Sousa Warmly Greeted

H.L. Mencken

Baltimore Morning Herald/April 21, 1899

The “March King’s” Classical and Popular Renditions Enthusiastically Received.

Sousa’s concert at Music Hall last night was but another addition to the long series of triumphs which in unbroken line have marked his past visits to Baltimore, and leader, band and soloists were greeted in the usual enthusiastic manner. The audience was a typical assemblage of Sousa admirers.

Although the classical numbers were liberally applauded, it was evident that the applause was intended less as a tribute to the selection played than as a demand for a swinging Sousa encore. The “March King” was obliging, and cheerfully descended from “Siegfried” to an eccentric arrangement of the song which tells of the old town’s hot time. He seemed to lead in a more natural and unaffected way than is his habit, and the grotesque, though graceful, mannerisms, which were formerly such a characteristic feature of his conducting, were noticeably absent.

The programme’s chief feature, of course, was his new work, “Hands Across the Sea.” This melodious composition is dedicated to the friends of America in every nation, and has, as a motto, the quotation, “A sudden thought strikes me—let us swear an eternal friendship.” In its stirring, singing rhythm and catchy melody it is like Sousa’s other marches, and will, no doubt, become equally as popular. The audience last night received it with unbounded enthusiasm, and the band was compelled to repeat it again and again.

Another new Sousa composition performed was a hymn for solo and quartette, being a musical setting to the well-known poem of William Knox, beginning “Oh! Why Should the Spirit of Mortal Be Proud?” It was sung by Mme. Juliette Corden, soprano; Miss Bessie Bonsal, contralto; Mr. George Leon Moore, tenor, and Mr. Leland H. Langley, basso. Mme. Cordon also sang, as a solo, Micaela’s aria from “Carmen.”

The playing of Sada, the young violin soloist, was remarkable for the unusual mastery of technique she exhibited. Her interpretation of Savasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” was sympathetic and intelligent, and at the same time free from many of the faults which mar the work of older and more experienced artists.

Other numbers on the programme were Strauss the waltz king’s “Beautiful Blue Danube Waltzes”; variations on the Welsh song “Jenny Jones”; Carlini’s tone-picture, “At Midnight,” introducing “Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming”; an antique dance from “Anne Boleyn”; a new overture by Kling, entitled “The Warrior’s Fete”; excerpts from Wagner’s “Siegfried” and Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody.

The Joseffy Recital.

Another musical event of the season will be the recital by Rafael Joseffy at Ford’s Opera House this afternoon. It has been some time since this virtuoso has been heard in this city, and after the appearance here of so many artists of similar character this season it will be interesting to note how Joseffy compares with his many cotemporaries in the pianistic realm. He has selected a varied programme of standard compositions, and being extremely original in manner of interpretation, as well as conscientious in effort, his performance can hardly be other than instructive and edifying to the local admirers of artistic pianoforte methods. The recital begins at 3 P.M., and will undoubtedly prove most enjoyable in every particular.


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