Beethoven Centennial Festival: Concert: 8th

Event Information

American Institute Coliseum

Patrick S. Gilmore
James Pech

Price: $2 reserved, “any part of the house”; $1

Event Type:

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 November 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Jun 1870, 2:30 PM

Program Details

Originally billed as the “Grand Oratorio Matinee.”

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 citations are less forthcoming than they are for earlier Centennial concerts, especially as concerns performers and ensembles. (They do not, for instance, indicate that the Beethoven Centennial Festival Military Band or Beethoven Centennial Festival Artillery Accompaniment performed, although it is difficult to believe that either was absent.) There is some confusion about whether G. Fossati or Francesco Filippi performed at this concert; both are listed here. Additionally, the New York Times review lists de Gebele as a soloist, but there is no other evidence to suggest she performed at this concert.

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: Pech, James
Composer(s): Berthold
aka Duett Valentine-Raoul
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Participants:  Caroline Richings;  Henri Drayton
Conductor: Gilmore, Patrick S.
Composer(s): Jullien
aka Vepres; Vespri siciliani; Sicilian vespers, The; Bolero; Siciliana; Sicilienne; Pity, beloved ladies; Merce dilette Amiche
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Caroline Richings
Conductor: Pech, James
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
aka Rigoletto, quartet
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Heavens are telling; Schopfung, Die, Himmel erzahlen die Ehre Gottes
Conductor: Pech, James
Composer(s): Haydn


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

States that Handel’s Messiah will be performed; when or why the program changed so dramatically is unclear.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 17 June 1870, 7.

Multiple cards on the same page. “There are special reasons for a full choral representation on FRIDAY AFTERNOON and EVENING.”

Review: New York Post, 17 June 1870, 4.

The evening paper was able to publish a review of that day’s afternoon concert. “The performance of this afternoon was attended by a fair audience, though the Coliseum was by no means crowded. The attendance on the part of the chorus was slim. It is difficult to maintain on the part of amateur singers a continued interest in a protracted series of choral concerts, especially when the locality is one so inconvenient for business men. At this evening performance there will undoubtedly be a fuller choral attendance.

There was some delay in beginning the concert this afternoon. At half-past two Dr. James Pech took the baton and opened the concert with an orchestral performance of Berthold’s ‘Jubel’ overture, in place of one of Auber’s that was on the programme. The finale to the third act of ‘Ernani,’ was sung by Miss Richings, Miss Hughes, Messrs. Randolfi, Fillippi, and the full opera chorus. A duet from the ‘Huguenots,’ a solo from Mr. Drayton, a quartette from ‘Rigoletto,’ a bolero for Miss Richings, Jullien’s quadrille of all nations, and other selections were down on the programme.

A number of the members of the orchestra left in disgust at some trouble with the management.

The German musicians during the entire festival have given a great deal of unnecessary trouble.”

Review: New York Herald, 18 June 1870, 5.


Fifth Day—Operatic, Choral and Orchestral Programmes.

The attendance at the Coliseum yesterday afternoon was good and the programme was performed acceptably, although the chorus was not so large at it was on previous days. The grand duo from the ‘Huguenots’ was sung by Mrs. Caroline Richings-Bernard and Mr. Henry Drayton. The sestette from ‘Ernani’ was well sung by Mrs. Richings, Jennie Hughes and Messrs. Randolph [sic], Massimiliani, Drayton and Fossati. Signor Fossati’s first baritone came out with marked effect in this number. The principal feature of the programme was the ‘Quadrille of All Nations,’ conducted by Gilmore, who alone understands how to rouse the enthusiasm of the audience on such an occasion. Dr. Pech led the ‘Jubilee’ overture, ‘Thanks Be To God’ and ‘The Heavens Are Telling.’”

Review: New-York Times, 18 June 1870, 5.

“With the closing scenes of the Musical Jubilee, the audiences increase in size, and the ‘Coliseum’ was well filled both yesterday afternoon and evening. Had Beethoven ever anticipated in his wildest moments the tremendous fuss and deafening noise with which his centennial was to be celebrated, he would certainly have been sufficiently considerate never to have been born at all. For the day programme, Aubur [sic], Verdi, Haydn, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Julien and Mendelssohn were the selected composers, contributing the overture to ‘Massaniello,’ sextette from ‘Ernani,’ duo from the ‘Huguenots,’ ‘Quadrille for All Nations’, [sic] ‘Sicilian Vespers’ and other well-known pieces. Missings Richings, Hughes, Cooke, Gebele, and Messrs. Drayton, Arbuckle, Randolfi and Filippi were the soloists.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 20 June 1870, 5.

“The Musical Festival dwindled away steadily after the ‘Elijah’ night, and on Saturday evening [illeg…] and general debility. Its last hours were disturbed by the clamors of unpaid artists and impatient auditors, and hardly a friend remained to close its eyes. Friday and Saturday were both devoted to miscellaneous programmes, mainly repetitions of operatic selections which we have already noticed…”