The mouth-organ (or harmonica) does not look as if it will ever become a serious favourite of the musical amateur, any more than the zither or the wine-glasses, in spite of the refreshing appearance of a virtuoso from time to time. Such virtuosi are of necessity rare, for they must be musicians as well as technical magicians. The skill and effort required to become a first-class mouth-organist is probably greater than for a first-class violinist, and the results by comparison much less rewarding.
It was an interesting and at times beautiful experience to hear Mr Adler in the Arts Theatre last Sunday. He contrived to sound like an oboe in the so-called concerto by “Cimarosa-Benjamin,” and almost like a violin in some Bach. But he was best in the more modern items. The technique of the instrument is such that it is more aesthetic to hear than to watch. However, there were times when Mr Adler’s playing of part-writing made one glance to see if there might not be a little man hidden inside the mouth-organ blowing in duet. There was not. Meanwhile Antony Hopkins performed marvels as accompanist. A good concert.