Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

----...--.---NORTH WALES LUNATIC…

CARNARVON BOROUGH MAGISTRATES'…

------,----,,--------! FLINT.…

[No title]

DOLGELLEY.

PERFORMANCE OF HANDEL'S .<…

News
Cite
Share

describe the festivites of the Philistines in Gaza and its neighbourhood. But it has other choruses which are as truly noble and effective as anything that Handel ever wrote. We might mention in this class cO, first created beam,Then round about the starry throne,' 'Fixed in His everlasting seat,' and Let their celestial concerts all unite.' Of a lighter character are Awake the trumpet's iofty sound, To man God's universal law,' To song and dance,' and others. The solos are even better known than the choruses. Total eclipse' is one of the most pathetic airs Handel ever wrote. It is said that Milton was blind when he com- posed the words (the liberetto being taken from Samson Agonistes), and that during the latter years of his life Handel also was afflicted with blindness. At this period of his life, he could never hear Total Jv-li ;»se sung, without bursting into tears. There are other portions of the work with which legends, authentic or otherwise are connec- ted. The boisterous chorus To man God's universal law' the most difficult in the whole work-is said to have been composed under the following (.,ircumstanceA: -The New Woman was net invented during Handel's life time, but that there were women's rights questions discussed by the weaker sex is obvious, else it is not likely that Milton would have composed, or Han- del set to music the following lines :â To man God's universal law Gave pow'r to keep his wife in awe Thus may his life be ne'er dismayed By female usurpation swayed.' The chorus is descriptive of the 'Revolt of man' against feiiiale usurpation,' and it is said that Handel got his ideas for the music through a visitito Billingsgate Fish Market, where 'Female usurpation and 'Man's revolt' could be witnessed at one and the same time, and although the actual words to be heard in Billingsgate are not re- produced, the wrangling, the scolding, and the disputing between the parties is exceed- ingly well portrayed. The reader must pardon this digression. We were about to mention some of the solos which are so well known. In addition to Total Eclipse there is that ever-welcome 'Honour and Arms/ together with Ye men of Gaza,' Return 0 God of Hosts, Let the Bright Seraphim,' the duet Go baffled coward,' and others. The performance on Tuesday night was by a band and chorus of fully one hundred per- formers, assisted by the following vocalists âSoprano. Miss Mary Langdon contralto, Miss Annie Parry tenor, Mr. A. F. Thorn- borough bass, Mr. Fred. Owens. Mr. Horace Haselden led the orchestra, Mr. Alec Bellamy presided at the harmonium, the whole being under the conductorship ot Mr. J. Ll. Williams. The orchestra had been well-selected, and included besides more than the usual com- plement of strings, a flute, two oboes, two clarionets, a bassoon, two horns and a trum- pet. In addition to the professionalists en- gaged, the following amateurs kindly gave their 'assistance:âMessrs. W. H. R. M. Johnson (Mold), E. L. Pugh (Rhyl), E. H. Williams (Mold), L. G. Hall (Rhyl), Sergt. Parcell (Rhyl), and Hugh Moore (Chester). We cannot in the space at our command, give anything like a detailed criticism of the performance; we can only allude to some of its most prominent features. The orchestra opened the performance with a competent rendering of the overture, the last movement (the minuet) being particu- larly pleasing and attractive. It also played the sintonia,' descriptive of the fall of the building upon the heads of the Philistines who had attended in their thousands, and the Dead March.' The latter was the well- known march from Saul,' but which is also incorporated in Samson.' In these, as well as in the accompaniments, they were in splendid tune, and responded well to the beat of the conductor.. Mr. Bellamy performed his trying duties efficiently, in spite of the fact that he was placed in an unsuitable position on the platform.- The quartette of soloists was a capable and suitable one. Miss Mary Langdon has a well-balanced soprano voice, of moderate power, which is excellently cultivated. Her principal solos were 'Ye men of Gaza.' With plaintive voice,' and Let the bright seraphim" She acquitted herself well in the three, but the best, undoubtedly, was the last. The trumpet obligato to this air was beautifully played by Mr. Richardson. Miss Annie Parry bad more to do, but she got through her work in capital fashion. The solo 'Return, 0 God of Hosts,' secured to Miss Parry a well deserved burst of ap- plause, and in the continuation of the same solo with the choir, she was equally sucess- ful. Her other most prominent contribu- tions were The holy one of Israel,' and Ye sons of Israel.' Mr. Thornborough was, un- fortunately, suffering from a cold, but he managed to sing his pal t well, in spite of cold and absence from rehearsal. 'Total Eclipse' was given by him with much feeling, and produced an excellent effect. In the long and heavy solo, Why does the God of Israel sleep,' the effect of the cold was more pronounced, but with the exception of one or two places, he went through it success- fully, and was loudly applauded. In the duet, .r, baffled coward,' he was very suc- cessful, but he was best of all in his last solt), Thus when thersun.' Mr. Fred. Owen had to undertake t-he double part of Manoah the father of Samson, and Harapha, his gigantic foe, but he proved himself equal to the task. His voice is a little rough at times, but he has very good control over it. His first contribution was Thy glorious deeds' of which he gave a careful, and very effec- tive rendering. In Honour and Arms he simply revelled, singing F above, and D octave below with equal ease. He had an enthusiastic reception. He also was suc- cessful in the duet with Mr. Thornborough. Presuming Slave' was given with consider able declamatory power, and in direct con- trast to these, he sang 'How willing my paternal love,'with calm but earnest feel- ing. Of the chorus we do not think we err in stating that it was the best that the society ever had. Of course, it was far from per- fect, and it was not difficult to discover faults, buc the general verdict of the public was, that the choir was in every way excel- lent. The sopranos were bright and respon- sive, whilst the bass was particularly good. The contraltos were also very good, but the tenors were not quite strong enoughHto balance the other voices. The most suc- cessful renderings were those of O, first created beam,' 'Then shall they know,' C Then round about the starry throne,' 'Fixed in His everlasting seat,' 'With thunder armed I Great Dagon has subdued our foe,' and (in spite of a false start) 'Let their celestial concerts.' In the first chorus Awake the trumpet's lofty sound,' the members had not quite warmed to their work. 'To dust his glory' was a fair ren- dering, but more attention to light and shade would h»^9 been an improvement. Tn tbe latest' chorus already alluded to, To ma ?'univI'8al there was not quite thTrteadicsss thftt^^r'lesirable, and the sopranos went sligP'iy astray ouCc01" t-myiee. Hear, Jacob's Gûd:' was, possibly, the leas -.tisfactory rendering, the leads not bein, jiroyeriy taken up and the reading beini sometimes faulty. We have thus alludei to some of the weak points of the chorus, but we must say, that taking the perfor- mance all through the palm of excellence must be given to the choir. Some of the choruses, and especially Fixed in His ever- last-ing scat,' were magnificently sung. There was a very numerous audience, es- pecially in the two most expensive seats, although it is probable that the wintry weather kept a good many away. The general arrangements of the concert were in the hands of Mr. E. J. Swayne, the secretary, who, as usual, spared neither time nor trouble to secure the success of the un- dertaking. -1'1"" _.I> .1

------,----,,--------! FLINT.…