Bateman and Harrison Wednesday Popular Concert: 1st

Event Information

Steinway Hall

Manager / Director:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman
Lafayette F. Harrison

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]

Price: $.50; $1 reserved

Event Type:

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
7 December 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

12 Nov 1866, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Bateman and Harrison organized this popular concert series for Mondays and Wednesdays; this Monday concert at Steinway Hall is the first of the series. It is the only Monday concert, though, to take place in Manhattan: all subsequent Monday concerts were held at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn, while Wednesday performances were held at Steinway Hall in Manhattan. So, despite having occurred on a Monday, Music in Gotham counts this performance as the first of the series at Steinway Hall (which is why it is titled "Wednesday Popular Concert").

The Tannhäuser fantasia included the Pilgrims’ Chorus, Serenade, and March.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Fantasia on themes from Wagner's Tannhauser; Fantasie on themes from Wagner's Tannhäuser
Composer(s): Unknown composer
Composer(s): Gounod
Participants:  Marie Abbott
Composer(s): Flotow
aka Artist's; Artist; Kunstler
Composer(s): Strauss


Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 10 November 1866, 5.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 November 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 11 November 1866.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 12 November 1866.
Announcement: New-York Times, 12 November 1866, 5.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 12 November 1866, 5.
Review: New York Herald, 13 November 1866, 7.

“The first of the series of popular concerts started by Messrs. Harrison and Bateman at Steinway Hall was given last night. Mr. Thomas inaugurated a formidable work, namely the execution of a portion of a Beethoven symphony at each popular concert until the whole series is completed. We are by no means advocates of slicing up such works but even the stray ideas of such a composer may be of service in winning admirers to him from the masses. Two movements, however, are far too long for a popular concert, and there must be music of a far lighter nature interspersed in the programme. The fantasia on the Tannhäuser, although it brought in three of the best things in the opera, the Pilgrm’s Chorus, the Serenade, and the March, might profitably be replaced by something less Wagnerish and more pleasing. The Artists’ Quadrilles were excellent and well adapted to this style of concert. Mrs. Marie Abbott failed in her first selection, for the very simple reason that she essayed far beyond her powers. The cavatina from Romeo and Juliet is one that only such artists as Lucca, Tietjens or Parepa can successfully undertake to sing. On the second part of the programme she showed the aptitude of her fine voice for light, pleasing songs, and gave general satisfaction. Mr. Alfred Pease played Thalberg’s celebrated Lucrezia Borgia fantasia in a very commendable manner. He also played his Crispino duet with Mr. Colby. Better such pieces than wild Lisztian nonsense which the fossilized brains of old fogyism may admire, but which no true musician will tolerate. Mr. Letsch played a trombone solo.”

Review: New-York Times, 13 November 1866, 5.

Monday Popular Concerts.—Notwithstanding the very short notice which preceded the Monday Popular Concerts, there was a large attendance last evening at Steinway’s Hall, where the first of the series was given. We had occasion yesterday to refer briefly to the intention of Messrs. Bateman and Harrison in the matter. They intend, during the Winter and Spring, to give a succession of popular concerts here and in Brooklyn, at which the best vocal and instrumental works of the classic and miscellaneous schools shall be rendered with adequate attention and spirit.  Singers and soloists of importance will make their appearance at these entertainments, and will be supported by Mr. Theodore Thomas’ fine orchestra. It is not intended, as we understand it, to dose the fifty cent community with music which they cannot understand, but it is purposed to familiarize them with what is good, be it from Beethoven or Strauss. The effort is a laudable one, and will, we trust, meet with due encouragement from the public. In the large cities of Europe these entertainments have grown steadily into favor, and there is no reason why they should not do so here. The programme last night opened with two movements from the first symphony by Beethoven. The work is seldom heard, and, indeed, is mainly interesting for the fact of its being the first of the series of nine symphonies. Here let us mention that at the Monday and Wednesday popular concerts it is intended always to give two movements from a Beethoven symphony, taking the works in succession so that the student may follow the growth of the composer’s mind, and the expansion which his individuality—when he found it—exercised on his compositions. There seems to be a sort of Beethoven revival this season. Mr. Wolfsohn gives us all the sonatas and Mr. Thomas will do the same for the symphonies. The two movements last night were rendered with great care, and gave general satisfaction. The other orchestral pieces were the Fantasia from the ‘Tannhauser,’ the overture to ‘Martha,’ and the ‘Artists’ Quadrilles,’ by Strauss. The soloists were Mrs. Marie Abbott—an excellent soprano, who sang very acceptably—Mr. A. H. Pease, the talented young American pianist, Mr. Letsch, the astonishing trombone player, and Mr. Colby. It is not necessary to dwell on the particular efforts of these artists. They were all good.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 14 November 1866, 8.

“The series of concerts inaugurated by Messrs. Bateman and Harrison, are destined, we think, to be very popular, both with our citizens and the citizens of Brooklyn. It is intended that they shall be continued during the whole Winter, as long indeed, as our musical season lasts, and they are designed to be entertainments not only of a popular and delightful character, but as exponents of the higher and more refined styles of music. The classical element is to be introduced, though sparingly, into each programme, and the best of the most popular music will in all cases be selected. These concerts will unquestionably educate the masses, for the cheapness of the price of admission will assuredly attract thousands, who, from constantly listening to good music finely performed, will, of necessity, imbibe the esthetic in art, unconsciously, but surely, until they become equal to the comprehension and enjoyment of the great symphonic form of writing, of which the philharmonic societies and the symphony soirees are the exponents. This desirable result will be arrived at by the pleasantest and most fascinating faith, and the ear will be educated through the medium of delicious tones, beguiling the listener to a knowledge acquired unknowingly and without labor.

These concerts will also afford opportunity for bringing forward the rising talent of the country, not only in the vocal and instrumental departments, but in the department of composition. Talent will have a free scope here, and will need no other recommendation to gain a hearing. The amount of talent immediately around us awaiting development is very large indeed, and we hail with satisfaction the establishment of a means through which the young aspirant may first feel the throb of the public pulse in approval or disapprobation of his or her efforts.

The success of the first Monday evening Concert was very remarkable, considering the immense attraction and the tremendous throng of people at the eleventh Sunday Concert the evening before, at Steinway Hall. The success was marked. Mrs. Abbott sang very charmingly, her voice filling melodiously the vast hall. Mr. Alfred H. Pease’s brilliant duet on themes from ‘Crispino’ was loudly applauded, and he played his piano solo very effectively. The trombone solo was a masterly performance; and the orchestra, under Theodore Thomas, played a selection from Beethoven and some popular arrangements in an admirable manner. Such concerts, at fifty cents admission, cannot fail to prove a popular and permanent success. Such concerts, at fifty cents admission, cannot fail to prove a popular and permanent success.”