Review of Mr. Templeton’s Concert, including Songs by Robert Burns, at the Trades’ Hall, August 1844

A review on page two of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 12th of August, 1844, reads:


Concert.- On Friday last, Mr. Templeton, the well-known vocalist, gave a musical entertainment in the Trades’ Hall, in the style which the taste of his contemporary, Mr. Wilson, has rendered so popular throughout the country. The entertainment consisted chiefly of songs from the writings of Burns, interspersed with anecdotes illustrative of the life, character, and literary career of the poet. The subject was happily chosen, as the result showed, for the room was crowded to inconvenience with persons, the majority of whom were fresh from participating in the exciting proceedings of the Burns’ Festival. The pure part of the entertainment was not of a consecutive character, but consisted simply of amusing and characteristic snatches, illustrative of the songs selected, which agreeably filled up the hiatus usually felt in concerts that have nothing but the music to recommend them. The anecdotal part, however, was secondary only to the musical, in which Mr. Templeton acquitted himself with his usual brilliancy. He was in good voice, and sang well. The songs were some of them the best that Burns ever wrote, and some of them were sung in a style which Burns himself would have delighted to hear. The best song of the evening was, to our thinking, “My Tocher’s the Jewel,” which is well adapted to Mr. Templeton’s peculiarities of voice. “Corn Riggs,” “Robin was a Rovin Boy,” and “Rattlin Roarin Willie,” were also sung with capital effect, as, indeed, were all the songs of a jovial character. In the pathetic songs, we think Mr. Templeton was scarcely so successful, and “Ye Banks and Braes o’ Bonnie Doon,” in particular, was sung more with a view to vocal display than that natural simplicity which is best suited to give expression to our natural melodies. In the course of the evening Mr. Templeton introduced the scenes from “Gustavi,” “All is Lost,” which of all the other pieces of music, is the best calculated to develop his powers, whether natural or artificial, and which he sang with magnificent effect. Several of the songs were warmly encored, and thus would have been more frequent but for mercy to the vocalist. Blewetts’s chaste and brilliant accompaniments were not the least attractive part of the entertainment.”