|Sullivan > Major Works > The Golden Legend > Albert Hall 1905
One thing stood out very prominently in the admirable performance given last night in the Albert-hall by the Royal Choral Society of Sir Charles Stanford’s ballad The Revenge – namely, the superbly clear and emphatic enunciation of the text by the chorus…
After The Revenge followed Sullivan’s The Golden Legend, a work that shows small signs of faded beauty, though it has been shelved in London for the last three or four years. In spite of this shelving during a period in which musical matters have moved rapidly here, the work can still be listened to with as much pleasure as before by those who liked it in its early years. Again the chorus sang very finely, though it may be recorded no repetition was demanded of “O Gladsome Light,” as was invariably the custom. This, by the way, may be because of the growth of taste, which is one of the musical matters referred to above.
An excellent cast of soloists appeared, led by Mr. Ben Davies, the only one of the old cast, but though he sang finely more than once he was not in his best voice. Nor was Miss Gleeson White, the soprano, who, though she sings with great refinement, yet makes the music sound much more difficult than it is. Mr. Dalton Baker’s voice seemed hardly to carry so far as when a month ago he sang Elijah in the same hall, but his singing, too, was admirable. The greatest success, however, was made by Miss Emily Foxcroft, whose beautiful mezzo-soprano voice and dignified style were splendidly suited by the part of Ursula. A tendency on the conductor’s part to hurry rather spoilt the introduction to the second scene, but Miss Foxcroft sang very finely, and Sir Frederick Bridge conducted a performance that was a good deal above the average in excellence.
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