excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 162-3 (316 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 162-3 (316 words)

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Recollections of an old musician

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One experience is worth relating. I had a letter of introduction to Mr. X., a great man of the period, the publisher and editor of the principal Washington newspaper. Calling to see him on the day of the first of our two concerts in the old Willard Hall, I was courteously received, and after I had explained the motive of my call, I expressed the hope that he would send a reporter to the concert that evening so as to have a detailed report in the next morning’s paper, and thus help us to a full house on the second night. The good old gentleman replied that his daughter was the only person whom he could trust to write musical notices for his paper. She was not in very good health, but if she could not attend the concert he would have something written up for the morning’s issue without fail.

The concert attracted a fair attendance, and gave evident pleasure. In next morning’s paper we found the “ something without fail ” in the shape of a glowing article; but,—mirabile dictu!—we were all singers instead of players!—a kind of Hutchinson-family arrangement ; that being the sort of music then most enjoyed by the public.

The notice in question contained ecstatic praise of the soprano, and also of the sympathetic alto, declaring that so good a voice had never before been heard in Washington. The tenor “ had the true timbre of a tenor voice,” —there was no suspicion there of a light baritone. The bass was “ a really organ-like support for the beautiful musical superstructure.” The concert was quite an ideal one, etc.

These are not the exact words, perhaps, but they are the substance of the notice, which I now have, filed away in my treasury of funny happenings.

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excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 162-3 (316 words)


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