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Review of the Performance at Birmingham from The Times
Thursday, August 30, 1888.


This evening’s concert may be noticed in a few words. Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Golden Legend has once more attracted the largest audience so far assembled at this festival, and the work was received with every mark of favour.

In all essential parts the performance was laudable, especially as far as it came under the immediate control of the conductor, who is, of course, chiefly responsible for the orchestra and chorus. These did their work in excellent style. Herr Richter had evidently taken every care to make himself acquainted with the music, and to impart his conception to the forces under his command. His reading essentially adhered to the tradition established by the Leeds performance, which took place under the composer’s own direction. In the evening hymn and one or two other instances the tempo was a little slower than usual.

Of the solos Madame Albani and Mr. Lloyd were above all praise, and Madame Trebelli also did the little she has to do in a creditable manner. Signor Foli was less satisfactory, owing probably to indisposition.

Another interesting feature of the concert was Grieg’s overture “’Tis the autumn,” conducted by the composer, who met with a most favourable reception. Next followed the great aria from Fidelio, sung by Miss Anna Williams, and a splendid performance of the Meistersinger overture brought the concert to a close. Not even the sudden extinction of the electric light was able to disconcert the excellent orchestra, which finished the piece by the feeble light of a single gas chandelier.

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