The last Concert of the season was distinguished by an excellent performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. This differs from the Fifth, only as one star differeth from another in glory. Each contains a world of life and a heaven of thought; each is complete within itself, outshining hope and leaving, for the time, nothing to be desired.—In the Fifth, the strain of thought is rather that of experience, the terrible limitations of destiny and the triumphs of the soul achieved by such searching anguish, such exhausting aspiration as were never elsewhere expressed in any one form of earthly art, and, for ourselves, we should add, not with the same force and depth in all forms extant put together. The spirit of the Seventh is quite different. Its fresh energy and untamed beauty are those of an universe just created. Never has Genius sped on such an unwearied wing. The exquisite modulations of the second movement do but just prepare our mortal hearts to bear the succession of soaring passages in the third. Here is the ardor of flame, without its consuming power; the force is in the unwavering brightness and upward tendency; it is the bliss of glory, and the glory of bliss. Happy they who are born in an age which is hallowed by such fulness of inspiration; happy, if they have ears to hear and souls to adore the divine original of such a flow of light and love and power. The piece by Mendelssohn was very sweet; and Weber’s overture to Oberon is fine, too; but it was difficult to listen to anything else after the symphony.*
“Philharmonic Concert on Saturday. . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 22 April 1845, p. 2.