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A REVIEW OF THE MUSIC AT THE…

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A REVIEW OF THE MUSIC AT THE ALBERT HALL EISTEDDFOD. By Vincent Thomas. Adjudicators —Dr. Henry Coward, Mr. Emlyn Evans and Mr. D. C. Williams. From a musical point of view the Eisteddfod last Thursday was a distinct success. That the Welsh in London have lost neither zeal for, nor interest in, this annual gathering was evident enough; yet, large as the audience certainly was, the number of empty boxes and stalls gave one the impression that the vast hall was too large even for an Eisteddfod, and one almost wished to be back in the more familiar quarters at the Queen's Hall. During the evening I found myself wondering whether the folks in the balconies and galleries could hear distinctly enough it is so necessary to be able to follow everything in a competitive meeting. The vast distances, the echoes and the imperfect acoustic properties interfered with that intimacy between platform and auditorium which is necessary for complete enjoyment of the pro- ceedings. This was very noticeable during the pianoforte solo competition the great organ, skilfully manipulated by Mr. Merlin Morgan, domina- ted the place by its strength and body of tone, but after it came the faint tinkle of the piano. Only ihose in the immediate vicinity of the instrument could really form a judg- ment as to the respective merits of the com- petitors. Three contested, each one displaying considerable technique, the prize falling to Miss Alice Edwards, of Forest Gate. The decision was made known by Mr. D. C. Williams in a few well chosen words. The test piece for the contralto solo com- petition was Mr. Emlyn Evans's song, Lord of the Fatherless." Three yourg singers of comparatively equal ability sang, and Dr. Coward, who assured us that the composer agreed with his own views, awarded the prize to Miss Margaret Sandbrook, tirifFithstown. That the art of singing duetts was not by any means a lost one was clearly demonstrated in the next item. Two pairs of singers delivered Gabussi's Fishermen" excellently. The points appeared to have been intelligently studied, the voices blended well, and in both cases there was evidence that each man was in accord with his colleague. Mr. Emlyn Evans gave judgment in favour of George T. Foxon and Cecil Best, although it must have been dis- appointing to the other pair, who had voices of quite exceptional quality which they certainly knew how to blend.

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