Washington Hall Opens, November 26, 1853
- From The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Saturday Morning, November 26, 1853.
The Trustees of Washington Hall have very kindly acceded to wishes of a number of our citizens and have perfected to Mr. Turner the use of their Hall for this evening, for the purpose of giving therein his last concert in this city. This was hardly to have been expected of them in the present state of the Hall, which is just receiving the ''finishing touches," which give so essentially the final character to works of the kind. With a liberality and a disregard of their own convenience which they have twice before manifested, to gratify the wishes of others they have again acceded to the general desire, and have granted gratuitously the use of their Hall this evening, asking only of the public not to presume that the Hall is what it will be when they pronounce it finished. Mr. Turner will have the room in excellent order for this evening, when, we trust, the opening of Washington Hall will be attended by the largest audience of the kind ever entertained in the city of Wheeling. The opening of the Hall alone will be attraction enough, but when added to the attractions of music, and such music as Mr. Turner's, the opening, will hardly leave an opening in the Hall this evening.
Mr. Turner's Concert.
The Concert of Mr. Turner at the Melodeon on Thursday evening, was attended by the largest audience we have ever witnessed on such an occasion in Wheeling. At an early hour the audience commenced pouring in, and by half past seven o'clock, the period for the commencement of the performance, the house was crowded to its fullest capacity, so that numbers were unable to obtain seats, and many were forced to leave for want of room, though the hall is a very large one. Of Mr. Turner's performance we cannot speak so as to do him Justice, so superior was it to the common catch-penny performances, with which our city is so frequently blessed, (or the opposite.) We make but little pretension to musical connoisseurship, being totally unversed in the high-feleutin squealing which is so frequently among the moderns (since the days of Jenny Lind) designated as "exquisite music" and "charming operatic performance," by many too, who, were they asked, would be unable to tell what an opera is. Still we are not dead to the effect of that "concord of sweet sounds," the want of which the poet tells us fits one for "treasons, stratagems and spoils," and can admire for a time the artistic power which exalts the human voice above conception even, but our admiration is limited, and is of the genus surprise or wonder, rather than of that of enjoyment, but when we desire music for its own sake, the simple ballad with "words of truth and sounds of sweetness" presents to us attractions far superior to aught offered by the most artistic band of operatic performers that ever favored an audience with their high strung and high toned accomplishments. We need hardily say that the performance of Mr. Turner was the performance for us. Possessed of a remarkably fine voice, he has succeeded admirably in modulating and adapting it to the sentiment of his song, while his manner shows to his auditory that he FEELS what he sings and thus imperceptibly, but certainly, induces in them a similar state of feeling. "Epluribus Unum," "The Grave of Washington," "Angel's Whisper," "Mary of Argyle," and "John Anderson My Jo John," were sung admirably, and few of his very large audience will fail to attend at Washington Hall this evening. The Hall will doubtless be filled at an early hour, and persons desirous of being in time would do well to go early.
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