October 1916: Art Institute Concerts, in the McLellan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street – Recitations with Music

An article on page eight of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 27th of October, 1916, reads:






Beethoven and Brahms supplied the purely musical interest at last night’s concert in the

Glasgow McLellan Galleries, and for relief there were recitations with music. The classic

sonatas may be dismissed for once with the record of sympathetic performances from Mr

Halstead and Mr Horace Fellowes. The recitations of Mr A. Parry Gunn to Mr Percy Gordon’s

music had the interest of experiments in a much-debated and not generally successful form.

The idea of setting Browning’s ‘A Toccata of Galuppi’s’ to early eighteenth century Italian

music was a happy one. The poem is a commentary on the passing of music. Could the sounds

produced by Galuppi’s clavichord ever have had a message to lovers? Mr Gordon has used

some music by Bernardino, which to modern ears might well be ‘a ghastly cricket, creaking

where a house was burned.’ The introductory movement, rambling in apparently meaningless

ornament, gives the right mood for the opening of the poem; and the thin tinkle into which

the music quickens is in dramatic contrast to the rich passion of the verse. Music has left

Galuppi far behind, and we can hardly guess what his clavichord meant to contemporary ears.

Last night’s grand piano was of course an anachronism, but Mr Gordon played his part in the

right spirit, and Mr Gunn recited his lines with the fullest appreciation of their poetic and

dramatic value. The performers were also heard in Tennyson’s ‘The Revenge,’ set to Mr

Gordon’s music. The composer writes picturesque, expressive music, which follows

the poem closely without falling into shapeless rhapsody. An excellent performance brought

out all the good qualities of verse and setting.”