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Man's Relation to the Unseen.

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Mid-Rhondda Orpheus Glee .Party.

-'The Blind Man of Judah'

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'The Blind Man of Judah' Local Composer s Great Achievement. Successful Performances at ronypandy. T [By Outr Musical Critic.] ezer concerts of the Eben- <lav «»i o0ci6^y took place last Thurs- iiusni > Saturday, under the most hav<* i Clrcunistances. These concerts i, â always attracted attention' from 6r's iu the Rhondda, but .this r;x i ''f greatest interest had been ex- I)av l the conductor, Mr. W. T. +<.+â > producing his Opus I.-âa can-: j,i i entitled: The Blind Man of ttttef 1 *lave 'ia(l the privilege of soric+ ,Ug evt'ry concert given .by this ptlltd" V Un^. although I have been com sion.ii <-J'iticise the performances .occa- frienl UtV** ve-y- favourably- still the good th.es there have always realised that as 6 ^riticisms were always honest, and 1 Were taken. By the courtesy of y ^Wmittee, 1 was invited again this an i y being evidently anxious to g< t ^I'Ces^ePendent opinion of the perform- y "^le. Rhondda has always! given evidence its people are no mean inhabitants the vocal world, and in many ways it coming rapidly to the. front. But what >», 0np. say of the latest advanceâ-the tor ? UCrp\011 a wol'k by a local conduc- it« w+ 18 a,n unprecedented event in assistJi01^' a, one that has materially XhW "l jWollin* the illusion thl £ nothing good or new (mUmcallv-V can b« heard outvie Cardiff. In my o, miou it of°tW J* beei, il Privilege to the iit&etS of that progressive town to have attonrli 1 these concerts to hear +W⢠J. â nded work that. has ben produced by any work that lias been 1>110mising or three 'Cardiff Festival by Welshmen that have *ion that Wfl ..f"1 lle,- "deniable inipre.s- the tJt nf + ,1«r: very far, behind form of <% â¢4.^Vor this advanced that M! n Pp?rtlon- lt > H boped °l>portnni+ aVr >s w.01'k w"iil he given the Uav ty, of receiving the full light of this in,^ reni°⢠a little, at least, of '^impression. KbiJ?+- ,oornPOser Las been his own r the words being taken in the "i'he m the 9th chapter of St* John. ^.0ri U'SUal overture i.«> dispensed with, the opening with twelve measures instra- r.ar cy music tending into a chorus, "Givo ^'hi'eh Lord," the second portion of Press co.ntains some interesting and ex- p.rive imitation passages. In the third rtloll we have very effective writing on tbi ^or(k>For Thou wilt answer me," thl via*S!i instruments adding greatly to is return to' ihe first portion Solirfa ⢠the whole forming a splendid Piece of choral writing. The subject (so 61 now entered upon, tho narrator ^Prano) being given a recitative cou- pling the first verse of the above chap- 6r\ The disciples are provided with fi5'aiseworthy independent part-writing, an inttrestiiier fiirure beine continuallv r<v. r^ted in the accompaniment. Jesus ^eiior) answers his disciples by means of solo in 3-4 time. Here the composer 1KM4-US ^Pl0 evidence that lie is endowed the gift of melody, a gift which oia«y °âUr clever present-day musi- aor>r>L unfortunately have not. The at+ Payment is not too obtrusive, the bean+ lOU being drawn away from the having melody. The neighbours ±0 ,thâ¬il- dou'bts with regard plains tw Xy °f t le Mnd man, he ex- Wayside. Here^we have^a ba^t fere'+ i?, S skjlfully m.sertecl with dif- next 1, comPaiument. The Phai isees thev voice chorus, in which Thmr ^his man is not of God." <sonT- are subsequently joined by others pianos and altos), who express a doubt °f Jesl?s t0 "1do mch ^Xamnio' i- H?re agaui we have an One r,f go° in(iependent part-writing, ^id o v gems of the work follows, Ulan n',u.ot by the parents of the blind tenor T+ ⢠wr^tten for soprano and Tjf "i /t is a fine example of the gift a (iu y that the composer has. It is ^d. Tf from beginning to "bas'nU jUever becomes monotonous as it The ki- 7 variety in rhythm and key. Scerift man is next written for. The en. bim and the Jews is the in.o- portion of the work, culminat- the "Cast him out" chorus. In Mo) Ci ( £ 6r tjlie device of a leap to the «ft'e(vf °ut" in every case make.si the t>I'ebes+V6lyi r6ahstic. Following this, the 1>0S(X(] 'a nave the casting out duty im- Po,.ti(ivi Pon them. In this the second tive +u i Andanteâis the most effec- ".soio 6i ° re being provided with the tionQ' rvi fading into a Legato con devo- is broiST61^ for tenor- The cantata a conclusion with a chorus, tD" £ d}v « th? L?rd'" ⢠is «ni IeiiC6 f, the choral writing ^ar excel- illt|'<xlnr.+ 18 Wr'tton in the old ,form of <t"urS6 10u,?-nd fugue. In a fuwue, of Subject>'1'aCrra^y denends on the >e ttle "-ere, on the words Blessed e oom,^1116 His Majesty for ever," _w°i"k urvm 6r,i VS an excellent subject to eff«p+- s making the cborus a 11 ve 011 e indeed. The climax t is reached when the trio on the word "Amen" join the chorus. This is a splendid piece of originality, and would "bring clown the house anywhere. The work is fully orchestrated, and in places very interesting effects are produced. Now for a, few words re the perform- ances. The choir had been augmented for the occasion, and all seemed to give their whole attention to the work en- trusted to them. It is questionable whether better choral singing has been heard at Ebenezer, the special effort made making the choir's performance a very creditable one indeed, especially on the Saturday evening. The only weakness was in the male voice choruses, where the second tenors and first basses did not balance the other parts. The first tenors were robust, rather too much 00 at times, but in the mixed choruses they Bang with fine effect. In fact, the tenors were the best part of a good chorus. The sopranos also did well; the altos, although rather weak, were of a good, quality. The basses were for the most part young singers, but they undoubtedly had all the enthu- siasm of youth and contributed in no small degree to the success of the choral singing. Every member of the choir seemed to revel in the music of the last chorus, and the excellent music, coupled with its splendid rendering, roused the audiences to great enthusiasm on both evenings. Another very effective render- ing was the" Chst him out chorus, the dramatic writing being sung with thrilling; effect. The artistes were Madame Amy Evans and Messrs. W. Spencer Thomas and Ivor Foster. As Rhonddaites are well aware, these three eminent singers are natives of Mid-Rhondda, and have been assisted by the local inhabitants to rise to their present high position in their profession. It was thus quite fitting that they .should give their valuable assistance to launch the first effort of a local man into the musical world, Unfortunately, Madame Evans, or as she will perhaps be always called, Miss Amy Evans, was suffering from a severe cold, and perhaps it will be news to most of our readers that this popular artiste had to keep to her bed between the Thursday and Saturday con- certs. However, she did extremely well under the circumstances, although, of course, we have heard her to better advantage. Mr. Thomas also seemed to be. suffering from some indisposition on Thursday evening, but on Saturday he was in the form one had anticipated. His "Lend me your aid was of special merit, but his encore songs, although lie did the best with them, were not worthy of the concerts. The music seemed to lack all the essentials of a good com- position. Mr. Ivor Foster was unmis- takably great. His, singing in the can- tata and in the miscellaneous portion, where lie saing O ruddier than the cherry," was very fine, and must have moved the most unemotional, in the building, The orchestra, was perhaps the largest. professional band of instrumentalists, that we have yet had in the Rbondda, the object being evidently to give as complete a performance as possible. They had to labour under the disadvantage of playing from manuscript, with only one rehearsal, and that on the afternoon of the con- cert. A little on Thursday was excusable, but much better work was, done on Saturday. They were well led by Mr. Angle, and were always respon- sive to Mr. David's baton. In the mis- cellaneous programme each evening they contributed two overtures, and also accompanied the soloists in a very satis- factory manner. Mr. Angle played a couple of delightlul solos by special request. His artistic and expressive play- ing was much admired. Mr. W. J. Evans, Aberdare, presided at the organ through- out. The number of speeches delivered also made the concerts quite unique. Although in concerts such as these much oratory is wholly out of place, yet the occasion was such an exceptional and withal, such a memorable one, that such speaking seemed absolutely necessary. The chairmen, Mr. James Evans, C.C., (lydach Vale, and Mr. W. P. Nicholas, Trealaw, highly eulogised the work and the concert as a whole, and the heartiest congratulations were extended to the composer. Mr. Angle made a couple of characteristic speeches, his remarks being punctuated by roars of laughter. The secretaries, Messrs. James Williams and Llewellyn Evans, must have laboured very hard to dispose of all the reserved seat tickets before the concerts, and to secure such perfect arrangements. The success of their efforts must be very gratifying to them. I am pleased to note, in conclusion, that The Blind Mali of Judah" is being taken up by choral societies elsewhere. A performance of the work will be given at Aberdare this season, and also at -i,tic Clydach, Swansea. It is to be hoped that it will also be taken in hand by a few of the many choral societies of the Rhondda. The composition fully merits it.

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.,-;./,' From Socialism to…

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