Beethoven Centennial Festival: Concert: 5th

Event Information

American Institute Coliseum

Patrick S. Gilmore

Price: $2 reserved; $1

Event Type:
Band, Orchestral

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 November 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Jun 1870, Evening

Program Details

Originally billed as the “Second Grand Oratorio” night but changed to a miscellaneous concert.

Music in Gotham the program 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.)

Music in Gotham assumes the same ensembles that performed at the afternoon concert on the same day (Beethoven Centennial Festival Orchestra, Combined Operatic Chorus, Combined Society Chorus, etc.) also performed at this evening concert. The citations do not make it explicit, but there is no reason to believe otherwise.

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

Composer(s): Litolff
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  Caroline Richings
aka "Bridal Song"; Polacca
Composer(s): Bellini
Participants:  Clara Louise Kellogg
Composer(s): Weber
aka Ah! che la morte ognori; Ah! I have sigh’d to rest me; Lord have mercy; Preghiera
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Guglielmo Tell; William Tell; Introduction
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  Gilmore's Band
aka Letzte Rose
Composer(s): Traditional
Text Author: Moore
Participants:  Caroline Richings
Composer(s): Donizetti
aka Prophete. Coronation march; Grand processional march; Krönungsmarsch; Crowning march
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
aka grand trio
Composer(s): Rossini
Composer(s): Handel


Advertisement: New York Herald, 10 June 1870, 9.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 15 June 1870, 9.


Advertisement: New-York Times, 15 June 1870, 7.

Lists program, participants.

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

“There will be a chance to-night in programme and in prices, intended to adapt both to the popular taste. The programme will include the Anvil Chorus and the leading features of Mr. Gilmore’s repertory, with Miss Kellogg and Lefranc as the principal vocalists.”

Review: New-York Times, 16 June 1870, 5.

“Last evening, and in the presence of a very numerous and intelligent audience, the programme following was interpreted: [lists program].

The singing of Miss Richings—the lady’s maiden name reappearing on the bills—deserves particular mention. Miss Richings rendered the ‘Inflammatus’ admirably, and when it is remembered that Mme. Rosa sang it twice during the festival and brought to its influence over ten thousand spectators, vocal resources no living artist possesses in equal variety, this simple statement implies the highest praise. But the furor of the night was created by Signor Lefranc’s performance, which, day before yesterday, also caused a demonstration of delight as loud as that elicited by the united attempts of instruments, voices and artillery. Miss Kellogg, (whose execution of the polacca in ‘I Puritani,’ had, at an earlier stage of the proceedings, set all doubt at rest as to her reliability as a solo vocalist in so large a concert-room,) gave first with Signor Lefranc, the miserere from ‘Il Trovatore,’ the tenor being called to the front at the conclusion, and compelled to repeat the whole extract. The execution of the duo from ‘Il Poliuto,’ with which the same artists once before electrified the frequenters of the Academy of Music, was still more fruitful of applause. Though the scenic surroundings in late operatic seasons have not been of the most inspiriting kind, it is evident that the poorest canvas representations and the humblest contributions of the property-man are not wholly valueless to the artist as means of maintaining in his mind a desirable illusion. The depressing circumstances in the shape of boards and black coats had happily no unfortunate consequence in this case, and Signor Lefranc and Miss Kellogg interpreted their duet with immense élan and with a fervor of the most genuine kind. Signor Lefranc’s grand voice, never more powerful, broader in compass or under better control than it was last night, was afterward heard in the magnificent trio from ‘William Tell.[’] Among the distinguished persons present, while the entertainment progressed, was M. de Catacazy, the Russian Minister to this country. The directors of the Festival report that they have received a dispatch stating that President Grant and suite will be present at the Coliseum on Friday. The concerts of the afternoon and evening are referred to elsewhere. They are to be as varied and as attractive as those just spoken of in detail, but we lack space to print the programmes.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 June 1870, 4.

“The evening concert, being made up chiefly of pieces we have already noticed, calls for no splendid remarks. Miss Kellogg repeated the O luce di quest’anima and the Miserere scena, being accompanied in the latter by Le Franc instead of Brignoli. The ‘Inflammatus’ was repeated with Mrs. Caroline Richings Bernard instead of Parepa for the solos. All, so far as we have heard, was either pretty well or very well.

If the weather had been pleasant last night we dare say there would have been an overflowing house; and we think the managers must have lost money so far on every performance. This is partly their own fault. They announced a grand commemoration of Beethoven, and put forth an entertainment which has no more to do with Beethoven than with Prester John. Connoisseurs are angry that the name of the great master should have been stolen for a comm[illeg.] speculation, and that foreigners should be [illeg.] to laugh at the musical culture of Americans, who have the centenary of the greatest of classical composers with such calp-trap as hammers, and red-shirts, and the [illeg.] of freedom, and certain solo singers whom, not having said much about them heretofore, we shall not [illeg.] by speaking of them now. They are angry also that when a classical work is given, like the C minor symphony on Monday, it is given with so little preparation that such an accomplished master like. Mr. Carl Bergmann ([illeg.] best symphony leader in America) cannot do it justice. The Germans, consequently, who are the best lovers and supporters of music in New-York, have kept away. There are no German societies among the chorus. There are no German faces in the audience. At present the management seems to be drifting. Plans are changing every few hours. Advertisements and programmes are deceptive. What the rest of the week will bring forth no man can tell. The popular concerts promise to be successful. The ‘Elijah’ is almost certain to be given and we hope it may be profitable. For the rest, all darkness. If we are to have a jubilee of noise, well and good; many people like it, and we shall not quarrel with their taste. But for the sake of art and for the sake of our national reputation, we hope it may be distinctly understood that this festival, be it good, bad, or indifferent, has nothing whatever to do with the Beethoven Centennial. We say this not because the music is poor; much of it is excellent of its kind; and there has been a steady improvement since the first day, especially in the orchestra; but because we think [illeg.] tub ought to stand on its own bottom. There is nothing gained, on the contrary there is money lost, by making this affair one thing and pretending that it is another.

The Directors of the Beethoven Festival announce that they have received a dispatch that President Grant and suite will be present at the Coliseum to-morrow.”

Review: New York Post, 16 June 1870, 3.

A review of the afternoon and evening concerts on 06/15/70 (see separate event entry of same day for evening program). “Very agreeable, entertaining, and in some cases quite starling music, was produced at the Coliseum yesterday afternoon and evening to audiences which were far greater than on the previous days. As the two programmes were simply those of a miscellaneous concert and on a very grand scale, it will be unnecessary here to specify all the selections. It is enough to say that the Anvil Chorus was the central point of attraction, and that with all its accessories of electric cannon, red-shirted firemen (who were really members of the opera chorus) and Mr. Gilmore’s utterly original side-action style of conducting, it was an entire success. The audience became wild with excitement over it, and demanded instant repetition. Even the staid musicians, who deprecated the sensational clangor, confessed that the chorus was admirably sung and the anvils beaten with exquisite precision. The ‘Inflammatus’ was well sung by Parepa and Richings, the latter doing herself infinite credit, while the former was, of course, satisfactory, as she always is. Miss Kellogg made a special success in singing with Lefranc the duet from ‘Poliuto,’ and was also greatly applauded in the Miserere from ‘Trovatore.’ Lefranc, Drayton [sic -- though he performed the trio during the festival, it does not seem that he did so at this concert] and Reina [sic] have made the ‘Tell’ trio a marked feature of the festival programme, and are applauded to the echo every time that they give their magnificent interpretation of Rossini’s matchless strains.

The few specimens of choral singing given yesterday were well performed, though, we are informed that the management shows a lack of courtesy towards the New York singers, which is having it[s] effects in thinning out the ranks. The poor courtesy of a complimentary admission is not too great a reward for the ladies and gentlemen who leave their business avocations, and devote their time and talents in the undistinguishable mass of choristers.

The attendance was large yesterday, as it must be during the remaining days of the festival in order to return to the projectors of the enterprise the vast outlay which they have made.”