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Review of a Performance from The Times
Thursday, October 6, 1870

Not the least interesting feature of this excellent concert was the Ouvertura di Ballo of Mr. Arthur S. Sullivan, written, it may be remembered, expressly for the last Birmingham Festival, and received at one of the evening concerts with marked and well deserved favour.

Another hearing of this newest effort from the pen of our most promising composer fully justified the impression created by the first. The composition is in some respects unique, each movement being constructed upon a dance measure (polonaisewaltzgalop), and the whole knit together in such wise that we have a consistent and well wrought-out piece, with beginning, middle, and end, symmetrical in form, and amply developed.

Apart from this, however, there is a certain indefinable charm about the Ouvertura di Ballo which maybe described as fairly irresistible. It is full of genuine melody, and the instrumentation is throughout masterly. Weber’s Invitation à la Valse, together with two or three of Auber’s overtures, may stand in our path when about crediting Mr. Sullivan with an idea wholly original in the construction of his overture; but that takes nothing from its merit. A more sparkling and, animated orchestral piece of its kind it would be difficult to name.

The performance by the Crystal Palace band was, as might have been anticipated, splendid; and the new overture was greeted with no less flattering tokens of approval than, scarcely a month previously, had greeted it when performed, under Mr. Sullivan’s own direction, by the magnificent orchestra of the Birmingham Festival.

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