Central Park Mall
Harvey Bradley Dodworth
3 July 2016
The listing of this concert for “to-morrow” is surely an error, and it should be “today.”
For “heute nachmittag” = this afternoon.
“Saturday afternoon during the summer is looked forward to with feelings of pleasure by those Gothamites who have neither the means, time nor inclination to leave the busy metropolis for the bracing, cool, invigorating air of the country. On Saturday all those whose duties will permit them congregate in the Park and enjoy the double pleasure of natural beauty of scenery and fine music. There one can imagine himself entirely removed from the feverish atmosphere and constant turbulence of the metropolis, and return with renewed spirits and health to business. There are many whom no inclemency of weather can deter from attending the Park concert, and who only regret that the Commissioners do not provide music on other days in addition to Saturday. Yesterday the weather was of the most uncertain and threatening character, and the attractions out of doors must have been most enticing to draw anyone from his home. Still when Mr. Dodworth’s baton summoned his goodly array of instrumentalists at 4 P.M., to commence his admirable programme, there were few seats vacant in the vicinity of the handsome temple of music. The drive and terrace were also pretty well sprinkled with carriages. The ladies were not so numerous as on other days when no ominous clouds are in the sky, but some of them gave a very good idea of how the summer fashions look on their precious little selves. The revolution in dress, which we fully described on opening day last spring, has been a complete one, and few of the Park habitués of last summer would recognize now a trace of the chameleon goddess’ aspect at that time. The bonnet, which then receded towards the back of the head until there were fears entertained lest it should drop off entirely, is now advanced over the forehead, threatening every moment to fall over the dear little nose of the fair wearer. The cloak, which fitted around the waist as tight as the grasp of a miser on his money bags, has been replaced by a loose becoming sacque [sic], which in shape looks for all the world like the model of a mediaeval Gothic church. The dress which trailed along the ground regardless of what it picked up on the way, is nearly as short now as that of a Swiss of Breton peasant girl. Crinoline holds its own still, although its dominions have been as much reduced in size as the Papal States. In regard to bonnets their name is legion, although it would almost require a microscope to distinguish the difference between some of the styles. The Parepa hat is growing favor with misses and young ladies not quite out of their teens. Fanchons of all kinds of material are still to be seen. But although the reduced size of ladies’ dresses and bonnets gave the modiste little room to display her genius, yet in the trimmings she has this season a boundless field. Amber is still preferred, although there are a hundred kinds of other material in vogue.
“The programme for yesterday’s concert commenced with Auber’s best overture, Fra Diavolo, which was followed by the most dramatic of Verdi’s music, the Miserere from the Trovatore. A charming little waltz, Ida, by Dodworth, concluded the first part of the programme. One of Unrath’s stirring marches accompanied the audience as they stampeded towards the terrace in the midst of a shower of rain; Kucken’s graceful overture, Die Flucht nach der Schweiz, greeted them on their return, and Dodworth’s Pavilion Galop and a selection from the Midsummer Night’s Dream put them in good humor again. The third part consisted of the Friederich’s March, one of the best works of the most popular march-composer of the day, Gungl; Sounds from the Scottish Glens, of which we have spoken before; a fantasia from Donizetti’s Betley [sic], in which the clarionet solo was played in an excellent manner; a mazurka by Faust, and the usual Home Thoughts. It was a striking evidence of the popularity of these concerts to find so many people sit out the concert yesterday in spite of the weather.”