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THE fact that an entertainment can be given with pecuniary success without a public sale of tickets was clearly proved at the annual Spring Concert given by the Pierian Sodality and the Glee Club in Lyceum Hall on last Monday evening; for the audience was as large as ever, and far more demonstrative. It is possible that the applause was so frequent because there were more personal friends of the performers present than usual, but I am inclined to think that the excellence of the performances themselves was enough to produce this result. The general opinion is that this was one of the best concerts given by the societies. The selections were varied in character, and ranged from the simple melodies of Haydn to the noble harmonies of Wagner. One thing which noticeably contributed to the success of the concert was the great care which was shown, every one doing his best.
The best effort of the Pierian was the "Blumenlied" by Lange, which was played with feeling, and with due regard to expression. If they applied themselves more to music of this description, they would have more uniform success; for, while the movement from the Haydn Symphony was played well, still there was an unsteadiness in some parts, which proved them amateurs, which one would hardly have thought had he heard them play only the Blumenlied.
The Mendellssohn Trio for violin, 'cello, and piano was rendered in a manner worthy of professional musicians. The gentlemen should have provided for an encore, as the repetition of the whole piece was rather tiresome. The march, which was the last instrumental number on the programme, showed to advantage the excellent training the society has had as to time.
The most taking thing sung by the Glee Club was "The Three Glasses," by Fischer. It is a bright, sparkling glee, and was given with great vim. It may be well to state that the bunch of grapes following this piece was put there by the printer for ornament, with no reference to what preceded. "The Water Lily" and "Spring's Return" were sung fairly. The crescendo and diminuendo passages were well given, but in piano the 2d bass was too loud several times. The "Chorus of Pilgrims," from Tannhauser, was given with grand effect. Considering the difficulties which lie in the middle of this piece, consisting of accidentals, naturals, and other terrors, the Club deserve great credit for their fine rendering. A charming old English ballad received an intelligent interpretation. "The Violet" of Mozart was well rendered as an encore. The fact is, encores seemed to be the order of the evening, though it is hard to see how there could be much enthusiasm in so poorly ventilated a hall.
The College songs were venerable, but as they were given more vigorously than is usual, were received with great favor, - sufficient, at least, to prove that they ought never to be omitted. They closed the concert, which had been made very long by the persistent encoring.
THE vocal entertainment given at the Cambridge Conservatory of Music on the evening of March 4, by Mr. George Lyon, Jr., and Mr. D. M. Babcock, may be considered as a decided success. The programme for the evening was of unusual length, replete with excellent selections, all of which were well delivered and much appreciated by the audience. Among the selections by Mr. Lyon were: Tennyson's Lady Clare, Poe's Bells, The Maniac, Little Jim, and others. His delivery of Tennyson's Lady Clare was excellent, and served well to illustrate his powers in that style of reading. Poe's Bells, however, was by all odds his best delivered and most appreciated selection. His manner of imitating the sound of bells was strikingly original and natural in its effect, and his delivery of the piece as a whole can hardly be too highly praised. In the Quarrel of Brutus and Cassius Mr. Lyon was assisted by Mr. C. H. Kloman, who, judging from the manner in which he rendered his lines, fully understood how Cassius should be represented. This selection received an encore, the audience evidently desiring to hear more from Mr. Kloman. in response to which a short continuation of the same was given.
Mr. Babcock unfortunately was not in his best voice, having suffered from a severe cold for some days, and it was with great reluctance that he was induced to appear at all. His voice, however, proved to be in better condition than he imagined, and his first solo, "King Macbeth," was hardly below his average. During the evening he delivered an aria from Don Giovanni and several other excellent selections, all of which were warmly received by the audience. His solo from Don Giovanni is especially worthy of praise, and was on this occasion as well delivered as we have ever heard it on the amateur stage.
That the audience was not a large one is probably due to the fact that there were two other performances of superior attractions taking place in the city on the same evening. However, what the audience lacked in numbers it more than made up in appreciation.
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