Beethoven Centennial Festival: Concert: 2nd

Event Information

American Institute Coliseum

Carl Bergmann
Max Maretzek
Carl Rosa
Patrick S. Gilmore
Carl Zerrahn

Event Type:
Band, Opera, Orchestral

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 November 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Jun 1870, 2:00 PM

Program Details

“Grand Operatic, Choral and Orchestral Programme.”

Music in Gotham lists programs and performers based solely on the reviews, as most of the announcements and advertisements published in advance of the festival are riddled with errors. (The anonymous, overly ambitious, and disorganized management failed to deliver on its promises, a shortcoming heavily criticized in the reviews.)

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was scheduled for performance but omitted at the last minute because the artillery was not positioned in time.

For general press and reviews about the festival, see separate event entries of June 13, 1870. See also separate event entries between June 1, 1870 and June 17, 1870 for rehearsals (fourteen in total).

Performers and/or Works Performed

Conductor: Bergmann, Carl
Composer(s): Wagner
aka Act 4 duet; Tower scene music
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Ah! che la morte ognori; Ah! I have sigh’d to rest me; Lord have mercy; Preghiera
Conductor: Rosa, Carl
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Beethoven Centennial Festival Combined Operatic Chorus;  Pasquale Brignoli (role: Manrico);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Leonore);  Mrs. Howard Paul (role: Azucena);  [baritone] Petrelli (role: Count di Luna)
Conductor: Zerrahn, Carl
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
aka Scene de ballet; Scène de ballet
Conductor: Gilmore, Patrick S.
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Participants:  Gilmore's Band
Conductor: Rosa, Carl
Composer(s): Litolff
aka Masaniello; The Mute Girl of Portici; Stummin; Stumme von Portici
Composer(s): Auber
Conductor: Rosa, Carl
Composer(s): Flotow
aka grand trio
Conductor: Maretzek, Max
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  Joseph Hermanns (role: Walter);  Carlo [tenor] Lefranc (role: Arnold);  Giovanni [baritone] Reyna (role: Tell)
Composer(s): Maretzek
aka Marvellous works; Achieved is the glorious work; Mighty work is done at last
Conductor: Zerrahn, Carl
Composer(s): Haydn


Advertisement: New York Herald, 10 June 1870, 9.

Partial program and performer list. “The foregoing programme presents by far the greatest number of recognized stars and artists which have ever been assembled and presented on one occasion, together with the entire combined choral societies, the combined choruses, the great orchestra and the military bands.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 12 June 1870, 9.

Additional performer details.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 14 June 1870, 9.
Announcement: New-York Times, 14 June 1870, 4.

Lists program.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 June 1870, 7.

Several cards on this page, three of which are devoted to Kellogg’s appearance. Additional card with program.

Review: New York Post, 14 June 1870, 4.

“The concert at the Coliseum this afternoon began at about quarter past two, with Wagner’s Rienzi overture, which was splendidly performed by the large orchestra, led by Carl Bergmann. The audience filled the dollar promenade, but the reserved seats were not so fully occupied as might have been expected. As the afternoon proceeded, however, the audience increased in numbers.

To Miss Kellogg was allotted the second number in the programme. It was announced as a Polacca by Bellini, but proved to be the familiar Luce di quest Anima, from Donizetti’s ‘Linda.’ The fair vocalist made some slight alterations in the finale, calculated to show off to advantage her very high notes. She was warmly applauded and encored.

Miss Kellogg was charmingly dressed in pink silk and white lace.

Mrs. Howard Paul and Signor Brignoli followed in the well known slumber duet from ‘Trovatore’—about as inappropriate a selection for an occasion like this as could well be imagined. It was creditably sung and moderately applauded.

In the ‘Miserere’ from ‘Trovatore’ Miss Kellogg, Brignoli and Petrilli took the leading parts, with the combined chorus to support them. The effect was magnificent. Verdi’s highly dramatic composition never received a more striking interpretation. This, with the finale from ‘Martha,’ was the most popular feature of the afternoon’s programme. It was preceded by the aria sul’ali, sung by Miss Kellogg.

A large attendance is expected for this evening, when the ‘Creation’ will be sung. The vast auditorium of the Coliseum is so cool and well ventilated that the warm weather need deter no no [sic] one from attending the Centennial.”

Review: New York Herald, 15 June 1870, 7.

“Second Day—Opera and Oratorio.

The Coliseum was crowded yesterday afternoon and only partially filled in the evening, on occasion of the second day of the Beethoven Festival. The receipts for the day amounted to $25,000, and popular enthusiasm, especially in the afternoon, seemed unabated. It is, indeed, highly creditable to the management, and especially to Messrs. Grover, Miller and Morton, who have spared no pains in their several departments to make the festival a success, to find such satisfactory results from such a gigantic undertaking. Got up in a very short space of time, and in face of formidable obstacles, the jubilee so far has proved an artistic and pecuniary success. There were some changes in the afternoon bill, ‘The Star-Spanged [sic] Banner’ being place on it through mistake, and as the artillery was not in position it could not be performed. [Lists “large and varied” afternoon program.]

Wagner’s overture was not half as effective as when we heard it at the Academy or Steinway Hall by the Philharmonic Society and Thomas’ superb orchestra. The tempo was particularly unsatisfactory, and on it depends much of the effect of the work. We never heard Brignoli sing better, even in his favorite operatic rôles. The beautiful aria from ‘I Lombardi’ and the dramatic duet in which the Trovatore bids farewell to his mother, in the last act, were sung in a style which no other tenor in America could attain. Every note of the beautiful voice came out with a purity, sympathetic expression and ringing effect which brought back memories of Mario and Giuglini. To Miss Kellogg, also, much of the success of the concert was due. Her delicious voice fairly reveled in the sparkling cavatina from ‘Linda,’ and she excelled her former triumps [sic] in the ‘Trovatore’ by her dramatic rendering of the rôle of Leonora in the ‘Miserere.’ In this scene Brignoli’s voice made a marked effect, and the ever welcome ‘Ah! Che la Morte,’ was sung in unexceptionable style.”

Review: New-York Times, 15 June 1870, 5.

“The first afternoon concert of the series, and the second entertainment of the Festival, took place yesterday afternoon. The audience was pretty large, but the building was by no means filled. The first number of the programme consisted of Wagner's ‘Rienzi Overture,’ an admirable specimen of sonority, which the orchestra, under Mr. Bergmann's leadership, gave with the best effect. Miss Kellogg was afterward heard in ‘Luce di quest’anima,’ and Signor Brignoli and Mrs. Howard Paul followed this artist in the well-known ‘Slumber Duet’ from ‘Il Trovatore.’ The most impressive portions of the programme, however, were the ‘Miserere’ from Verdi’s opera, executed by Signors Brignoli and Petrilli and Miss Kellogg, and the chorus; and the quintet and finale from ‘Martha,’ by twenty-five artists. Both pieces were enthusiastically applauded.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 June 1870, 4.

Portions difficult to read owing to black bar over righthand side of column. “If the two audiences who attended the performances at the Third ave Coliseum, yesterday, had been consolidated into one, the seats would have been nearly all filled. As it was, the afternoon concert attracted about half a house, the evening oratorio about a third. Yet the music was much more perfectly rendered than the night before, and the programmes were rich in varied and popular features. The afternoon performance was designed chiefly to bring forward the long array of operatic artists whose names have figured so largely [in ?] the posters for the last two weeks. Miss Kellogg was there, smiling, and pretty, and full of unwonted [illeg.]. Brignoli was there with a ravishing necktie. The [illeg.] Le Franc, the rotund Susini, jolly Mr. Maretzek, charming Mrs. Seguin, the vivacious Gilmore, and the indispensable Mr. Rosa, all lent their services, to say nothing of a long list of other noted artists whose very names we lack the space to enumerate. The concert opened with a superb performance of Wagner’s ‘Rienzi’ overture [illeg.] the 350 players under Mr. Bergmann. It went [illeg.] spirit, fire, and delicacy; the instruments were [illeg.] balanced, and the effect was rich and massive. The same may be said of Littolf’s ‘Robespierre’ overture, led by Mr. Rosa, who is fast winning recognition as one of our very ablest conductors; and much praise should also be awarded to the selections from ‘Robert’ by Mr. Gilmore’s reed band. The question whether the solo voices could be heard in the Coliseum was first tested by Mr. Brignoli. He sang, not the ballad set down for him, on the bills, but a familiar aria from ‘I Lombardi,’ with unusual sweetness and taste, and was heard distinctly in the middle of the hall, and we doubt not also at the furthest end. The excellence of the acoustic properties of the Rink, indeed, surpasses all expectations. Miss Kellogg was also eminently successful, first in Bellini’s [sic] ‘O luce di quest’anima,’ and afterward in the Miserere scene from ‘Trovatore.’ Musically this [illeg.] was a brilliant triumph; as a spectacle, however, it was a little queer. During Leonora’s introductory solo, Enrico (Mr. Brignoli) is conspicuous on the steps of [illeg.] gangway. When the moment approaches for him to strike in, he comes forward and drives into the bowels of the organ. Thence in due season his voice issues from the grated canvas tower, and while he hales his soul in the Non ti scordar me, Leonora fans herself and smiles [illeg.] her friends. Le Franc and Reyna sang the famous duet from ‘Massaniello,’ not with the sonorous tones which roused so much enthusiasm last Winter at the Academy of Music, but with vigor enough to win an encore. [Illeg.] in the afternoon, however, they gave, with the assistance of Susini, the celebrated trio from ‘William Tell,’ wherein Le Franc was the occasion of of [sic] the most extraordinary scenes we have witnessed in any place of amusement for years. The audience [rose?] from their benches, shouted, waved handkerchiefs, and applauded as if their hands were of cast iron and their muscles moved by steam, and when they ceased the chorus gave a salvo on their own account. The trio was repeated of course, and was quite as good the second time as the first. The people would have [illeg.] still again, but to this Mr. Le Franc [illeg.] rally would not consent, and at last, [illeg.] the storm continued to rage, he shook his [illeg.] violently with Max Maretzek and hurried away. He was really in superb voice. The finale from ‘Martha’ with nobody knows how many Marthas, Nancies, Lionels and Plunketts, was a failure. The effect bore no [illeg.] proportion to the excellence of the individual singers the quality of the voices [illeg.] was not apparent, and [illeg.] tenors at the last got into a terrible mess, each one having his own independent way of doing things, and sticking to it with the resolution of a hero. There was a variety of miscellaneous music, including something from Mrs. Howard Paul about which we prefer not to speak, and Mr. Maretzek’s popular ‘Erie Galop,’ which would have been per[illeg.] if Jubilee James had only conducted it in the [illeg.] wherewith he dazzled the eyes of Boston last June. The operatic selections were conducted by Carl Rosa and Maretzek.

After the Miserere the tall figure of Mr. Carl Zerrahn appeared at the desk amid a hearty round of applause and a chorus rose to a repetition of ‘Thanks be to God,’ from ‘Elijah,’ which was sung so imperfectly the night before. But what a difference yesterday! [Illeg.] Zerrahn startled us at first by taking it as a rather quick tempo—not quicker than it ought to be but a dangerous pace it seemed for a [illeg.] drilled chorus. Yet under the inspiration of this superb leader, who grasps the biggest chorus [with?] his firm hand, strengthens the wavering and the tired with a glance of his bright blue eye, fires the sluggish and with the majestic wave of his long arm directs successive billows of sound with unerring precision, there was neither faltering nor confusion. When the chorus died away in those beautiful long-drawn [notes?] with which this grand composition closes, the [illeg.] thousand singers united in a hearty round of applause to the victorious leader as he passed through their [ranks?].

The programme announced for the closing piece Gilmore’s patent improvement on the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ with Parepa and the guns; but this promise was not kept. We ascertained on inquiry that the manager had neglected to obtain the coöperation of [illeg.] Parepa, or Gilmore, or the artillery. To advertise this not only without their previous consent, but without even advising them of it afterward, was an unfortunate mistake.”

Review: New York Post, 15 June 1870, 3.

Follows review of 06/14/70 evening festival performance. “Lefranc…made a great success yesterday afternoon in the trio from ‘William Tell,’ and was honored not only with applause but with cheers. A pleasant effort in a rather commonplace style of musical composition was Mr. Maretzek’s ‘Erie’ galop, a bright noisy piece suggesting Jullien and opera bouffe.”