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The last concert of the series in Sanders Theatre last evening attracted the largest audience of the season. The programs of Mr. Nikisch have been of even excellence throughout and under his leadership the popularity of the orchestra in Cambridge has steadily increased.
The Symphony in E flat of Mozart and Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" are quite alike from a technical point of view. They both have perfection of form and a wealth of melody, but Mozart thereby gives expression to his joyfulness and power in contrast to the tender and appealing character of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" It is a relief to turn from the labored and obscure music of Wagner and the more modern school to these examples of perfect form, and beauty combined. The work of the orchestra was with out criticism in these numbers.
The soloist, Miss Rose Stewart, has a sophrano voice of medium range, rather flexible, but of little power. The fine acoustics of Sanders helped to overcome this defect. On the whole Miss Stewart was not up to the average of symphony soloists. She was most successful in the Mad Song from "Hamlet" which displayed the powers of her voice to best advantage. The music of this "Scene," however, is hardly up to the level of Shakespeare. The set of Persian Love Songs by Rubinstein would have had a better effect in a smaller auditorium. Weber's "Freischuetz" overture made a fitting end and climax to the evening's music. Here the orchestra was again effective and vigorous.
The whole program was a fine example of what is really admirable in form and in the capabilities of musical expression which make one wish that rising composers would strive after clearness and simplicity of form as well as new and startling effects of orchestration.
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