Borough of Hackney Choral Association
The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular
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... -JUNE I, I878. THE MUSICAL TIMES.-JUNE I, I878. 33o are illustrative of certain portions of Shakespeare's plays. No. I, " Ariel and the Spirits " (" Tempest ") contains much fanciful writing7 reminding us occasionally of Mendelssohn; but the best of the three movements is No. 2 " The Sleep of Desdemona " (" Othello "), which is an exceedingly grace-i1 and imaginative piece, and highly suggestive of the subj ect. The Finale, " The Witches," " The Apparition," " The Banquet," and " The Coronation " (" Macbeth ") vividly colours these incidents of the play, one of the points worthy of special mention bein the subject representing the banquet scene, which creeps in after the interruption of the feast by the ghost of " Banquo," as if desirous of continuing the revelry in defiance of the apparition. The bright effect of the March, too, in the last division of the movement, happily illustrates the Coronation, and concludes a composition which we trust may often obtain a hearing when so excellent an orchestra can be assembled to do justice to its merits. Another example of French " programme music " was the characteristic " Danse des Sylphs," from "Le Damnation de Faust " of Berlioz, sYhich created such an impression as to cause a demand for its repetition not to be resisted. Madame Viard-Louis displayed good executive power in Hummel's pianoforte Concerto in B minor, but was scarcely so successful in Beethoven's Sonata in D major known as the " Pastoral." The exceptionally fine qualities of the band (under Mr. Weist Hill) were amply evidenced in Beethoven's " Leonora'} Overture (No. 3), Mendelssohn's " Italian Symphony," and Sterndale Bennett's Overture '4 The Wood Nymphs." Madame Lemmens-Sherrington vras the vocalist. BOROUGH OF HACKNEY CHORAL ASSOCIATION. THE last Concert of the season was given on the 6th ult. at the Shoreditch Town Hall, before a large audience. The gradual advance of this Society, not only with respect to the art progress among its members, but in the estimation of the general publict has within a comparatively short period so attracted the attention of the musical press to its performances that both the Choir and its excellent Conductor, Mr. Ebenezer Prout, may fairly congratulate themselves upon the success of their labours and nerve themselves to increased exertion in the future. The rendering of Niels W. Gade's Cantata, the " Crusaders," at the final Concert was in every respect thoroughlyworthy of the reputation of the Association, the Choruses bein given with the utmost precision, with due attention to gradations of tone, and with a dramatic colourinffl positively essential to the due effect of the work; the picturesque instrumentation, too, receivina the utmost justice from a small but most efficient band. The principal vocalists erere Miss Marian Williams, Mr. Barton McGuckin, and Mr. Thurley Beale, all of whom sang well; Miss Williams, although the music was unquestionably too lor for her, giving with much intelligence the lonffl and exactinffl solo for Arz}zida " They softly sleep in cool and peaceful night ! " Mr. McGuckin displaying a good voice and style in the ;' Crusaders' Song," and Mr. Beale sinfring the impressive music of Peter t11e Hermit uith a thorough appreciation of the composer's intention. The excellent qualities of the Choir were again most successfully tested in the rendering of Handel's Chorus, 4 Crorn with festal pomp," from ;; Hercules," in the second part, and in Elorsley's Part-song " See the chariot at hand." A good word must also be given for Miss Marian Williams's unaffected and artistic intexpretation of Mozart's 44 Vedrai carino." Sterndale Bennett's descriptive and highly poetical Fantasia-Overture ;; Paradise and the Peri," Gounod's ;; Funeral March of a Marionette " (the demand for the repetition of which was happily resisted, and Auber's Overture, " Le Cheval de Bronze," were the purely orchestral pieces, and all were finely played. Mr. Ebenezer Prout conducted with his accustomed skill and earnestness, and received from the audience an ovation which he has legitimately earned Amongst the works promised for next season are Schumann's music to 4'Baust," Handel's Chandos Anthem, i O praise the Lord with one consent," Dr. Bridge's Oratorio. " Mount Moriah," Mendelssohn's " Walpurgis Night," Sterndale Bennettss 44 May Queezz," and Brahms's " Song of Destiny."