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Brownlee in Oratorio.
It was not until the opening of the Passion music that the subtleties of Handel s writing received adequate treat- ment last night at the Town Hall, when, under the direction of Professor Bernard Heinze. "The Messinh" »vas presented by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, assisted by the 'University Symphony Orchestra. In the earlier portions of the oratorio neither the soloists, Mr. John Hroivnlee, Miss Emelie Hooke, and Mr. John Dudley, nor the instrumentalists showed much appreciation of. the many eloquent changes in harmonic atmosphere scattered throughout the score. Such ?salient examples of tone-painting ns the passages "her iniquity is pardon'd" from the tenor solo "Comfort Ye"; the 'orchestral introductions both to this item and to the bass recitative "For, Behold Darkness": the marvellous alteration of mood at the repetition of the words "But AA'ho May Abide"; and several other in- stances »vere treated with a robust straight forw'aidnees which robbed thom of all emotional stiggcstivcuass. Mr. Brownlce's handling of tlie sustained passages in "Bo hold, Darkness," was u notable exception. The.unique combination of virtuosity and devotion demanded by Handel from his bass soloist did not always appear congenial to the singer's essentially broad and thoughtful style, but in tin's item and in "Why Do the Nations" ho achie\'ed an effect of genuine vitality based upon easy and assured production of tone. The con- tralto solos »vero entrusted to Miss Etta Bernard, and this young singer made an excellent impression. Several of her con- tributions revealed lack of experience, but her work »vas ahvaj-s sincere and musicianly, and required only more virility and a more open attack on _ vowel sounds to be thoroughly convincing. Miss Emelie Hooke has au excellent soprano voice, combined »\-ith eominendably clear articulation, but as yet her knowledge of oratorio style is very incomplete, and the good effects obtained in her presentation of the solos "I lCno»v That My Redeemer Liveth" and "The Atlgel Said Unto Them" were largely nullified by inappropriate slurs and rhythmical inaccuracies. Mr. Dudley did very satisfactory »vork, although hampered by nervousness, and »vas the only soloist »vho performed from memory. The orchestra appeared to advantage in both the overture and the pastoral symphony, and, apart from some slips in "Pejoice Greatly," was generally efficient in the ac- companiments. Several of tlie choruses »vent »veil in spite of some unnecessarily apologetic entries .by the sopranos, and the malo section deserves credit for much firm and spontaneous singing. The dynamic climax in "l'or Unto us was particularly
"The Messiah" »»ill be repeated in the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday night. Mr. John Bro»vnlce will again sing the bari-
"Messiah" at Northcote.
A performance oí Handel's oratorio, "TÍio Mes- siah," »vas given in tile Northcott! Town Hull last nicht before n lariie audience that especially appreciated the sluçlns of Hie Northcote Choral f-'oclotv ot 100 voice«. The four soloists »vero: Mrs. C!. Hutchinson (soprano), Ml«s Emily Sommer- ville (contralto), Mr. Hay l'llts (tenor), and Mr. William Townsend (has«). They »vote assisted hy the Northcote orchestra. It ia not yet decided what should lie done »vith the proceeds.
The 133rd concert of the tlojal Victorian Lieder- tafel (Mr. . William McKle, conductor) will be held at the Town Hall to-nlüht. An interest ng Christmas programme will he presented, including Knirlfkh and French carols. Hie soloists will he »lisa Phyllis Dickinson (mprano), Mr. Hoderick Watsford (tenor), Mr. C. Uichnrtl Chili»: (llaiitlst), anti Mr. William Murrell (pianist). Tickets moy be obtained at Olcti's. _