A new series of these delightful concerts, again a sadly short set, was begun last night in St. James’s-hall before a very large audience. The place of honor in the programme was filled by Tschaikowsky’s masterpiece, the »Pathetic« symphony, splendidly played under Dr. Richter’s direction. Such complete reliance did the great conductor place in his band that, after the first bar of the famous movement in quintuple time, he laid down the bâton and allowed the orchestra to play it alone. As a tour de force it was perfectly successful, and the repetition of the movement was demanded, but not granted. In the first movement a slight, but not unimportant, slip was made by the first bassoon, who apparently misread an accidental. The programme included the »Leonora, No. 3« ouverture, the superb variations by Brahms on a theme by Haydn, and the prelude to Die Meistersinger. The new work wa[s] Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem, Don Juan, a work which was promised a season or two ago, but not given. After the cacophony of the composer’s latest production, the hideons exposition or confutation of Nietzsche’s philosophy, the earlier work given last night seems quite pleasing. The orchestra is handled with skill, and strictly in accordance with the pattern set in the Venusberg music of Tannhäuser. There is an overpowering quantity of thematic material, probably intended to represent the variety of Don Juan’s love affairs, and the old lesson, illustrated by the analogy of Dead Sea apples, is once more pointed, in the dreary ending of the piece after the succession of what are intended to be voluptous passages. There is remarkably little originality in the work, though much cleverness. As a speciem of the direction in which German music is going, it is not encouraging. It was very finely played.
in: The Times, Heft 35213, Mittwoch, 26. Mai 1897, S. 4
relevant für die veröffentlichten Bände: III/5 Don Juan