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PHILHARMONIC CONCERT, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914
A! the fourth concert of the Dunedin Philharmonic Society's tenth season, given in the Garrison 7iali last night, Signor fiquarise had the pleasure of controlling what seemed to bo pretty nearly the full strength of the orchestra, and the performers must have been gratified at the largeness of the audience. It' seems quite plain that tire popularity of the society 1* not in the least diminishing. Equally obvious is the assurance in last night’s result* that the orchestra's efficiency stands unimpaired upon a high level. To that conclusion we arrive easily by a. consideration of the best playing at this concert; and it is on tho best that any amateur musical body can claim to lie judged. The performance began with 'he National Anthem and ‘The Marseillaise.’ The playing ol these pieces deserves to ho classed as part of the , oneert. not as a mere form. Signor Sqnariso always takes pains with ‘God Save the King,’ and gets the pans in properly. The people noth o this. To play our national anthem csro-les.-ly, or without preparation, us some do, is disrespectful, and in war days offensive. The Philharmonic makes no mistake of that sort. As a resnjt of knowing the anthem will he duly presented, everybody stands to attention. The * Japanese March.’ by Mokoko, followed. It is a characteristic and plain composition, without any .-.triking features that we discovered, but the merit of the pkiving made it very interesting. A stranger must have been struck with tinamazing unanimity of the first violins, Thcjr bowing was as one; resuit, p'tnty of good tone. Everybody present must have, felt pleased' to 'find on looking at ihe P r ?' gramme that the overture to Rossinis ' Stabat Mater,’ composed by Signor Squ.trisc, was to be repeated. At the first hearing ibis lompositiou deeply impressed the euiiscrihejn. and, though wc question whether the playing last night was quitequal to that of the previous occasion, the repetition was much enjoyed, in that it afforded opportunity to listen intelligently to (he work. The result was to confirm our previous impression that Signor Squarbe has created a masterpiece, quite worthy of being permanently associated with the original. Rossini"* thoughts arc _ scrupulously honored and preserved, -while reset in tiic mo.-L appropriate, and rich embellishing. In tlii-: periormame there wcia on*, or two weak moment*, following th’-, ‘ Quando Corpus’ extract, but as n whole the overture was well ‘ Cuju> an imam ’ coiuitv,- out :i A y from tho violins. , ,r. Not much praise can be honestly bestowed 11 j jot I Ihe pivsent.lt-Oil of ’lscha,-how-sky’s 1 Triomphale Overture. i lie orchestra got out of tune, the playing became confused, the accompaniments were sometimes thick and nuuiuy and too strong, and in one way and another the audience coin'd hardly avoid the conclusion that Irom some cause or another th« form was all wrong. Next we heard Signor Squarise’s stirring and hiciiiy-drarn. l .tic • .Military Caprice-,’ repelled by request. This was handled with ph-niv ot confidence, and it went well from beginning to end—so w«,-ii, indeed, as to make the audience feci very acutely in the passage describing the cries of the wounded. A hearty and unanimous hurst of applause, was properly interpreted a s a compliment to the composer, and as a demand for a. repetition, and the conductor hurriedly arranged a second performance from the allegro vivace commencing with the call to arms. Two pretty pieces by Menton, the Belgian composer, whom bignor hquarise met in Paris, followed ; tho hietoriettc ‘Lisle et Lucas ’ and the valse ‘ Premiere Etoiie.’ Both were played with spirit and nice expression. Then r.'.mn the ‘Prologue in. Heaven’ from Boito’s ‘ Mcphistopheles.’ This i* sublime music, and it was presented with a, fine dense <:f dignity. Besides all these things from the orchestra, the subscribers present had tho privilege of listening to tho beautiful singing of Miss Esquilant. This_ lady chose ‘Softly Awakes My Heart’ (haintSaens) and ‘Life's Gifts’ (Clutsam). and her encore songs were ‘A t u miner Kong ’ (D’Hardelot) and ‘Thought*’ (Fisher). Trie accompaniment* were played by Mias M‘Laron. Every song wag; a treat, and in our judgment Miss Esquilant’* rendering of ‘ Thoughts ’ was ono of her greatest sin Tosses during her entire public earner. She cot the meaning, and the song is keyed to the finest part of her voice. Miss M-L-ireu's playing was also thoroughly in agreement.
PHILHARMONIC CONCERT, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914
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