Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

9 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Oratorio at Pontygwaith.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

Oratorio at Pontygwaith. Spirited Performance of Judas Maccabseus." On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, two grand performances of Handel's oratorio, "Judas Maccabaeus," were given by the Hermon Choir, under the leader- ship of Mr. Theo. Thomas, L.T.S.O. The presidents were the Rev. Rowland Hughes, B.D., and Dr. Pease, Tylorstown, respec- tively. The artistes were as follow: — Soprano, Madame Mills-Reynolds; con- tralto, Madame B. Evans; tenor, Mr. Todd Jones; bass, Mr. Godfrey Price; accompanist, Mr. C. L. Jones, L.C.M. The orchestra was under the management of Miss Bessie Powell. The oratorio, next to the Messiah," perhaps, is among Handel's best known masterpieces, and just as a person can read a good book, the product of a master mind, several times, and each time dis- cover something fresh and interesting, some new trait or peculiarity in the mind of the author, so it is with the works of the great comnosers. "Judas Macca- ftsaUB" can be heard times in succession, but there is always some new feature coming to light; it is ever fresh to the ears of the listeners. The tyranny of the Jews under Antiochus Epiplianes revived the nation's religious spirit. The people trusted in God Who brought forth the first glimmer of light in Mattathias, the father of five sono. Simon, the counsellor, was one; .Judas Maccabseus, the leader, another. The dawn breaks, but a dark cloud again obscures their hope—Mattathias is dead. The overture gives the key-note to the first part of the book as if describing the feelings of the people at this juncture. The overture is in two parts. The theme of the last movement is taken from an- other part of the work, but in a different mode, which was played with good effect by the orchestra. The oratorio opens with lamentations, Mourn, ye afflicted." It is the cry of an afflicted people, and the choir very successfully succeeded in working out this effect. Each part took up the theme with feeling and expression. The glory of -choral singing is good attack, and it was obvious that this lesson had been well driven home by the conductor in the rehearsals. Following in the same strain are the solos of the Israelitish man and woman and the chorus, For Zion, lamentation make." However, the Prophet sees beyond the sorrow of the people, and knows that not vain is 1 the storm of grief," and that there is One who hears the prayers of the people. Mr. Godfrey Price's rendering of this solo was very good. Madame Mills-Reynolds did great credit to herself in the air, Pious Orgies." A prayerful people is the first step to liberty. A vision, "0 Father, Whose Almighty Power," creates heroic hearts ready to die in the cause of liberty. The opening given to this chorus was excellent, and the piece was well -d1ivered throughout. This vision en- courages the prophet, who calls forth men to battle in "Arm, arm, ye brave." Mr. Godfrey Price was heard to very good effect in this solo, and displayed an inti- mate acquaintance with every note. The flute solo was very effective. The men fall in line, coming in bright array." The first part of the oratorio sets forth the course of events to the end of the leadership of Judas Maccabeus, and the determination of the people to follow in -the strength of God, "resolved to con- quest or a glorious fall." The altos were heard to the best advantage in the last -chorus in part 1, "Hear us, 0 Lord." The rendering of the opening chorus of the second part, which celebrates the victories over Appollonius, and Saron Fallen is the foe "), is decserving, of note. The opening was electrical, and the performance throughout was excellent. Liberty is not yet gained, and the evening is still spent on the field of battle. Again Judas cries Sound an Alarm." This solo was rendered in excellent style by Mr. Todd Jones, and called forth loud ap- plause. Mr. Godfrey Price was heard at his best in the beautiful air, With pious hearts." The people answer to the call with unswerving resolution. We never, never will bow down." This chorus was well rendered, the climax at the end being magnificent. Madame Evans acquitted herself in good style in the duet, Oh 11ever bow we down." The third part sets forth liberty gained. The sanctuary is cleared of the idols, and Jehovah's ceremonies sung, therein. The gladsome people sing praise to their leader in See the Conquering Hero comes." The attack and the blending of voices in this chorus was very marked. The end of each line was well sustained and finished. Owing to shortness of time, portions of the last Dart had to be omitted, and the entertainment closed with a praiseworthy rendering of Sing unto God." Mr. D. Steward Davies sang in a very praiseworthy manner the tenor solo in this chorus. Miss Edwards' ren- dering of Father in Heaven is well -worthy of mention. Though a little nervousness was displayed, ishe accom- plished her task very well indeed. Nothing but praise is due to Mr. Theo. Thomas for his masterful training of the choir, and also to the artistes for the manner in which they acquitted them- selves. In a hall with good acoustic pro- perties, the choir would have been heard to far greater advantage. This success should be an encouragement both to choir and their able conductor in whatever task they take in hand in the future.

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