After an unusual dearth of good music we suffer this week from the “embarrassment of riches,” Heinrick’s Concert will elicit a great deal of sympathy. Noronha comes to us with all the interest of romance and novelty. Pico is endeared, more than almost any other signer, to the New-York audience, who expects to hear her voice, now, developed and cultivated to still greater beauty than when she charmed them in “Semiramide.” There is almost too great a variety of excitements offered for the evenings of one mortal week.
Still, amid all these claims, there comes one, a stranger among us, but who has been listened to with so invariable and profound a delight in private, that he cannot fail to secure an extensive hearing from the public and it is all he needs. To hear is not merely to admire but to be roused to transports of sympathy and love. Mr. Walker possesses one of those exquisite organizations, all melody, capable as the Eolian of catching the lightest breath of feeling, secure of an echo wherever the heart of the hearer has so much as one or two strings. His performances are full of sweetness and energy of soul, expressed with a freedom, force and finish almost beyond compare. He is one of Nature’s Artists; the schools might help to unfold his talent to the light of day, but it lay, full grown, within his organization. There is no vulgar force, no trick, no tampering, no groping, no show off: It is all music and his hand is as sure an exponent to his meaning as the throat of the nightingale to her’s. The Harmonic Attachment seems necessary to give the due effect to his playing, and adds the needed climax to the powers of one of the sweetest instruments we ever heard, lately made for him by Chickering, but it seems as if it would hardly answer so spiritually to any other touch.
In short, we are delighted;—just as every one has been that has heard this Pianist. He needs no herald, no harbinger to explain his merits, we are sure they will be felt by all who hear him, and can only as of all who like such things, as the birds and flowers of this season, to become acquainted with this ornament of Spring, also. We hope he will play “Les Hirondelles,” a composition of his own, in which he says, he describes to himself the frolics of children in the woods and fields on a May day—fields full of little rills, making green the grass. Across those dancing streams they jump in search of flowers, and lo! the golden buttercups and violets white and blue;—it is the song of the season. Alas! that one such Swallow cannot make a summer. She must submit to be ushered in by duller birds.*
“Mr. Walker’s Concert.” New-York Daily Tribune, 4 May 1846, p. 2.