National Symphony Gives First Dusk Concert Today
Realizing a project which has long been in the minds of the executive officers of the orchestral association, the National Symphony Orchestra tonight will inaugurate a series of summer concerts at the Potomac Watergate, west of Lincoln Memorial. As the afterglow of sunset tinges the sky above the Virginia hills and twilight deepens over the waters of the river, Dr. Hans Kindler will raise the baton for the first chord of "Die Meistersinger" overture in the first program of a series which will place the National Capital in the ranks of those cities which sustain outdoor concerts during the summer months.
The stirring measures of the overture of the greatest comic opera ever written will accentuate the festival feeling appropriate to the occasion. The overture will be followed by the splendid D minor symphony of Cesar Franck, a tenail monument to the dignity of the human spirit and music befitting the neighborhood of the memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The remainder of the program, after the intermission, will consist of two numbers by Johann Strauss the younger - "Voices of Spring" waltz, and "Perpetuum Mobile" - Brahms' lovely "Cradle Song" and Chaikoviski's "1812" overture.
Dr. Kindler, who is the general director of the series of summer concerts, will conduct the first two programs. For the concert on Wednesday night he announces as soloist Bert Granoff, local tenor, who will sing in excerpts from "Die Walkuere" and "Die Meistersinger." Other Wagnerian music in the first half of the program will be the preludes to the first and third acts of "Lohengrin" and the "Tannhaeuser" overture. In the second half of the program will be heard Smetana's symphonie poem, "The Moldau;" Rimski-Korsakov's "Spanish Caprice," and two numbers by Antonin Dvorak: "Songs My Mother Taught Me" and "Humoreske," Op. 101, No. 7.
The orchestra will be seated within a reflecting shell built on a barge anchored in the river. Acoustices will be further aided by a system of sound amplifiers, which will disperse the music without distortion. Tests made yesterday proved the amplifying apparatus to be entirely satisfactory.
Henry Talbot, head usher in Constitutional Hall, will be in charge of a corps of assistants in the seating of patrons. Those who hold 25-cent tickets are asked to enter from the upper level of the Watergate or from the plaza of the Lincoln Memorial; those who hold 50-cent and $1 tickets will enter through the underpass on the lower level. Box offices will be open each concert evening at 6:30 o'clock on both upper and lower levels. Concerts will begin at 8 o'clock sharp.
All tickets purchased in advance will have rain checks attached. If inclement weather causes cancellation of a concert, or interrupts a program before the intermission, the checks will entitle holders to admittance at the next concert without additional cost.
Special street-car and bus service will be furnished for the convenience of patrons. The Capital Transit Co. is running extra busses on concert nights between the Watergate and Seventeenth and K streets. The Washington Rapid Transit Co. promises special busses starting from Petworth and the Sixteenth street District line. The Petworth bus will leave Fifth and Emerson streets northwest at 7 p.m. and the Sixteenth street bus at 6:55, both arriving at the Watergate at 7:35, in ample time for the concert.
The personnel of the orchestra is virtually the same as it was last season, with Frank Gittelson as concertmaster, Howard Mitchell as first violoncellist, George Wargo at the first viola desk, and Jaques Posell as the first contrabass. Newcomers in the ranks are Bernard Robbins (New York) assistant concert-master; Bert Morron (Philadelphia), oboe; James Dickie (New York), bassoon, and Walter Howe (Boston), tympani.
Antonio Brico, conductor of the New York Women's Orchestra, will conduct the second pair of concerts on July 21 and 24. John Powell, composer-pianist, is announced as soloist on July 21. Sandor Harmati, former conductor of the Omaha Orchestra and now director of the Westchester festivals, will be guest conductor on July 28 and 31. The concerts on August 4 and 7 will be directed by Rudolph Ganz