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grand Organ Recital at the…


grand Organ Recital at the Christian T empl, Ammanford On New Year' s evening, the public of Ammanford and district were given a rare musical treat at the Christian Temple, when the great English organist, Mr. J. A. Meale, of the Central Hall, Westminster, Londcn. gave a recital on the organ. He was assisted as vocalists by rvbs EJÙ Thurston, soprano, of Queen' s Hall and Albert Hall Concerts: and Mr. David Evaais, the well-known Welsh baritone. The large audience which filled the edifice were richly rewarded for their presence by the munificent performance given by Mr. Meale ,_Dd the vocal artistes. The music was such ai- appealed to the audi- erce, and it possessed a charming sweetness which did not fail to win appreciation. It is well known that the inhabitants of Amman- ford and district are lovers of good music, and the manner in which the music contri- buted at this concert appealed to, and was appreciated by, the audience indicated very distinctly that they had not lost any of their affection for musical feasts of such a high standard. The chair was occupied by Mr. John Lloyd, Hillside, and in the course of his opening remarks he said that he appreciated the honour of presiding over that fine assembly of musicians and music-lovers. He welcomed the occasion to greet them one and all with his sincerest wishes for a happy New Year. Not only were we beginning a new year, but we were also on the verge of a new era in the political and commercial worlds, and also in the intellectual, moral and religious worlds. We would have to quit ourselves like men, in view of our new duties and responsibilities. The glorious victory achieved by the Allies in the cause of humanity will not have reached its u ltimate object until such a peace has been established that nothing again can disturb the nations of the world i. their higher aspirations towards the realisation of a more secure and happy life. Science of late had played a con- spicuous part on land, in the air, on the sea and in the sea, mainly through the agency of powerf ul engines of destruction. Now, let this be turned into the channel of construc- tion, and given the full opportunity of being the means of producing rich gifts for im. proving the conditions of mankind. The golden art of music also plays an important part In the no b ler an d h,* part in the nobler and higher life, having such an influence upon us that our thoughts are far above any expression in words, as if carried away to a region sublime, and ourharts stirred to their utmost depths. It is infinitely more than the vibrations in the atmosphere, or the sound of the roaring sea, or the whisper- ing winds through the trees. These get ex- hausted. Music is some eternal beauty of sound, endless in its influence on the mind of man, and the incomparable means of a blessed communion between earth and heaven. (Ap- plause) The programme opened with Prelude and Fugue in D Major by Mr. Meale, which was excellently rendered and well received. Mr. David Evans next sang (a) After," (b) Sonny," in brilliant style, and was loudly applauded after which Mr. Meale played (a) The Magic Harp, (b) Adeste Fideles," and (c) Piece Charac- terisque," for which he was encored and re sponded with a charming little piece. Miss Elsie Thurston's initial song was Elizabeth s I ,a b et h' s Prayer, and her rendering was such that the audience insisted on an encore, to which the artiste responded. The Overture to "Oberon" was next played by the organist, and this item again was well received. Miss Thurston and Mr. David Evans rendered the duet, What have I to do with? in magnificent style, and in response to a vociferous encore gave In the Springtime." What was undoubtedly one of the tit-bits of the evening was the Tone Poem, Finlandia," on the organ, this solo giving a realistic representation of the northern climes, where gloom supervenes, relieved by fitful gleams of sunlight. This was excep- tionally well played, and offered Mr. Meale plenty of scope to shew his undoubted ability. The song, A Prayer for Freedom," .by Mr. David Evans, was finely rendered, and the artiste had to respond to the demands for an encore. The organ solos, (a) Melodie D Amour," (a) Concert Scherzo," were quite up to the standard of the previous pieces, the latter bubbling over with caprice and playfulness. Miss Elsie Thurston gave a dramatic rndition of Ocean! thou mighty Monster, and again had to respond to an encore. The final item was the organ solo, In Peril on the Sea, in which were por- j trayed a calm, portents of coming storm, the sailors' prayer, storm bursting in fury and passing away, and a thanksgiving hymn. This item was really fine, and the storm effects were most realistic. The organist was loudly applauded, and had to respond. The organist proved himself to be an artiste of exceptional ability, and his manipulation of the big instrument was a revelation to the audience. Indeed, we may safely say that there were many present who had no idea of the capabilities of the organ and had never dreamt it was possible to get such effects as were produced by Mr. Meale. We should say that a return visit of this distinguished organist would be a draw at some future date. The soprano, Miss Elsie Thurston, made her first appearance before an Ammanford audience, and judging by the reception accorded her we should say that she is likely to be heard again in the town. She possesses an extremely fine voice of good range, and her articulation was perfect. Mr. David Evans, the baritone. though not having been heard in the district of late years, is well known to local music- lovers. He possesses a voice of rich tone, and his renditions were marked by true artistic temperament. In one of his encore songs, in Welsh, his enunciation was parti- cularly good, and he undoubtedly made a good impression. The Rev. D. Tegfän Davies proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the organist, and the artistes, and Mr. D. Jones (iron- monger) seconded. Mr. Meale returned thanks, and said that the authorities of Christian Temple were to be complimented on having had the foresight to secure their organ from one of the best firms of organ builders in the country. He was loud in his praises of the organ, and thought that for its size it was equal to anything he had played on. The proceeds were in aid of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Fund in connection with Christian Temple. Great praise is due to the promoters of the event, as they succeeded in providing » what proved to be one of the finest concerts held in the town.

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