From the Free Trade Hall, Manchester
S.B. from Manchester
THE HALLÉ ORCHESTRA
Conducted by Sm HAMILTON HARTY
ALFRED BARKER (Violin)
UNLESS an orchestra plays with real zest and gusto, it cannot, hope to interest its audience.
Within limits there is more real pleasure in hearing a pretty bad orchestra which is enjoying itself, than a first-rate one which is bored. But when a team of front-rank players, one which really is a team and not a meeting, plays, under an inspired conductor, as though music were the one thing in the world which mattered, then the listener enjoys the best that art can offer him. That is one vital factor in the success of the Halle and Sir Hamilton Harty.
; But, in a way of its own, this Pension Fund Concert is a real festivity for the orchestra, an: evening with something of the ' last day of term ' atmosphere about it, in which conductor, players, ; and audience all may share. And the programme is an almost wholly joyous one. From the irresistible gaiety of Figaro to the Mastersingers' pomp and dignity, the only hints of gloom or, grieving are the despairing end of Don Juan richly-earned, poor, crazy mortal that he was
. and the Lament of his own which the orchestra's principal violoncellist plays. The violoncello, to be sure, enjoys making a luxury of grief, and in this case proposes to banish it immediately with light-hearted notes of Sir Hamilton's. Several of the other principals have good innings ; the leader, the harpist, the players of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn are all to be heard in music which takes the audience more happily into their confidence than the usual orchestral programme may do.
Still more in holiday mood is a duct for two double basses.
Butt though he is of many orchestral jests, even the double-bass, can produce real music, and a duet for two could be either melodious or mirth-provoking at the will of the composer and the players. Bottesini, the composer of this piece, was, of course, 0 regular wizard of the double-bass, who could win from his instrument almost violin-like effects.
Tonight's programme includes, besides, such ever-green favourite music as the 06eron Overture, two Brahms Hungarian Dances, and the three best-known numbers from Berlioz' Faust—all music which the orchestra could play without opening the band parts on the desks, which Sir Hamilton could write out again if the scores were lost. And he himself will play all the pianoforte parts and accompaniments; how well ho does that cannot bo said in our prosaic tongue, nor, indeed, in any terms of moderate language.
Let us borrow a phrase from
William Byrd , and say that Sir Hamilton Harty and the Halle Orchestra are ' At Home ' this evening ' to all such as delight in Musicke.'