EISDELL EXCELLENT IN CYCLES OF SONG
No Finer Presentation Ever Heard Here
By AUGUSTUS BRIDLE
Saddest of all song cycles, "Wenlock Edge," by Vaughan Williams, was sung last night by Hubert Eisdell at Conservatory Hall, with the Conservatory Quartet and Dr. MacMillan for the instrumentation. Eisdell's perfectly lyric tenor voice brought out with startling severity all the tragedy of this absolutely English drama in five song scenes. No finer presentation of this kind has ever been made here.
"Reminds me of the way the great Gervase Elwes used to do it," said a vocal teacher, also from England.
As it happened, it was Elwes who first coached Eisdell on this cycle and who persuaded him to become a singer.
The quartet part, itself a perfect orchestration of lyric tragedy, was played with subtle coloring and picture-emphasis, to the subdued background of the piano.
A Schumann quartet of doubtful distinction except in the last Allegro -- which was played ten times better than the uninspired Adagio -- was balanced on the program by a wonderful tone picture of Hugo Wolf and two atmospheric scenes by Goossens. These short things were exquisitely presented.