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An unusually brilliant programme was given by the Symphony Orchestra in Sanders Theatre last evening. It began with Mendelssohn's Overture, "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage." an excellent example of so-called "programme music." The orchestration of this overture is especially notable, solo effects being given to almost all the instruments in the orchestra including a liberal share to the kettle drums.
Mrs. Nikisch was the soloist of the evening. She made a very favorable impression in her first song. "Traumkonig and sein Lieb," by Raff, winning an enthusiastic overture. For her second number she gave three songs by Heuberger, Jensen and Goldmark, respectively, which were so highly appreciated by the audience that Mrs. Nikisch was compelled to sing again. She has beautiful voice, especially in the middle and upper registers. Mr. Nikisch played her accompaniments with rare sympathy and good taste.
The numbers for orchestra, besides the overtures, were, Andantino and Scherzo from Symphony in Friminor by Tschaikowsky, and Symphony in B flat by Schumann. The Andantino of the Tschaikowsky Symphony is somewhat dry and contrapuntal, but the Scherzo, besides being exceedingly musical, is a really wonderful study in orchestration, with its novel pizzicato effect and its contrasts of tone-color between strings and wind.
The concert closed with a masterly reading, and a brilliant performance of Schumann's great Symphony. Throughout the concert, conductor and players seemed in absolute harmony, Mr. Nikisch again showing his eminent fitness for the position which he held.
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