Harrison Sunday Sacred Concert: 24th

Event Information

Steinway Hall

Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]

Event Type:

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
14 August 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Mar 1868, Evening

Program Details

Mills performed the Larghetto and Allegro vivace from Chopin’s concerto.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Donizetti
Participants:  Marietta Gazzaniga
aka Bete für mich
Composer(s): Dachauer-Gaspard
Participants:  Marietta Gazzaniga
aka Reminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Sebastian Bach Mills
aka Home sweet home
Composer(s): Thalberg
Participants:  Sebastian Bach Mills
aka Egmont overture; Goethe's Egmont
Composer(s): Beethoven
aka Yankee Doodle variations
Composer(s): Scholl
Composer(s): Thomas


Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 March 1868.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 13 March 1868, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 16 March 1868.

“The twenty-fourth Sunday concert attracted a large audience to Steinway Hall last night. The artists were Madame Gazzaniga, S. B. Mills and Ardavani. The soprano selections were splendidly sung and justly encored. One of them was a rather dreary affair entitled “Priez pour moi,” by Dachauer. Mills played the larghetto and finale from Chopin’s concerto in F minor, opus 21, and Liszt’s fantasia on ‘Lucrezia Borgia.’ The latter work is probably one of the most difficult and ungrateful compositions for the piano that an artist could attempt, and requires wrists and fingers of iron strength to give anything like a lucid rendering of it. It is noisy and eccentric from beginning to end, and some of the most trying passages are the least effective. Mills played it with his usual success, and beneath his fingers the wildest passage became intelligible. The orchestra played Scholl’s clever fantasia on ‘Yankee Doodle,’ and two overtures, in brilliant style.”

Review: New-York Times, 16 March 1868, 5.

“The Twenty-fourth Sunday concert at Steinway Hall last evening was attended by the usual gathering of the good folk who patronize these interesting entertainments. Mme. Gazzaniga sang with all her usual spirit, and with that large dramatic expression which belongs to the school of which she is so able an exponent. She was warmly encored.  Mr. S. B. Mills played two movements from Chopin’s concerto in F minor, a grand work which he only has adequately interpreted to our public. In the second part Mr. Mills gave us for the second time a grand Fantase [sic] on the trio from ‘Lucrezia Borgia,’ by Liszt. The piece is extremely effective, and is characterized by all those brilliant effects which Liszt knows so well how to produce. It is regarded as one of the most difficult of his productions. Mr. Mills rendered full justice to it, and received a merited encore. Signor Ardavani assisted very agreeably, and the orchestra, under Mr. Theodore Thomas, left nothing to be desired.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 March 1868, 4.

“There is a decided improvement perceptible in the performances at Harrison’s Sunday Concerts as compared with those given earlier in the season. A large audience assembled last night at Steinway Hall, and much credit is due Madame Gazzaniga for having contributed in a great extent to the success of the entertainment. The cavatina from’Il Poliuto’ in the first part was rendered with admirable precision, and in the pathetic song, ‘Priez pour moi,’ the artist improved the opportunity for exhibiting the fullness of her voice. Mr. Mills is one of the few pianists who seldom play their own compositions, and in this he shows his good taste, beside adding to his reputation as an artist. It is justly considered much more difficult to render with correctness, and spirit the works of an acknowledged composer than to play what a pianist may have written for himself and to suit his own peculiar style of execution. Mr. Mills earned well-deserved laurels last night by his performance of Liszt’s Fantasia from Lucrezia Borgia, and being encored, gave the ever pretty air of ‘Home, Sweet Home,’ which Thalberg has made immortal. Signor Ardavani, as a baritone, acquitted himself creditably of his task; and as for the orchestra, their selection was a particularly fortunate one. Beethoven’s Overture to ‘Egmont’ would have answered the highest expectations but for want of the due expression on the part of the violinists. The variations of Yankee Doodle by Scholl are as characteristic as they are striking; and Thomas’s overture to ‘Mignon,’ which formed the finale of the concert, is a fair and pleasing specimen [sic] of light operatic music. It may be safely said that, as a whole, last night’s performance was as good a musical entertainment as we have had in this city during the present season.”