos, and, with the exception of her high intervals, she succeeded very well. She gave with taste, "Hark! she said," and "Wahonomin! Would that I had perish'd," and sang with deep sorrow the solo, "Then he sat down." Her performance of the high notes in "Spring had Come" and "From the Brow," proved rather much of a strain; consequently they were not always musical. Otherwise these numbers were carefully phrased and given with the requisite expression. Mr. Hamilton Hodges gave telling and effective interpretations of the baritone numbers. A strongly declaimed reading was secured of "And the Foremost Said"; he sang with deep feeling, "Wahonomin!" and "Farewell! said he," achieving fine effects in the latter solo in the closing part in C major. The varied changes in the solo, "True is all lago," were brought out in splendid fashion, and Mr. Hodges was also heard to advantage in "Then Darker," "Beautiful is the Sun," and "I am Going." Mr. W. Aspinall contributed the tenor solos pleasingly, and was heard to good effect in the love song from ths first part of the cantata: "Onaway! Awake, Beloved!" Dr. W. E. Thomas conducted; Miss "Whitelaw, L.R.A.M., led the band; and Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Hunt acted as pianist and organist respectively.

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CHORAL SOCIETY. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 88, 14 April 1909

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