At a July 1903 Sunday afternoon rehearsal with a mentor in Manhattan, Edith Vail Ross sang numerous songs for his critical review and assessment. She wrote home in a letter home to her parents in Vermont that the afternoon was a splendid success. While she sight read some new selections on the spot from the mentor’s music collection (and she couldn’t remember the names of the songs!), others she sang that afternoon included previously mastered “Come Unto Him” (sung at an earlier performance at Five Points), Haydn’s “With Verdure Clad”, “These are They”, “Elsa’s Dream” and “The Lorelei”.
You can relive the Sunday afternoon by listening to some of these selections.
A 1941 recording of Isobel Baillie singing “With Verdure Clad” by Franz Joseph Haydn.
Hear a contemporary singer Heather Hightower sing “with Vedrure Clad” by clicking her name – the track is available on her blog.
Here is a snippet of Rosa Ponselle singing “Elsa’s Dream” from Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. Rosa Ponselle would later perform accompanied by Paul Eisler at the piano, but in 1903 they had not yet met (and she was still a young child!).
and listen to Joan Sutherland sing Die Loreley (Ich weiss nicht) at a 1960 live recital on this clip
Later that day Edith and Miss Schirmer “took a ride to the Battery for the fresh air.” This is a view of the same area from 1902. You can see the Statue of Liberty just off in the distance. I am sure that the breeze coming in off the harbor felt refreshing that early summer evening after an afternoon of singing. Miss Schirmer always preferred that Edith recharge herself for the week ahead by choosing the “right” Sunday activities and I am sure that this afternoon jaunt was her idea.