Central Park Band Concert

Event Information

Madison Square

C. W. Wernig

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 July 2022

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

26 May 1870, 5:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Donizetti
Composer(s): Flotow
aka Dark lindens
Composer(s): Gumbert
aka Light blood
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Kühner
Composer(s): Offenbach
aka Spring song; Frulingsklänge
Composer(s): Kühner
aka Masaniello; Mute Girl of Portici; Stumme von Portici
Composer(s): Auber
aka Wilder Jager
Composer(s): Fuller
Composer(s): Verdi
Composer(s): Lanner
Composer(s): Wiegand


Announcement: New York Herald, 22 May 1870, 7.

“Musical entertainments will…be given…in Madison square [sic] on Thursday, from five to seven o’clock P. M., should the weather be fine.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 23 May 1870, 2.
Announcement: New-York Times, 25 May 1870, 2.


Announcement: New York Herald, 26 May 1870, 5.

Provides program.

Review: New York Herald, 27 May 1870, 6.

“The new régime in the management of the public parks of the metropolis has conferred an inestimable boon on all classes in increasing the number of open air concerts, and thus bringing music within the reach of all. What before was confined to Central Park, and only permitted to be enjoyed there once a week, is now extended to almost every quarter of the city. Madison Park presented a gayer appearance than usual yesterday afternoon. Around the temporary stand in which was grouped the superb band of Grafulla, thronged a circle of delighted listeners of all classes. The inner part of the circle mainly consisted of children of every age, from the baby in arms, which seemed anxious to add its shrill treble to the music, to the precocious gamin in all the glory of his first cl[illeg.]. It seemed as if all juveniledom was out for the occasion, and anxious mothers and nurses were in a constant worry as their precious charges became lost in the ever-moving stream of little humanity…At five o’clock Mr. C. W. Wernig gave the signal with his baton, and the strains of the brilliant march from Donizetti’s ‘Gemma di Vergi [sic]’ attracted every one within hearing to the spot and narrowed the aforesaid juvenile circle, despite the efforts of the blue-coated M. P.’s who wished to reserve it intact. Now and then some reckless gamin would describe a diameter or a chord by running across the space within; but this geometrical process was generally attended by a growl from a blue coat, with an occasional rap of a rattan, like that which befalls a laggard in geometry in a rural seminary. Then came the lovely ‘Stradella’ overture, a melodious song from Gumbert and one of Strauss’ dashing groups. [Lists program.]

“We have never heard the glorious overture to ‘La Muette de Portici’ played with more spirit and elan. The band is admirably balanced and play together as only trained musicians can do.”

Review: New-York Times, 27 May 1870, 2.

“The second of the down-town concerts, recently ordered by the Park Commissioners, took place in Madison-square, yesterday afternoon, between 5 and 7 P. M. The crowd of people in attendance was not quite as large as at the Washington Parade ground on Wednesday afternoon, but the park was well filled and the children appeared to enjoy the occasion very much. Grafulla’s Band furnished the music, which comprised most of the popular selections.”

Review: New York Clipper, 11 June 1870, 78.

“Music is not only provided in Central Park on certain afternoons, but also in our various city squares, where some of our best brass bands give a free blow. Thus ‘music for the million’ is furnished in goodly quantity, and if the hours were changed until after the working classes had finished their evening meal, the music would enable the people to top off with a very enjoyable desert [sic].”