Mr. Burke’s Concert was well attended Tuesday night, and his performances gave great satisfaction to the audience. His execution is vigorous, firm and brilliant; his finish remarkable, and he gives every reason to hope for excellence of the first order from his future years. He has a firm foundation; is full of talent, fresh, clear and energetic; there is nothing to unlearn—and life, if it brings him the experience of thought and passion, will give to his music charms more subtle and penetrating. We should not make this remark if we had not inevitably been reminded by his choice of music of other and maturer geniuses. We agree with Mrs. Malaprop that “comparisons are odorous,” and we were obliged to recall the delicate grace of Artot, and the self-sustained, deeply intellectual style of Vieux-Temps; we heard one of the airs Ole Bull was wont to transfigure into celestial sweetness. We have never heard De Beriot, but suppose from his music that his performance must have an intoxicating richness which we did not feel last night. But the young Chevalier, who chose the same fields where the masters of the lists had won their laurels, should be satisfied if he could, beneath the comparison, still sustain himself and command our admiration. Burke will have a style of his own, and all that is to be wished is that he should develop his peculiar talent to the perfection of which it is capable. He will miss the stimulus of European sympathy where a pure musical atmosphere already exists, but if he does not forgo his present aim and look downward to the bad taste he will so often find in his audiences, he will have a great influence in improving them, and cannot miss his own way to excellence.*
“Mr. Burke’s Concert,” New-York Daily Tribune, 25 December 1845, p. 1.