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It is to be regretted that, despito the ex- tremely miscellaneous nature of their pro- gramme on Saturday, Mr. Edward Branscombo and his "Westminster Gleo Singers did uot think fit to wnndor from the track" that has boon worn to powder in our Sydney concert halls, and that they too ostontattously emphasised the "fooling" connected with their lighter songs. There can be no two opinions as to tho intrinsic worth of this body of slngorB. The exquisito hnlunco and proportion of their ensembles, tho unfailing accuracy with which they kept together aud maintained corroct pitch, and tho ease and purity of their pro- duction, bespoko a painstakingly iulouso tralulng. Neither can there bo any question of their popularity with tho audlencos which crowdod the Town Hall, both at tho aftornoon and ovonlng performances. . ยป

Mr. Branscombo has swept' away tho stiff formalities of tho concert platform. Tho choir seats woro hidden by n screen of brown material, and tho "stage" thus created fur- nished with lounge chairs and cushions to Buggost a drawing-room, in which the chorol ists groupod thomsolvcs as occasion de- manded. Another innovation-at least for this class of musical entortalnmont-was tho Introduction of coloured spotlights, directed upon tho singers from tho onstorn gallery.

The first composition which called tho whola band on to tho stago togother was Sir Henry Bishop's "Oh, by Hivers." The crlBp precision of attack, tho clearness of the pian- issimo pnssngos, and tho ringing sweetness with which Muster Edmund Walter's soprano was employed, made this gloo ono of tho most impressive ovonts of tho evening. The slx toonth-contury purt-song, "It was a Lover and his Lass," was plensantly animated, and a now arrangement of "Tho Bells of St. Michael's Towor" afforded a llfo-liko imitation of tho roverboratloua from tonguos of iron. A cycle of Scottish songB, arranged by Mr. Branscombo, was remarkable for tho certainty with which tho transition was mado. from one koy to another without n preliminary "taking the noto"-an artificial aid which WBB dis- pensed with throughout tho wholo programme.

Tho gentlemen woro heard alone in "Tnlto Thy Banner" (Coward); "Tho Banks of Allan Wator," with a tender blending of tho voleos; and "Would you know my Colla's Charms?" (Samuol Wobbo), in which tho spirited con- troversy concerning the lady's ago was em- bellished with broadly humorous nctlon. Among tho soloists, Mr. Alfred Cunningham was outstanding by reason of tho fine vigour which ho instilled Intr "The Yoomon of Eng- land." Ho was forced to givo two encores the Toroador song from "Carmen," and "Land of Hopo and Glory." Mr. Cunnlnghnm flrst appeared at Adolaldo in the Scarlet .Trouba- dours, and lias since boen engaged in oporatio work abroad. Master Edmund Waltor showod considerable technical skill and grace in Sul- livan's "Orpheus with, his Lute," and his in- terpretation of Gounod's "Sorenado" waa pleasing within the limits which Immaturity imposed. Ho also gained much npplnuso in Dr. Arno's "Wlion Daislos Plod." Mr. Donald Hold (male alto) sang with expression "Rose- bud" (F. Drummond), and Clutsam's "I Know of Two Bright Eyes." Mr. John Androw's bass found scopo in Sullivan's "Youth will noods have dalliance" Mr. Ellis Vizard was honrd in "Lindon Loa" (Vaughan Williams), in commemoration of tho war anniversary. Stern dale Bennett's "God is a Spirit," and Sulli- van's "Yea, Though I Walk In'the Shadow of Death," woro glvou with the audience staud ing.

Thero will bo furthor concerts each ovonlng this week, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
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