[Met Performance] CID:71760
Verdi Requiem Mass {21} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/6/1919.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 6, 1919


Verdi: REQUIEM MASS {21}
Verdi

Soloist.................Rosa Ponselle
Soloist.................Margarete Matzenauer
Soloist.................Charles Hackett
Soloist.................Josť Mardones

Conductor...............Giulio Setti

The Verdi Requiem Mass received one performance this season.

Review of Henry E. Krehbiel in the Tribune:

METROPOLITAN STARS SING VERDI'S "MASS FOR THE DEAD" AT CONCERT

What the musical forces of the Metropolitan Opera Company, that scant receive attention during the season, can do in the higher regions of art when they get an opportunity, was strikingly illustrated at the opera house last night when a choral performance took the place of the usual miscellaneous Sunday night concert. The requiem mass composed by Verdi in memory of Manzoni was sung under the direction of Mr. Setti. It was sung with a fervor and beauty which would have been looked for in vain had the performance been undertaken by any of thee city's choral organizations.

It was not alone the singing of the solo quartet, composed of Miss Ponselle, Madame Matzenauer, Mr. Hackett and Mr. Mardones, which made the performance notable, but also that of the chorus and the playing of the orchestra. Everybody was letter perfect and the spirit of the beautiful work, which seemed to appeal to the singers because of the predominance of the dramatic over the ecclesiastical elements, was eloquently bodied forth in the performance.

The mass is unquestionably an "opera in ecclesiastical vestments," as a German critic once characterized Rossini's "Stabat Mater," but it is a profoundly moving piece of ritual because of its humanism, and there was an expression of devotion in it fervid performance as well as its enthusiastic reception by a stupendous audience.

Messers Gatti and Setti seem to have resolved that a greater artistic glory shall shine from the last concerts than is likely to come from the final operatic representations. On Good Friday afternoon there will be a concert at which Gounod's cantata "Gallia," a missa brevis by Palestrina and Rossini's "Stabat Mater" will be performed. In the cantata Miss Sundelius will sing the solo part, in the "Stabat Mater" the principals will be the admirable artists who sang last night.


Review of Sylvester Rawling in the Evening World:

VERDI'S REQUIEM MASS SPLENDIDLY SUNG UNDER SETTI

Verdi's Requiem Mass, composed in memory of Manzoni, sung at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, was the pre-eminent feature of the weekend in music. Under the direction of Giulio Setti, unrivalled as chorus master and inspiring as conductor; with a quartet of soloists that compared favorably with the best in memory; with the company's chorus, superior to any New York has been privileged to hear save, perhaps, the Mendelssohn Choir of Toronto, which made occasional visits to us before the war; and with an orchestra that could be translated from the opera into a first class Symphony Society, and impressive, illuminative, and beautiful exposition of the devout, if somewhat operatic, work was presented before a crowded audience, with a host of people turned away.

Mr. Setti, like Mr. Toscanini, is not afraid to give free play to his brasses and to his drums, and how valiantly the bass drummer proclaimed his message none who heard him will forget soon. Rosa Ponselle, the soprano of the quartet, made a new revelation of the beauty of her voice and of the exquisiteness of her singing; Margaret Matzenauer, more experienced in this form of musical expression, used her glorious contralto exquisitely; Jose Mardones, the bass, also thoroughly at home in the style, was admirable, and Charles Hackett, the tenor, surprised even his warmest admirers by the ease and distinction and beauty with which he sang the none too easy music that fell to his lot. The chorus, always splendid, excelled itself in its pronouncement of the Sanctus.



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