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'THE MESSIAH'

REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE BY DUXEDIN CHORAL SOCIETY. The Duncdin Choral Society, reron&tir tilted under the direction of *Mr Sidney Wolf, made, their first public appearancelast night, 'lhe. Messiah' being given in tho _ Garrison Hull in tho presence of an audience that thronged tho hall in every part. "Remarkable" is a, modest term to apply to the performance. It was -undoubtedly the most thorough presentation of tho oratorio ever given in Dunedii!--a, performance to talk about and treasure in the memory. If the standard reached on this occasion is maintained, the condition of the Duncdin Choral Society will "to gentled much more effectively than is possible by any euch aid as tho prefixing of " Royal " to its title. The choruses were sung in a way that surely would have earned the approval of Handel himself. Balance, accuracy, expression, enunciation—these and other ingredients of good choral singing weru in evidence throughout the evening, and in addition several distinguishable" qualities, amongst which wo may mention the brilliant and accordant lead of the sopranos. their splendid eagerness, and the attention given by all sections to the directions of the conductor. Mr Wolf made tho leads easy by, as one of the audience remarked, "throwing the note at them," and they responded by watching him and using the books* only for reference. In euch circumstances the agreed-upon expression tame surely every time.' Another important feature of the choruses was the accord as to phrasing. Tho singers as a body took breath at the ssma places. Again, it was quite an original study that we were privileged to hear. As ordinarily presented 'lho Messiah' choruses seem to bo treated, mere or less, as music that needs only to lie dropped from tho mouth. We have heard performances at which the individual members followed their recollections of what had impressed them in the past, and kept to that method without much reference to the conductor except as to time. Of such slovenliness there was no suggestion at tliis concert. Mr Wolf, one may suppose, started by making the members empty their minds of all beliefs and theories about the oratorio, and then began tc build up a thorough knowledge of the work on a. system that goes back to Handel for its basis, and takes into account tho meaning of the great poem. .Pome such scheme has evidently been pursued, and, having his singers perfectly drilled, and nn orchestra trained to accompany properly, Mr Wolf was furnished with material out of which he really recreated 'Tho Messiah.' The work of the orchestra was quite uncommon. Sensitive singers have in the past regarded the instrumentalists as so many headsmen, deliberately or ignorantly out for despoiling. Last night ill p. players were gracious and sympathetic colic-agues, in sweet fellowship throughout. From now henceforth let no conductor fear to pull off the weight lest he produce feebleness. Mr Wolf has touaht us that an orchestra can produce soft tone. The weight of tho orchestra last night, when with the soloists, was no more, than that of a piano, yet the color was there ; and even when the trumpets got lo work Hi ihe ehonit-os cv<ry nolo was in niee proportion. It was a great point about the performance to introduce Ha ridel's accompaniments, including the trumpet paits, n :<1 ia was a rare pleasure to lie ri-.i of any dread lest th- instruments should suddenly rebel and ch.irira down ihe singers. To Mr J. Wallace and his associates we tender tho gratitude of Ilv listeners. As to ihe pastoral f.vmpbony, its rendering was so refined and'angelic; as to make the talkers hold their tongues. To briefly mention the choruses: 'And ih:- dory' was dead in tune, balance delyhtful." tempo traditional, and tho trebles made a. held bid for top A % A capital stale on orthodox liiv-s. '() Thou 'Chat TellrM'; S-ratehv attack by trebles then ail delight felly to-r■ther ; pr>n<e s r.s well as notes give: full value; nieo cutting off. 'Unlo IV: Runs well sung; rood r.ote definition from every part; quality of ton,' noticeable-, '('lory to Cod': A irreat feature of tie.- performance; particuiarlv ini|-;-e.-sive cc .turrets, the "peace o;i earth'' being iv-.-t skillully brought on; in every way. *'H; ; Yoke is* Easy': Another triumph :' levn- Ming like this before; :11 nicely *-übdued ; -a- persuasive style, fallowed bv a suggestion of crudrderic, {!?•."•: of ' I'ehob.l 'he Laiii!>': Lroad arid devotional. 'Surely He Hath Borne' : (eo taken to pre.vive quality. 'All We l.:ks Sheep": Runs flexible;' leads faultless; verv effective adagio, capitally tapeved oil," and notes Mine,' right: out. 'Lift Up Your Heads': Plenty of weight without noi?e ; again admire, the perfect quittance. 'The J.ord dive the Word': Good ringing. 'Their Sound': Nice brisk movement and failiKvs; voices as a body sustained the notrc to their full length. 'Hallelujah": A \-ry nuc rsnder::>g. 'lhe trebles clashed at it in splondid style, and one- could freely forgive them for rnast< , ri:ej the men's voices at ihe finish. The resurrection choruses v. ere good, save for a faulty start in 'By Man.' 'Worthy is the Lamb' was a perfect study, and 'Amen' as c-teadv as a rock. Much 'might- be written about the solo singing, but space is running; out. Miss Mitchell, the soprano, was in fine voice. and her madoiwa-like quite suited th'i Adventual recitative? and 'Come Into Me-' whilst 'How Beautiful Are the Foci' would also have been a marked success hut fo- the rather n.rong accent. *I Know That Mv Redeemer Liveth' was perhaps th-i most en'ovable. of Miss "Mitchell - !! solos. The "know** was nicely italicised. It was not like "I am given to understand." Mrs IT. E. voice is light for the contralto solos, but in each case she read intellectually and sang with ease and refinement, Mr E. Drake was in «reat form, as mav be imagined when we say that he followed up a" series of successes with a most dramatic interpretation of ' Thou Shalt Break Them.' Mr H. E. Browning's presentation of tho bass solos was quite masterly, and 'Why Dc the Nations' stands out r.s musically the great feature of the solos at this concert. A special word of praise is due to Mr Oley Judd for his obbligato to 'The Ifcomjiet .Shall Souai"

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141216.2.6

Bibliographic details

'THE MESSIAH', Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

Word Count
1,040

'THE MESSIAH' Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

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