This well-known London organist has been giving a series of organ-recitals in various cities of the eastern part of the United States, and extending as far west as Chicago. New York, Boston, Brooklyn, Worcester, Springfield, Hartford, Detroit, and Rochester were among the cities in which he gave recitals.
Mr. Lemare’s presence at the organ is admirable. He plays with the greatest ease and handles the organ with no apparent effort. His execution is clear and brilliant, partially due to an almost constant use of the semistaccato-touch.
Mr. Lemare may be called a specialist, and his specialty is color. His favorite color is scarlet, so to speak. In nearly all the pieces which he plays—whether Bach, Wagner, or Lemare—one feels that scarlet is the predominating color. This brilliant coloring, together with a generous use of the semistaccato, produces a dazzling effect. Whether one becomes tired of this constant brilliancy or not depends on the taste of the listener.
Mr. Lemare has a large hand, which enables him to play on two manuals with either hand without difficulty. This proves a great convenience in his style of playing, and gives numerous opportunities for rapid changes of the stops. Whether or not all these numberless changes are of any special value, whether or not leaving out the left-hand part for a measure now and then to make other rapid changes, whether or not one longs for more of the diapasons and simple eight-feet stops with less of the octave coupler are matters of individual taste.
In Boston some little bird whispered in Mr. Lemare’s ear that the transcriptions of orchestral works, such as the finale of Dvorak’s “New World” symphony, part of Tschaikowsky’s “Fifth Symphony,” and Beethoven’s “Coriolan” overture, which were announced in the advance program, would not be well received, and these were omitted, his own very interesting organ symphony in G-minor being substituted. The change was a wise one, and made an admirable program. The magnificent organ in Symphony Hall is perfectly adapted to his style of playing, and a large and brilliant audience thoroughly enjoyed the recital.
Etude Magazine. December, 1901