Deutscher Liederkranz Concert: 1st

Event Information

Liederkranz Hall

Agricol Paur

Price: $1

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
26 April 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

05 Dec 1869, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Orchestra consisted of 40 performers. Mehling performed the unidentified Chopin nocturne as an encore. (See also event entry of 12/10/69: Article on private performances by Anna Mehlig.). The composer of the “Hoffnung chorus” is unidentified, but the Deutscher Liederkranz performed Beschnitt’s partsong of the same title on 03/29/68.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Handel
Text Author: Dryden
Participants:  Deutscher Liederkranz
aka Bravour-Studien nach Paganini’s Capricen "La Campanella"
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
aka Waltz from Faust
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
Composer(s): Chopin
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  Amalia [soprano] Jackson
Composer(s): Beschnitt
Participants:  Deutscher Liederkranz


Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 December 1869, 12.

“Admission $1, by way of introduction through members only.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 04 December 1869, 9.
Review: New York Herald, 06 December 1869, 7.

“Last night the Liederkranz Society, at their hall on East Fourth street, gave their first grand concert for the season, and an unusual success it was. It can no longer be said that New York does not cultivate the classical in music, for the prestige which the Philharmonic, the Arion, and now the Liederkranz, have won among the public by their artistic rendering of the works of the classics in music, shows that the people know how to bestow recognition where it is due. The great feature of last evening’s concert was the ‘Feast of Alexander,’ by Handel, written by him in England some 130 years ago. It is a cantata, in two acts, with solos for soprano, tenor and basso, and full mixed chorus and orchestra. Old as this cantata is, it is no exaggeration to say that that the thought was in almost everybody’s mouth, if this be the music of the past one ought to be satisfied with it and long not for the vagaries of the music of the future. So sweet and melodious a composition, of such simplicity in the instrumentation and yet so effective in combining the human voice with the orchestra in their different modulation, has seldom been heard in this city, and it is to the credit of the Liederkranz to have produced it, and well. Miss Jackson, the soprano; Mr. Sohst, the basso, and especially Mr. Fritsch, the tenor, and the chorus of the Liederkranz merit especial mention. Nor should the musical director, Mr. Agricol Paur, be forgotten, whose directing intelligence supervised the whole, though he did not hold at too slow a metre the recitative of the tenor, ‘War he sung in toll and trouble.’ Miss Anna Mehleig [sic], of Stuttgardt, Wurtemberg, one of the most renowned pupils of Franz Liszt, gave the ‘Campabella’ and the ‘Faust’ waltz on the piano. She took the house by storm, and justly, for such a pianist has seldom been heard in New York. Force and sweetness, tender touch and stormy evolution of melody are not often combined in such a degree, and the 1,500 persons present were impelled to call her back to the Steinway grand piano, when she performed a notturno from Chopin with equal and unsurpassed perfection. A chorus, well sung, and the ‘Hoffnung,’ followed by the Liederkranz, and a grand banquet ended the whole.”

Review: New-York Times, 06 December 1869, 5.

“The members of the Deutscher Liederkranz last evening gave the first of a series of concerts in their superb hall in East Fourth-street. The Society and its guests filled the place. The first part of the programme consisted of Handel’s rather antiquated music to Dryden’s ‘Feast of Alexander,’ interpreted by a full orchestra and chorus; by Herr Fritsch, a tenor whose singing would be more effective if it resulted from less apparent exertions; by Herr Sohst, baritone, and by Fraulein Jackson, whose voice has had so much culture as to cause real regret for its lack of richness. The second half of the bill, and at all points the most attractive, introduced Fraulein Anna Mehlig, whom we can regard as the most accomplished pianist now in the country, and who executed amid prolonged applause Liszt’s ‘Campanella,’ the same composer’s variations on motives from ‘Faust,’ and one of Chopin’s waltzes, with the poesy of intention, and the delicacy and fluency of execution the compositions called for in preference to any great energy of style. Fraulein Jackson’s singing of the florid aria from ‘La Cenerentola,’ gave, in this final section of a very successful entertainment, renewed assurance of that lady’s worth as a skilled songstress. A chorus by the Liederkranz-Maennerchor and an overture by the orchestra were the final elements of the concert.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 December 1869, 4.

“The Liederkranz Society gave an admirable musical entertainment last night at their hall in Fourth st. [sic], presenting Handel’s grand cantata ‘Alexander’s Feast,’ with a powerful chorus and a good orchestra. The composition ranks among Handel’s great works, though it has never enjoyed in this part of the world the popularity it deserves. The solo parts, to be candid, are not interesting, for they have little of the sensuous beauty of melody which the modern ear requires. They are not altogether devoid of it, however, and as for the choruses there are one or two—notably the grand closing movement—which approach the sublimest [sic] hights [sic] which even Handel ever reached. The Liederkranz singers numbered [? could be another word] last night about forty strong, and went through their work with admirable spirit and correctness and with an appreciation of the composer which it is currently believed that only Boston people possess. We wish the whole New York Harmonic Society could have been in the hall to hear with what [illeg.] these Germans fell upon the great Englishman—for as a musician Handel was English so far as such a man can be said to be of any one nation—and how firmly they give out every note and attacked every phrase. Their singing, however, was open to one serious criticism: it was too uniformly strong, and the same thing is to be said of the orchestra. The conductor was Mr. A. Paur. The solos were rendered by Miss Amalia Jackson, soprano, Mr. Fritsch, tenor, and Mr. Sohst, baritone. Mr. Sohst was much the best of the three, and had much the least to do. Mr. Fritsch’s style is abrupt and his comprehension of Handel far from perfect, and Miss Jackson, who has a fine voice, struggled with a part for which she has hardly sufficient training. After the cantata came some miscellaneous music, of which we need only mention the piano playing of Miss Anna Mehlig. Heard in a room of moderate size, and under other favorable circumstances, Miss Mehlig was even more successful than when she made her first appearance at the Dramatic Fund Concert in the Academy of Music. She has a beautifully even touch, delicacy of expression, and apparently unlimited command over her instrument, she plays like an artist who comprehends not only the notes, but the meaning of her composer. Her selections last night embraced two pieces by Liszt, a rippling little ‘Campanella,’ and a disarrangement of Gounod’s ‘Faust Waltzes.’ The applause which rewarded her partook of the character of an ovation, and we are much deceived if she does not become one of the most popular pianists in America.”