Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (10/Apr/1852) - Local News: Holmfirth

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The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.

LOCAL NEWS.

HOLMFIRTH.

Cheap Trips. — A cheap train, comprising sixteen carriages, containing about 800 passengers from Manchester, and other intermediate places, arrived here yesterday (Friday) morning, for the purpose of visiting the ruins in this neighbourhood, caused by the recent calamity. The visitors, after spending a few hours among the scenes of devastation, returned to the railway station, at Holmfirth, about six o’clock in the evening, and took their departure. The day having been fine, they appeared highly gratified with their visit.

Grand Concert for the Benefit of the Sufferers by the Late Flood.. — On Friday, the 2nd inst., the lovers of music in this town had a treat of no ordinary kind at the concert which took place in our Town Hall. Great praise is due to the managers for the efforts they made to secure the services of eminent artistes, four of whom — namely, Miss Mountain, Miss Atkinson, and Master Ramsden, from Leeds, and Mr. Winn, from Bradford — made their first appearance before a Holmfirth audience. It is with pleasure we are able to record that their efforts were fully appreciated, as was proved by the attendance, the “house” being quite a “bumper.” The programme included several of the choicest pieces of the most eminent composers, both home and foreign : its only fault being that it contained too many good things. The cool manner in which some of the best music was received was not very complimentary to the taste of a Holmfirth audience ; but we feel persuaded that the frequent performance of classical music will improve and elevate this taste, and that ere long the composition of the great masters will occupy their proper place in the estimation of all lovers of music. Miss Atkinson, although suffering from a severe cold, gave the “Captive Greek Girl” in very good style ; she has a fine sweet contralto voice possessing great power and considerable compass. She sings with great ease, and almost too much confidence, bordering on indifference to the audience. A little closer attention to the subject of the song, and a little more animation, would greatly improve the effect of her performances. Miss Mountain has not had much experience, and she has much patient practice to endure before she attains a position of importance in musical circles. Her voice, which is naturally weak, is rather ungovernable, especially in the upper notes, when it becomes harsh : there is too much affectation and far too little spirit in her execution. Master Ramsden possesses a fine voice, and, considering his age, has very good execution : he is quite free from affectation ; his manner is lively and natural. Both his songs, the “Wishing Gate,” and “England Europe’s Glory,” were received with rapturous applause, and in the latter he received an encore. We shall be glad to hear him again. Mr. Winn, we hesitate not to say, is the finest baritone that ever sung in our Town Hall, (excepting the old veteran, Bra-ham ;) his execution is equal to his voice, being of a bold and dashing character, though it is quite free from everything like coarseness, and displays a thorough acquaintance with the sentiment of his songs. At the conclusion of his first song, “Philip the Falconer,” there was a perfect thunder of applause, which could not be quieted until he again made his appearance, and repeated the last verse, his second song, the “Women of England,” was received even more enthusiastically. Whenever he visits Holmfirth again, which we hope will be soon, he may depend upon a hearty reception. Our townsman, Mr. Hugh Ramsden, has greatly improved since we last heard him; he has lost much of that stiff unpleasant mannerism which has previously impaired the effect of his otherwise good singing ; and the somewhat awkward gestures in which he was wont to indulge, he has succeeded in laying aside almost entirely. He is a singer of considerable promise, and we hope that he may soon attain an eminent position ; to accomplish this, we would suggest, that to obtain a natural, free, and lively expression, he must closely study the meaning of the songs he sings, and never lose sight of the fact that the cultivation of the mind has much to do with the right interpretation of vocal music. We have expressed ourselves thus freely, as we are interested in the success of our young townsman. Mr. Philips, the violinist, is an old favourite here, and he fully maintained his popularity by the performance of two solos ; he was not, however, quite so successful as conductor of the band. The overture “Massaniello,” by Auber, was taken much too quick, excepting the beautiful air in the middle, which was efficiently performed, and set the whole company in motion, The symphony No. 1, in E, flat, by Romberg, was a much superior effort, although somewhat faulty in time. The andante movement is a splendid triumph in composition, and we envy not the man who can sit under its strains without feeling deep emotion. Mr. Mellor performed his part at the piano with the band in a masterly style, and with considerable effect; but was not so happy in his accompaniments to the songs. This we attributed to a want of careful rehearsal, and in this opinion we are confirmed by the fact that the accompaniment to Mr. Ramsden, with whom he is in the habit of practising, was all that could be wished. The song “Holmfirth Flood,” composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. J. Perkin, is a beautiful plaintive air, and it lost none of its beauties in the performance of it by Mr. H. Ramsden. At the conclusion, Mr. S. Wimpenny announced that the services of all the performers were gratuitous ; after which Mr. I. Beardsall moved, and Mr. Thomas Charlesworth seconded, a vote of thanks to them, which was carried by acclamation. The directors of the hall were thanked for the use of the room, and Mr. J. Crosland for printing the bills free of charge. The net proceeds to be handed to the Relief Committee amount to £10 10s.