Gustav Mahler and the Philharmonic Society players aroused the enthusiasm of an audience of rainy evening size last night by their performance of Schumann’s D minor symphony, No.4; the Strauss »Don Juan« fantasia and the overture to »Tannhäuser.« All three compositions were presented in a way to reveal the technical prowess of the orchestra, and after the »Don Juan« fantasia Mr. Mahler insisted that the musicians rise to share the applause with him. The accomplishments of the Philharmonic band are considerable nowadays. There was brilliancy in the »Tannhäuser« overture, notwithstanding the forcing of the brass choir in the finale, and there was a successful negotiation of the Schumann closing movement, despite the rushing pace at which the conductor drove it along.
The soloist was Miss Tilly Koenen, the Dutch contralto. She sang Beethoven’s scena and aria »Ah! Perfido,« with a large tone and also a large style. Her voice, as has been observed before, is not one of sensuous beauty, but she sings with intelligence and earnestness. She was heard also in songs by Strauss, Fiedler and Wolf, with orchestral accompaniment.