Local music history — National Symphony Orchestra

Booking the National Symphony Orchestra three years previously was considered a risky venture for the Glens Falls Community Concerts Committee, Post-Star music columnist Brunnhilde Decker McCune wrote on Nov. 22,1946.

“At the time, some of the committee members admitted being ‘scared,’” McCune recalled.

Fears were put to rest when the entire concert series sold out in half the time it usually took to occur.

“A symphony orchestra has now become a ‘must’ on the concert course, and rightly so,” she wrote.

The National Symphony Orchestra, one of the six top-ranked orchestras in the nation, was set to return to Glens Falls for another performance on Dec. 6, with Dr. Hans Kindler as conductor.

“His achievements have been widely recognized. … Glenn Dillard of the Washington Times-Herald says, ‘List him with the great Mozart interpreters of the generation.’”

The sold-out concert program included Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Mozart’s Symphony № 29 in A Major, and “Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian.

“This writer has never heard as fine an interpretation of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as the conductor gave it in closing the program. … It was a masterful performance,” McCune wrote in a Dec. 7 concert review.

“This conductor interprets the music with special care for detail and with all variations of light and shade,” she wrote. “There is no showmanship in his work. … Dr. Kindler is truly a great conductor.”

In the afternoon, the orchestra performed a concert with an educational focus for students, and for adults who could not get tickets to the evening concert.

In other music news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • On Dec. 8, 1922, The Post-Star reported that a quartet of Glens Falls Rotary Club members comprised of Rollin B. Fisher, John Bray, John H. Vail and Erving Cornell serenaded the club at its dinner meeting the previous evening at The Rockwell House hotel.
  • On Dec. 11, 1922, a Braydon & Chapman music store Post-Star ad proclaimed, “It is a wonderful thing, Music! No matter what else a home may have, the influence of music is something every one is better and happier for.”
  • On July 18, 1891, The Granville Sentinel reported that G.H. Stevens purchased a Weber concert grand piano for his opera house at Shushan.
  • On Dec. 2, 1946, The Post-Star reported that Emilla DeSanctis, a student at Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, was home visiting family in Glens Falls for a few days.
  • On May 14,1887, The Morning Star reported that the Boston Opera Company was booked to perform May 17 at the Whitehall Music Hall.
  • On Oct. 19, 1971, The Post-Star reported that the Glens Falls Operetta Club, now Glens Falls Community Theater, would present “Fiddler on the Roof” Nov. 11–13 at Glens Falls High School auditorium.

Peter Snyder was cast in role of Tevye, Beverly Benack as Golde, and Millie Rugg as Yente, the village match maker.

  • On Dec. 11, 1946, The Post-Star reported that John W. McDonald was appointed organist and choir director at Church of the Messiah in Glens Falls.

McDonald, formerly of Schenectady, was director of music at Glens Falls Junior High School, and was a Crane School of Music graduate.

He previously had been organist at churches in Potsdam, Wappingers Falls and Schenectady.”

  • On Dec. 11, 1946, The Post-Star reported that Virginia de Blasiis was a soloist with the Saratoga Symphony Orchestra the previous week in a concert at the Mt. McGregor veteran’s camp.

Click here to read my most recent previous Local Music History post.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY