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"Elijah" at I r c P, y.


"Elijah" at I r c P, y. New Society's Great Success. [By Our Musical Critic.] Although Mardy is by no means an ideal spot to visit, especially during the wild wintry weather we have lately ex- perienced, yet a visit there on Saturday last to attend the first performance. of the newly formed Musical Tuition Society more than compensated anyone for any inconvenience experienced. It is not often that a. choral society under- takes to give a performance of Mendel- I,NNW'" m. EOS DAR. ssolm s Elijah as their first effort, but the members no doubt had every confi- dence. in their conductor, Mr. Gwilym Lewis, headmaster of the local Boys' School; and, indeed, the result quite justified the selection. Oratorio singing has wonderfully improved during the pre- sent season, and with the addition of this latest Tuition Society to the societies already existing in the Rlionddas, we can hopefully look forward to great things in the future. Nothing was spared to make the con- certs in every way successful. The quartet of principal soloists were capable Mr. GWILYM LEWIS, Conductor. artistes. The part of "Elijah," upon whom most of the'dramatic interest of the work is centred, was entrusted to Mr. Ivor Foster, the others being:—■ Soprano, Madame Mills Reynolds, L.R.A.M. contralto, Miss Mary Rich- ards, Rhymney; tenor, Mr. Llew. Jones, Aberdare; "Youth," Master Trevor Watkins, Ystrad. A strong and efficient orchestra, had also been engaged, Mr. Arthur Angle being leader. In criticising the performance, one naturally deals first with the chorus. Here one heard one of the best balanced choirs of the season, although the bass were not quite powerful enough for the Mr. ALFRED EVANS. Secretary. other three parts. The voices were of quite a good quality, especially the tenors, undoubtedly the finest of the season. All sang with an enthusiasm that was refreshing and quite contagious. Great pains must surely have been taken to render the difficult music even correctly, apart from the dramatic element required. The chief fault—and, of course, the mem- bers will certainly wish to know their shortcomings as well as their excellencies —was the inability to sing a piano pas- sage. Not once did we get a real piano effect, and the beauty of some portions of the choruses was lost thereby. This can easily be remedied, and no doubt will. The great choruses, Thanks be to God and Be not afraid," were thoroughly well sun, the rail, at the clqs-e of the latter being, an effective innovation of the conductor. The weakness of the bass was particularly felt in "Thnnks he to God." Of the artistes, Mr. Ivor Foster must once more be presented the laurel wreath. He has evidently made n care- ful study of the part, and con sequent! v his singing throughout was intelligent aDd much admired. It is enough" was a very fine effort, the 'cello playing of Mr. Waterman, Cardiff, being very good. Madame Mills-Reynolds was. also quite a success. Although not entailing such great demands on the voice as the bari- tone, still Mendelssohn has written some heavy work for the soprano soloist. Of cotar.se, the great test is Hear ye. Israel," and here we hacl Madame Reynolds' best rendering. Although not the Of a voice of great compass. yet the best possible use was made of a voice of rich quality. We also had splen- did enunciation, good phrasing and creditable expression. Miss Mary Rich- ards seemed incapable of filling the hall. One has heard her to better advantage. Hei' best rendering was 0 rest in the Lord." Mr. Llewellyn Jones, a, National Eisteddfod winner, has a very good top Councillor H. E. MALTBY, Chairman of Committee. register, which was much admired in •' Then shall the righteous." Master Trevor Watkins was given too little to do. It is a great pity that one of the lesser soprano solos was not allotted to him. What he had to get through was very well done. The double quartet sing- ing by members of the choir was quite a feature of the performance, the first sopranos especially being good. The playing of the orchestra—some 28 in number—was quite satisfactory. Greater demands are made on the skill of the performers in this work than in any of Handel's, the string parts espe- cially being more difficult. So an efficient hand is absolutely necessary, and here wo had one. The success of Mr. Lewis as conductor was immediate and complete. Conduct- ing from a full-score copy, which he evidently understood, unlike some of our conductors who use one merely for show he had all the forces under control, always calling up an instrument or voicje when required. It is to be hoped that the Mardy Tuition Society will continue as they have begun. They have a thorough musician Mr. T. E. RICHARDS, M.E., Organist. i to take them in hand, and it behoves all to he loyal to him, and aid him in his efforts. The first concerts were in every wav successful, and my thanks are due to the committee for the hearty invitation to attend.






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