Mendelssohn Orchestral Union Sunday Concert: 1st

Event Information

Irving Hall

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Price: $.50, reserved seats $.50 extra

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
13 January 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Dec 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Spohr
aka Crispino potpourri
Composer(s): Ricci, Ricci
aka Fantasia on Les Sylphides, violin
Composer(s): Mollenhauer [viola-vn]


Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 December 1868.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 23 December 1868, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 26 December 1868.
Review: New York Herald, 28 December 1868, 5.

“The first concert of the Mendelssohn Orchestal Union, an organization of considerable excellence, under the direction of Harvey B. Dodworth, the well known leader, took place last night. In Spohr’s ‘Jessonda’ overture and a ‘Crispino’ potpourri the powers of this orchestra were sufficiently tested and found to be satisfactory to an eminent degree. We trust that such an excellent body of musicians will be heard from frequently in public. Edward Mollenhauer gave a sample of his unsurpassed violin playing in his own work, ‘La Sylphide.’ Master De Solla, from Bryants’ Minstrels, and the other artists also acquitted themselves commendably.”

Announcement: New York Post, 28 December 1868, [2].
Review: New-York Times, 28 December 1868, 4.

“A new association of artists commenced a series of concerts at this establishment last evening. The “Mendelssohn Orchestral Union,”—(why always “Mendelssohn” and why always “Union,”) consists of sixty performers, none of whom, if we are rightly informed, belong to the musical union, or whatever it is called.  The latter, it will be remembered, is a close corporation. It dictates the prices that shall be paid to each of its members. Some few years ago it instigated a strike at the theaters, and got badly kicked for its pains. STEINWAY and SONS furnished grand pianos to nearly every place of amusement in the City, and the orchestra consisted of a grand and a few amateurs. These amateurs—or where not amateurs, non Union men—have since become more or less proficient on their respective instruments. Hence, Mr. H. B. DODWORTH—the conductor last evening—has been able to compose an orchestra of sixty performers. We hope sincerely that he may succeed in any enterprise where they are employed. The organization of so large a number is of course a difficult task, and the first night is hardly the fair opportunity to judge of its success. We can say nevertheless, that the various pieces were played with spirit, and that Mr. DODWORTH possesses several good solo players. The selection from Crispino was, perhaps, the most successful effort of the evening. The soloists were Mr. EDWARD MOLLENHAUER, who played “La Sylphide” exquisitely; we have no better violinist in New-York, and technically Mr. MOLLENHAUER has few superiors elsewhere; Mr. HARRY SANDERSON (piano), who played with all his usual brilliancy and fire, and as a matter of course carried the audience with him; and Master RAPHAEL DE SOLLA —the “wonderful infant tenor.” Nature has done much for this young fellow, and so has art; the difference between the two is in a letter—nature has been prodigal in voice and art in vice. All the ridiculous antics of a conceited tenor Master DE SOLLA can imitate. He has been taught this and nothing more. Of the art of singing he is absolutely ignorant. It is, we think, time that an “infant” of his somewhat advanced age should commence a few rudimental vocal studies. We may add that Master DE SOLLA is not necessarily compelled to sing in English. Any other jargon would be better—even if he be as ill-informed in it as is the vernacular. To our mind it is a shame that a boy of promise should thus be thrust into the worst grooves of professional life before he has had an opportunity of fitting himself for the humblest services of art.”