This musical entertainment was of more sustained merit, both as to the choice of music and its performance, than any we have attended this winter. Pieo sang well, though she gains much from the continuous interest of an opera, both as to the point of view of the audience, and because she is herself excited to more flow and fullness when engaged in a part. It is rarely that a singer, called forward once or twice in an evening to sing some air, detached from the work which sustained it, gets warmed to a full exertion of power. The choruses were only tolerably sung, and formed the only indifferent part of the entertainment.¬—The Der Freyschutz overture was so well played as to show its beauty. “Fingal’s Cave” is a piece delightful to hear, for the first time, from its obvious harmony, and clear expression: we doubted its power to fix the affections long.—Groenveld’s clarionet was beautifully played.—Scharfenberg sustained his high reputation for delicacy and precision of touch, and elegance of style. The Symphony we expected to hear snore adequately performed. There was a want of fire and energy; the exquisite touches of grief and doubt were not so finely marked as to give due relief to the grand triumphal sweeps of sound. We have never yet really heard this Symphony embodied, but only so sketched in the performance as to give an idea of its miraculous grandeur and range of expression.—We had hoped this time to really hear it, but were disappointed. However, enough was done to give great happiness to all who are not descendants of King Midas. Many, feeling that they did not wish to hear the greatest performance of the evening, went out before the Symphony began. We admired their decision and frankness, and only wished they had taken with them a few like-minded who had the ill breeding to stay behind and talk. We need a musical police, to cry, as they do abroad, “To the door,” to those who show no respect on such occasions to the feelings of others. A concert is, at best, but a barbarous entertainment, and, fifty years hence, people will wonder that we could be induced an olla podrida of such incongruous materials as are often served up; but when to this torment of being forced to listen to poor things for the sake of good ones—a Jew’s harp alternating with an angel’s lute—we are expected to hear rude voices and foolish dialogue rising above all the sound that an orchestra of sixty musicians can bring out, it is hard to believe we are in the midst of the good society of a Great Metropolis.*
“Concert by the German Society.” New-York Daily Tribune, 10 March 1845, p. 2.