The New Philharmonic Society, at their concert of Wednesday last,
wisely availed themselves of the advantage which the possession of Exe- ter Hall gives them over the Old Society in the Hanover Square Rooms, by getting up Beethoven's Ninth or Choral Symphony. This great work was originally composed expressly for the Philharmonic Society; and it has been through their repeated performances alone that it has hitherto been made known to the English public. But for these performances, indeed, it would probably have remained unknown to this day; for its immense magnitude, enormous difficultT, and obscurity of design, have as yet prevented it from becoming popular in any Taut of Germany. The admirable orchestra under Costa's able direction has succeeded in giving an idea of its beauties ; but the full display of its power and grandeur depends upon the combination of great masses of instrumental and choral sound, which it is impossible to effect in a place like the Hanover Square Concert-room. This, then, is one of those pieces which the Philharmonic Society, without any injury to itself, may leave to its younger competitor. We may observe, at the same time, that it was in the choral portion of the work that the Exeter Hall performance had the advantage. In the smaller space of the Ha- nover Square Rooms, many of the minute details of the instrumentation reached the ear with the greater distinctness; but the choral shouts of jubilation rang through the large and lofty hall with an effect of which we had no previous experience. It struck us, however, that, in approaching the close, M. Berlioz urged the chorus too rapidly forward. His intention was, that the joy, as it reached its cli- max should be "fast and furious " ; hut he forgot the maxim which Beethoven himself applied to the performance of his own sym- phonies, that large bodies must move slowly. Immense masses of choral sound cannot be produced with rapid articulation, and if they could the ear could not receive them. Setting this aside however, the per- formance was magnificent, and enabled us to see further into the depths of this powerful composition than we had ever done before; though still unable to seize all those trains of association which in the mind of the author must have linked his thoughts together and given unity to his de- sign.
The only other remarkable feature of the concert was the performance of blendelssohn's pianoforte Concerto in G minor, by Mademoiselle Clause; a young lady recently arrived in England, who showed herself to be pos- sessed of the qualities of a great artist.