Philharmonic Society of New-York Concert: 3rd

Event Information

Irving Hall

Theodore Eisfeld

Price: $1.50

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
24 February 2015

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

31 Jan 1863, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Mr. E. Perring (t) was announced for the concert but was ill and replaced by Thomas. Willie Pape was also announced for the concert at one point but is not mentioned in the reviews.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Spring symphony
Composer(s): Schumann
Composer(s): Schubert
Participants:  John Rogers Thomas
Composer(s): Rubinstein
Composer(s): Clapisson
Participants:  John Rogers Thomas
aka [Fantasy] Impromptu, c-sharp, op.66; Impromptu; Fantaisie-Impromptu, op.66; Fantasie Impromptu
Composer(s): Chopin
Participants:  Sebastian Bach Mills
aka Tarantella
Composer(s): Mills
Participants:  Sebastian Bach Mills
aka Tannhauser overture
Composer(s): Wagner


: Chapters of opera [Krehbiel], 0000, 123.
Program listed.
: Steinway, William. New-York Historical Society. The Diaries of William Steinway., 0000.
Mills played Beethoven “splendidly.”
Announcement: New-York Times, 22 December 1862, 5.
Date of concert is incorrectly given as Jan. 21st.
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 17 January 1863, 334.
Pape “on the 31st plays at the Philharmonic concerts. The last of this month Willie leaves for Europe.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 26 January 1863, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 January 1863, 7.
Time, price, some works, performers. Lists E. Perring, tenor.
Announcement: New York Post, 26 January 1863, 2.
Says Wagner overture from Tannhäuser.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 28 January 1863, 7.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 30 January 1863, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 30 January 1863, 7.

Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 31 January 1863, 351.
“The Philharmonic Society is at present rehearsing Schumann’s fine Symphony in B flat, a concert overture by Rubinstein, and the Tannhäuser overture. . . . [T]he Trio of the Scherzo, with its peculiar rhythm, has not yet been brought out by the leader (Eisfeld), and, consequently the orchestra, as clearly as we could desire. We cannot admire Rubinstein’s concert overture, though it may be a good enough opening ‘flourish of trumpets,’ or would do for a regal dinner music.”
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 31 January 1863, 351.
Says Wagner overture from Tannhaüser.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 31 January 1863, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 31 January 1863, 4.
Says Wagner overture from Tannhaüser.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 31 January 1863, 7.
Review: New York Post, 02 February 1863, 3.

     "Irving Hall was thronged on Saturday evening on the occasion of the third concert of the Philharmonic Society. Every available seat and standing place was occupied, and the scene was one of great brilliancy. [program given] Mr. Mills, the pianist, played a concerto in G, by Beethoven, with an orchestral accompayment, and two solos; an Impromptu in E, by Chopin, and a Tarantella of his own composition, with much success. Mr. E. Perring, who was to have appeared, presented a plea of indisposition, and his place was very acceptably filled by Mr. J. R. Thomas, the baritone, who sang the well-known 'Wanderer,' and a very pretty ballad."

: New-York Times, 03 February 1863, 5.

    "The third Philharmonic Concert, on Saturday evening, attracted to Irving Hall one of the fullest and most fashionable audiences we have ever seen assembled there. Whether it was the merit of the programme, or the fact of there being no other musical entertainment in the City, that occasioned this  rush, we shall leave to the Directors to decide, who will, of course, ascribe it to the mearest motive, say the programme. Mr Theodor Eisfeld conducted with his usual ability, and was kind enough to play Schumann's  Symphony No. 1 in B flat, opus 31 somewhat quicker than usual, by which means it passed off without any serious consequences. Mr. J. R. Thomas then sang a song--'The Wanderer' by Schubert--and was deservedly applauded, having volunteered at the last moment and acquiting himself unexceptionally. The first part was brought to an end by a superb performance of Beethoven's Concerto in G, the piano part being interpreted in a vein of grand and massive certainty by Mr. S. B. Mills, who in works of this kind, and, in fact, in all that he does, constantly reminds us that he is one of the few great artists now among us who ought to be heard at a Philharmonic concert. The cadenzas introduced were by the veteran Moscheles, and are remarkable for their identity with the spirit of the composer. They were played to absolute perfection by Mr. Mills, as indeed was the entire piece. The piano on which Mr. Mills played was one of Steinway's new scale Grands, and it impressed us as being one of the most majestic instruments we have ever heard in the concert room. Concertos like this, and the one in F minor by Chopin, (played with such memorable effect by the same pianist,) have new significance when interpreted by such ample means. Mr. Mills played a couple of solos in the second part, and was called out three times. The remaining instrumental features (in addition to another solo by Mr. J. R. Thomas) were a very queer overture by A. Rubenstein, the Russian composer, and Wagner's gorgeous overture to the Tannhaüser [sic]. The latter was the most enjoyable orchestral morceau on the programme, and was keenly appreciated by the audience."

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 07 February 1863, 357.
“[A] crowded audience. Taken all in all, this concert was one of the finest we have had. The feature was, of course, Robert Schumann’s most beautiful First Symphony, which has impressed us more and more, after repeated hearing, with the deepest admiration. It is certainly one of the finest Symphonies at present existing, and must take its place among the –classics, we were about to say, but that much-abused, often-misplaced, ill-understood term is unsuited to the romantic, darkly brooding, richly imaginative Schumann. . . . The second part of the concert opened with [the Rubinstein], which it is well enough to hear once as a novelty, and closed with [the Wagner]. . . . Mills [played the Chopin] with his accustomed clearness and finish, and a Tarantella of that gentleman’s own composition, pleasing but reminiscent. Mr. Perring was announced as a singer, but in consequence of his illness, Mr. T.H. Thomas [sic] sang, at short notice, Schubert’s ‘Wanderer,’ and a ballad, ‘well enough in its way,’ (by Clapisson, if we mistake not,) very agreeably.”
Review: Musical Review and World, 14 February 1863, 39.

Includes program. "The great feature of this concert was undoubtedly Schumann's Symphony. It was evident, that the very numerous audience, one of the largest we have ever seen congregated at Irving Hall, listened to the beautiful work throughout with the most heartfelt pleasure. The musicians played it con amore, with fire and soul. . . . And yet, when years ago these musicians played the symphony for the first time, they failed to fathom the depth and beauty of the work, and well understood to reproduce in the listeners the emotions, which this beautiful music must have caused them. And yet, when years ago these musicians played this symphony for the first time, they failed to fathom the depth and beauty of the work, and the public shared their want of interest and faith in the genius of Schumann. Thus time and the earnest desire for improvement in knowledge and taste, which has characterized the latest period of musical art in this country, as well as to do justice to a man, who is acknowledged by the whole of Germany as a great master, have obtained for him in this country that position, which is due to his genius and his influences on art matters in Germany.--We mention all this, because but very recently we read in the London Athenaeum, that this very composer was 'deficient in melody, licentious to impurity in harmony, imperfect in technical skill, and frequently false in expression.' To judge from our experience, there is still some chance left for this English critic to come to his senses, although according to the opinion of all those, who know the man, Heine's celebrated sentence will be forever applied to him, 'I know a critic, who is generally a fool, but there are even for him some moments of light, when he is a stark mad.'

     We know very well the shortcomings even of this symphony, which is decidedly the freshest in melody, he ever wrote; we know, for instance, that we shall never be reconciled to the finale of the first part as well as to that of the last part, but at the same time we recognize with every repeated hearing the flow of original ideas, the poetical conception, the interesting polyphonic treatment, the surprisingly effective instrumentation, which none but a great genius could have produced in his first work of this style of music.--How thin, how small sounded, for instance, the Concert-overture of Rubinstein, compared with the riches of fancy, displayed in Schumann's symphony! Yet Rubinstein's work is quite respectable, but it comes from a smaller light, from a man, who moreover neglects to use the sharp and effective scissors of self-criticism.

      We must still mention the performances of the two soloists on this occasion. Mr. J. R. Thomas gave considerable proof of intelligence and musicianship in his rendering of 'Der Wanderer.' Mr. Mills pleased us less on this occasion. It is true, his technics were as grand as ever, the scales, the passages could not have been given neater, but his manner of tearing and breaking the rhythm, of retarding at every possible moment, in order to produce some kind of effect, was not at all artistic, and certainly out of place in the performance of a concerto by Beethoven. The first motivo sounded under his hands quite different, than as played by the orcestras, and ought not to be, for most decidedly Beethoven's ideas cannot be improved by tricks of modern pianoforte playing."

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 14 March 1863, 392.
The New York Philharmonic Society has given several good concerts, though presenting little of special interest.”