Beethoven Centennial Festival: Concert: 9th

Event Information

American Institute Coliseum

Max Maretzek
Patrick S. Gilmore
James Pech

Event Type:
Band, Orchestral

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 November 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Jun 1870, Evening

Program Details

“Grand Operatic, Choral, and Miscellaneous 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.)

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
Conductor: Maretzek, Max
Composer(s): Donizetti
Participants:  [baritone] Petrelli (role: Ashton);  Jennie [vocalist] Hughes (role: Alisa);  Augustino Susini (role: Raimond);  Bernardo Massimiliani (role: Edgardo);  G. [basso] Fossati (role: Norman);  Isabella McCulloch (role: Lucia)
Conductor: Gilmore, Patrick S.
Composer(s): Flotow
Participants:  Gilmore's Band
Conductor: Gilmore, Patrick S.
Composer(s): Unknown composer
Participants:  Mrs. Howard Paul
aka Marvellous works; Achieved is the glorious work; Mighty work is done at last
Conductor: Pech, James
Composer(s): Haydn
aka Mass, no. 12; Gloria in excelsis; Glory be to God on high
Conductor: Pech, James
Composer(s): Mozart
Conductor: Maretzek, Max
Composer(s): Bandegger
Participants:  Rosa Cooke [soprano]
aka Soldatenchor; Soldier's march
Conductor: Maretzek, Max
Composer(s): Gounod


Advertisement: New York Herald, 10 June 1870, 9.
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 Herald, 18 June 1870, 5.


Fifth Day—Operatic, Choral and Orchestral Programmes.

[Begins with review of afternoon performance.]

In the evening the appreciation by the public of the Beethoven Festival was more than ever demonstrated, when a larger attendance than any that has heretofore crowded the Coliseum assembled within its walls. It is, nevertheless, to be regretted that while the music loving community of the metropolis have substantially endorsed this jubilee as the grand pioneer to future triumphs, the management should be so completely blind to the fact that satisfactory arrangements go hand and hand with success. The wretched bungling of the minor officials was a general cause of complaint. Experience, however, will doubtless teach those in charge, and when the time comes for another great musical display it is to be hoped that, together with the bringing together of first-class artists, the convenience of their patrons will also be considered.

Not since the opening did the Coliseum present a more imposing appearance than on last evening. Although for the past day or so the chorus was gradually dwindling there appeared to be a grand revival last night. Scarcely a seat on the stage was empty, and when the programme commenced—by the way there was not such a thing as a programme to be seen anywhere—the spectacle was very find. Berthold’s overture ‘Jubilee,’ conducted by Dr. James Pech, was well rendered under his able baton. A potpourri from ‘Martha’ was next performed in splendid style by Gilmore’s band. Mrs. Howard Paul achieved quite a triumph in her highly artistic interpretation of the famous Scotch song, ‘Hurrah for the Highlands.’ She was deservedly encored. ‘The Anvil Chorus’ was given with even better effect than on any previous occasion. The presence of Mr. P. S. Gilmore, than whom a more inspiring conductor does not live, arouse the audience to enthusiasm. Mr. Gilmore was recalled and received with long continued tokens of approbation, the ladies standing and waving their recognition of his great merits. To Gilmore the major part of the success of the festival is mainly due, and his name will be at all times remembered in New York as a great master of his profession. The anvil chorus was succeeded by the grand choral ‘Achieved is the Glorious Work,’ conducted by Dr. Pech. Who, subsequently, by request, delivered an address returning thanks to the choral societies for the assistance they had rendered the management.

In the second part of the programme Gilmore’s band was again the recipient of great applause for the unsurpassed performance of Julien’s ‘Quadrille for All Nations,’ Mozart’s Twelfth Mass was next given, under the conductorship of Dr. Pech. It was thoroughly appreciated. ‘Ben e Ridicoio,’ [sic] a charming waltz by Randegger [sic], was admirably sung by Miss Rosa Cooke, and an encore was demanded. The close of the performance was not so successful, as most of the chorus and musicians had quitted the stage. A magnificent programme is announced for Mr. Gilmore’s benefit, and it is needless to state that the public will tender a substantial and enthusiastic endorsement of their appreciation.”

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

Lists program. Notes Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” is performed by “Fifty Anvils, Artillery, Drum Corps, Brass Bands, Great Combined Operatic Chorus, and Combined Choral Societies.” Also includes outline of Julien’s “Quadrille of all Nations.”

“Mrs. Howard Paul, thanks to the peculiarities of her voice, obtained an enthusiastic encore. The same fate befell the ‘Anvil Chorus.’ This is Gilmore’s pet child. As he appeared upon the stage and mounted the box he uses as a rostrum, the audience began to get excited and enthusiastic. Then the red-shirted anvil-beaters filed in from behind the recesses of the great organ, and the enthusiasm became intense. Up went the sledges, down again they fell, sending bright sparks from their iron victims, and to and fro swayed Gilmore the mighty, his arms describing the walking-beam motion of a Hudson River steam-boat. Then ‘bang’ went the cannon and Gilmore moved swifter, sledges fell faster, drums beat louder, and above the universal din rose the cheers of the audience, while handkerchiefs waved and fluttered in the air. And so again the artillery had to belch forth its base notes, and truth to tell, performing it spart in much better time, in response to the encore, than when first it thundered. Julien’s [sic] Quadrille has been spoken of before. It possesses many beautiful passages, noticeably so in the third and fourth figures; but it might as appropriately be called a medley as a quadrille. Miss McCulloch sang with spirit and ease, while the gentlemen assisting were in good voice, and filled well their allotted rôles. What more need be said? It is ‘Hamlet’ with the part of Hamlet left out. Beethoven is compelled to shine by being absent. We take pleasure in adding that at the concert this afternoon the Anvil Chorus will be performed again, and Miss Kellogg and Signor Lefranc will assist in its interpretation, while in the evening, at Gilmore’s benefit concert, Parepa-Rosa and Brignoli will aid in the rendering of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’”

Review: New York Post, 18 June 1870, 2.

“The largest attendance that has yet rewarded the projectors of the Beethoven Centennial was present at the Coliseum last night. Almost all the seats were occupied, and several thousand persons were standing in the cool and spacious corridors. The programme was decidedly miscellaneous. Dr. Pech opened it with Berthold’s ‘Jubilee’ overture, which has become a standard favorite with our musical audiences. A concerted piece from ‘Linda’ was sung by a variety of artists, with Mrs. McCulloch as the prima donna. Mrs. Howard Paul was warmly applauded and encored in one of the Scotch songs which she so well knows how to sing. This was the last appearance in this country of this accomplished and versatile artist, who left to-day for Europe.

Other features of last night’s programme were the ‘Gloria,’ from Mozart’s Twelfth Mass, well sung through, without any previous rehearsal, by the united choruses, who were out in full force; the ‘Quadrille of all Nations;’ a finale from ‘Martha;’ the ‘Anvil Chorus,’ which received the inevitable encore, and one short chorus from the ‘Creation.’ The applause was liberal throughout the entire evening, and the concert gave as much satisfaction as any of the series. Although the evening was a warm one, the large, well-ventilated hall of the Coliseum was quite cool and comfortable.

Tonight’s performance closes the festival. The programme is announced as a Gilmore benefit, and Parepa will on this occasion sing for the last time in this country.

During the evening a pleasant compliment was extended to the Boston people. Dr. Pech, from the conductor’s stand, made the following remarks:

‘I have the honor of being deputed to express the thanks of the management to the various choral societies of New York, of which the New York Mendelssohn holds a distinguished position, the Brooklyn Choral Union, the societies of New Haven and Waterbury, Conn., of Springfield and Worcester, Mass.; the Newark and Plainfield, Willamsburgh and Jersey City; and of the Associated Chorus of New York, who have during the last weeks rallied round me in numbers of eight hundred to one thousand singers, making a grand total of two thousand, without including our illustrious friends in the Handel and Haydn Society. Through the enthusiasm and persistent action of these choral bodies, a larger number of vocalists has been concentrated under one conductor than at any other time in the musical records of this city. The success attending the united purpose and action has been apparent, notwithstanding the conflicting jealousies of rival societies, and the many local prejudices that have unfortunately surrounded for many years the various choral elements of the metropolis. I think a great deal of the enthusiasm among our choral societies may be attributed to the advent in this city of the Handel and Haydn Society, of whom we have all heard so much, and the visit of whom with their able conductor, Mr. Carl Zerrahn, will constitute an epoch in the musical history of the city. I may safely say, on the testimony of others of longer standing in this community than myself, that in their performance of a portion of ‘Elijah,’ there has been no such chorus singing heard here before. I may not agree in some particulars with the tempi of my friend Mr. Zerrahn, but there is one thing we both agree upon, and that is, in the expressions of the thoughts and sentiments of the great composer, he has so effectively, I may say, so gloriously conducted. I have only to add that to the Handel and Haydn Society, and to the various societies who have united with us in present musical administration, we shall owe a great benefit in the future, if with the illustrious example, we can here in New York concentrate all our vocal resources in one channel, and with undivided energies under the controlling influence of some competent presiding mind meet regularly for the practice and performance of those great choral works, one of which has been given to us with so much excellence, and to which we have all listened with admiration and real pleasure.’

Dr. James Pech was greeted with hearty applause at various points of his address.”

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, and of Mr. Gilmore’s cannon specialties, for which the popular affection remained to the last unshaken. On Friday the Soldiers’ Chorus from ‘Faust’ was attempted, but it went so badly and was so much disturbed by the tramp of departing feet that Mr. Maretzek stopped it abruptly and left the stage.”