Notes Newsletter

“Unusual Features Mark Program of Rossini Club”

From a February, 1935 review in Portland Evening News, by J. Daniel MacDonald

“A program embracing many unusual and attractive features was presented at the regular fortnightly morning musical of the Portland Rossini Club at Frye Hall, Thursday morning. The first performer was a youthful pianist of great promise, Miss Margaret Knight. Heard in one of the more striking Chopin numbers, Fantasie in F Minor, Op. 49, Miss Knight gave evidence of fine musical temperament and excellent training. As her work matures, Miss Knight should be a pianist to be reckoned with.

Mrs. Mary Churchill, lyric soprano was next on the program and sang three numbers well suited to her light pleasant voice…Miss Susan Coffin lent able support at the piano. The second pianist was Miss Florence Towle who gave a matured performance of two ultra-modern Russian numbers, by Rachmaninoff and Scriabine [sic]. Mrance of Miss Isabel Jones, lyriccoloratura soprano who was heard in a rare old English ballad, Sweet Bird by Handel, that had iss Towle seems to have a certain flair for
these modern composers and gave a facile technical reading of both works. We enjoyed her work very much indeed.

An especially striking feature of this program was the appeaa flute obligato by Harold Lawrence. Miss Jones sang the long sustained passages with good tone and fine breath control and with proper understanding of the requirements of the song. In the passages for voice and flute the singer imitated the flute with great fidelity. The number was both unusual and enjoyable. Mrs. W. H. Jones was the very able accompanist for her daughter.

A second fine feature of the program was the performance of a trio by the French composer, D’Indy, which had a first local performance by the Misses Frances Woodbury, violinist, Katherine Hatch, cellist, and Ocy Downs, pianist. It was given a performance of great conviction and earnest devotion by the three young artists.

A third most delightful feature was the singing of the Flower Duet from Madame Butterfly by the Misses Mary Saunders, Soprano, and Marcia Merrill, contralto. This lovely music of Puccini was splendidly sung by the two artists whose voices blended well. The closing number was the performance of the familiar Scherzo in C Sharp Minor of Chopin by Miss Ellen Crafts, pianist. Miss Crafts gave a restrained performance of this rather passionate masterwork, but was technically well done. Miss Louise Armstrong presided in the absence of Miss Julia Noyes.”

Some of you may remember people mentioned in this review. Hint: Katherine Hatch became Katherine Graffam. You may recognise other names as well.

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