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THE ORCHESTRAL CONCERT., Issue 10439, 7 October 1897
THE ORCHESTRAL CONCERT.
The third concert of the Dunedin Orchestral Society’s tenth season was given last night in the Agricultural Hall. Secretary Millar and his executive went, to some pains in making proper arrangements. . They had the stage boxed in and ceiled and extended frontwards, so as to force the sound out, and a pretty effect was produced by the tasteful adornments of the platform and its vicinity, while the ushering, as usual, was properly attended to, everybody being able to get a comfortable seat. How many were present we cannot say, hut all the seats were occupied excepting a few in the front row on the floor, this representing, probably, a somewhat larger attendance than there used to be in the old hall. There were seven orchestral pieces on the pro-gramme—-namely : Overture, ‘ Son and Stranger ’ (Mendelssohn). Dance, ‘ Kermesse de St. Cloud ’ (Roeckel). Symphony, ‘Unfinished’ (Schubert). Selection, ‘ La Vestale’ (Mercadente). Intermezzo pizzicato, ‘ La Secret’ (Gautier). Selection, ‘ Lucrezia Borjria.’ Waltz, ‘Senteurs Fleurs’ (Waldteufel). It will be thus seen by those who keep the programmes that for this occasion the society brought out of their treasure-house things both new and old. The symphony was one of the old; it may be also added that it was one of the most successful of the evening’s productions. Further acquaintance with this beautiful music hasgiventheplayersamorecomprehenslveinsight respecting its character and maybe a greater respect for its merits, and as a consequence last night’s performance was incomparably superior to that of a few months back- This remark applies peculiarly to the first movement, the allegro, in which the various sections of the orchestra were nicely together all the time, becoming, especially towards the finish, as responsive to the signals of the conductor as though they were so many stops of an organ, while the entire absence of roughness, and the careful observance of proportion as between lead and accompaniment, and the general attention to light and shade stamped this portion of the performance with the mark of high merit, and must have gladdened the heart of the conductor. The andante did not go quite so well, for the strings were at times inclined to jollity, so that the inner parts were somewhat overpowered; still, the movement brought out some really good playing, and, speaking generally, the rendering of this charming composition was listened to with much pleasure. It took about twenty-one minutes to play, and the audience would willingly have heard it over again. The rendering of the other pieces was also creditable. As to the opening overture, it may be conceded that a certain amount of raggedness was observed towards the end (f the allegro ; yet this passing fault was readily pardoned in view of the general merit of the performance. The introductory andante was simply delightful. We have never ,heard,the strings in better form, and it is pleasant to bo able to note that all the younger members amongst the first violins seemed to bo playing and playing well, without leaning on their neighbors'— an observation which may be taken to refer not to this overture alone but to the entire programme. The dance piece served to further illustrate the carefulness of the rehearsals. The varying rhythm caused not the least trace of confusion, and the interpretation was fall of legitimate and pretty effects, the only noticeable drawback being a want of body in the oboe solo work. Coming to Meroadente’s selection, we thought the brass was rather overblown in the introductory flourish, and it may be that the accompaniments were at times a trifle heavy; hut on the whole there was not much, fault to find with the play mg .of the piece. In the euphonium solo a nice tone was produced, and the march went well, this working up to a brilliant finale, whioh brought down the house. The intermezzo, hoard for the first time in Dunedin, met with a ver j; friendly reception, and this was well deserved, since it was played in exceptionally good taste. The ‘Borgia’ selection, also, pleased the audience. The public always appreciate the music of this opera when it is at all decently given. We are not sure that this particular selection is a good one. Some of the extracts are provokingly short, and it does not sound quite right to hear the vendetta solo played up in the cornet range. Presumably, however, the arranger has some authority for what he has done, and in any case it was ‘ Borgia ’ music, and therefore acceptable. In regard to its rendering we are not disposed to say too much about the slips in solo. These were mere passing incidents, amply atoned for by the strength and vigor of the tutti passages. The concluding waltz was nicely played, but it is not the most attractive of the Waldteufel repertory. The only singer of the evening was Mrs Manson, whose pure and beautiful voice was heard to great advantage in the air of ‘ Convien partir,’ from ’ The Daughter of the Regiment.’ Since this lady sang the jewel song from .‘Faust,’ we have never heard her in such splendid form as she was last night. The song was a great treat. The audience also expressed their high approval of Mrs Manson’s .ballad in: the second part. ‘She wandered down the mountain side,’ and recalled her again and again, in the vain hope of an encore, until the conductor relieved the pressure by creating a diversion with an announcement about the Port Chalmers train. Mr J. Coombs filled his usual place as conductor, and Mr K. Parker was the leader, while Mr W. B. Taylor played the pianoforte accompaniment to the second song. Band parts had been arranged for the opera song.
THE ORCHESTRAL CONCERT., Issue 10439, 7 October 1897
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