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Review of a Performance from The Times
Friday, September 6, 1889.
 
GLOUCESTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
(excerpt)

GLOUCESTER, SEPT. 5

The Shire-hall was, of course, crowded to overflowing this evening for The Golden Legend, in which Madame Albani and Mr. Lloyd sang the parts created by them three years ago at Leeds, and Miss Hilda Wilson and Mr. Brereton completed the quartet of soloists. The last-named singer is particularly successful in the enormously difficult number in which Lucifer has to sing what may almost be reckoned as a “patter” song against the overpowering accompaniment of the brass instruments. The singer’s distinct enunciation and his powerful voice are of inestimable value in a case like this. A better Ursula than Miss Wilson has not been heard. She fully deserved the plaudits she received after “Virgin who lovest.”

The choir sang as if it were the first day of the festival instead of the third. The male voices were superb in “Nocte surgentes,” though the Latin pronunciation was not immaculate. At the beginning of “The night is calm,” the conductor had some difficulty in inducing the singers to rise; but once on their feet they did valiantly, and on the whole it is not too much to say that a finer performance has scarcely been given, of course with the exception of the original production at Leeds three years ago.

Sir Arthur Sullivan was cheered to the echo at his appearance in the conductor’s desk, and again at the conclusion of the work and of a day which had exhibited his remarkable powers as a composer in the most favourable light. [Note: – The Prodigal Son was perfromed earlier in the day in the cathedral.]


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