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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 15, 1948, Image 18

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1948-10-15/ed-1/seq-18/

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Orchestra Plays With Notable
Finesse in Auspicious Opening
ly Alice tversmaa
One of the moat auspicious sea
son-openings of the-National Sym
phony took place last night in-Con
stitution Hall, where a capacity
audience warmly greeted Dr. Hans
Kindler when he came to the podium
to conduct. Besides starting the
Wednesday night aeries—albeit on
another day—the concert had sev
eral particular points of interest.
There was, first and foremost, the
appearance of Frits Kreisler as
so'oist, who was given a vstanding
ovation by the public and the
orchestra members of some dura
tion. A work by the Danish com
poser, Knudage Riisager, had Ks
American premiere and 8ibelius'
“Symphony No. l”-was heard again
after a two years’ silence.
Although new faces are to be
seen among the orchestra person
nel, and the beginning of a season
means first the welding of the di
verse talent into a smooth-working
ensemble, the orchestra played with
notable finesse. It- has a firm- yet
mellow sonority and already a plia
bility that presages fine interpretive
work throughout the winter. This
group of players that belongs to
Washington starts its 18th year a
wall-integrated, musically knowing
unit with a solid block of artists,
members for many seasons, as its
keystone. Dr. Kindftr can be satis
led that, in the comparatively short
preparation time for Ihis concert,
his intentions and his musical feel
ing could be set forth in so polished
a manner.
The reception accoraea Mr. ivreis
ler when he took his . place for the
performance of Mendelssohn’s vio
lin concerto must surely have
warmed his heart. Despite the fact
that such a reception is no novelty
to him, its spontaneity and genuine
ness eould not leave him unmoved.
It may have had a somewhat un
nerving •Sect, for the great and
pooular artist did not reach his well
known stride fully until the second
movement. A wrong turn in the
final measures of the first movement
caused the climax to suffer, but in
a hardly noticeable dray. As soon as
the andante was reached, the lovely
Kreisler tone filled the hell and
tha unmatehable Kreisler sense of
rhythm shone in the concluding
allegro. There were tome lapses
from pitch, but what does that
really matter when there la ao much
sheer beauty of aound and so many
artistic means of pointing up a
phrase? The Mendelssohn concerto
has been given countless polished
and unpolished deliveries, yet the
Kreisler touch cannot be equaled.
The ending, with the orchestra
urged on to a fiery finish by the
soloist, was the signal for an out
break of applause that continued
long. It was Mr. Kreisler’s only
appearance here this season and
the audience was loath to let him go.
So strong was the wild and ele
mental atmosphere of the north
created by the Sibelius and the
Riisager works that it overshadowed
the refhied Purcell “Suite” and the
"Three Romanian Dances” by Bar
tok, with which the orchestral part
of the program began and ended.
Hie primeval strength of Sibelius’
"Piret Symphony” is still awesome,
although Its speech la now familiar
and It is relieved, unlike his later
symphonies, by obeisances to other.
SV&aSaNW
a depth is touched never sought by
any other composer. There Is na
ture and mystery, old. legends, fierce
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[ emotions, the freshness of the forest
land oasis of gentle beauty. Fury
and clashing of sound and sweet
melodies contrast with a suddenness
that overwhelms.
Rlisager’s “Quarrtsiluni” has some
i thing of this same primitive power.
; Based on an Eskimo legend, its
j title means the silent waiting from
which “holy songs arise.” A soft
drum-beat indicates the pulse of
this silence, into which faint stir
rings awaken growing more cohe
rent until the song is bom. Where
as, in Sibelius, the forces of nature
take precedent, in “Quarrtsiluni” it
is the soul. The composer has caught
the psychological factor with extra
ordinary, skill and with keen sensi
tiveness for minute descriptive pos
sibilities in the orchestral body, has
done a remarkable bit of tone paint
ing. A short work, its character,
as reflecting the vision and the tech
nical originality of the composer,
makes it worthy to stand beside
the more imposing symphony of the
Finnish master.
The unfolding of “Quarrtsiluni”
was splendidly accomplished by Dr.
Kindler In an impressive reading.
If the wildness of Sibelius’ sym
phony was somewhat tamed in last
night’s performance, and 11 the mo
mentum wsj not strongly stressed,
there were compensations in the
finely wrought detail, the balance
p1 color and the brilliance of cli
max. Dr. Klndler’s beautiful pre
sentation of Coates’ arrangement of
Purcell’s music, however, was the
gem of the evening and it started
the enthusiastic , applause (hat
! awarded the conductor and his men
| after each number.
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