Christine Nilsson Concert: 3rd

Event Information

Steinway Hall

Manager / Director:
Max Strakosch

Max Maretzek

Price: $2; reserved, $3 and $4

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 January 2023

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

26 Sep 1870, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Merry Wives of Windsor
Composer(s): Nicolai
aka Ballade et polonaise brilliante
Composer(s): Vieuxtemps
Participants:  Henri Vieuxtemps
aka Favorita; Favoured one
Composer(s): Donizetti
Composer(s): Gounod
aka M'appari tutt’amor; My raptured gaze; Lionel’s air; Ah, so pure
Composer(s): Flotow
Participants:  Pasquale Brignoli
aka Figaro's aria
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  N.[baritone] Verger
aka Lucia's mad scene
Composer(s): Donizetti
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
Composer(s): Auber
aka Mephisto waltz, no. 1; Faust waltz
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
aka No no no; No no no caso egual giammai; No no no you have not heart; Page's song
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Participants:  Annie Louise Cary
aka Kennst du das Land?; Do you know the land?; Mignon's romance; Non conosci il bel suol
Composer(s): Thomas
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
aka Tannhauser overture
Composer(s): Wagner


Advertisement: New-York Times, 25 September 1870, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 27 September 1870, 10.

“The third of the first series of Mlle. Nilsson’s concerts took place last night at Steinway Hall before a large, fashionable and critical audience, and was a marked success. The favorable impression this lady created on her first appearance is firmly established. She has attracted the admiration of her hearers by the purity of her voice, by her artlessness of manner, and utter absorption in the spirit of the music she sings. Many have been disappointed in her in not finding that magnetism and irresistible fervor which is the concomitant of genius. She will ever please an audience, and at first hearing will astonish them by the novelty of a voice, which in point of limpidity and equality through all its registers has no living equal. But to say this voice possesses the electric power of a Malibran, Sontag or Grisi is more than Mlle. Nilsson’s most ardent admirers would be willing to give her credit for. She is a thoroughly accomplished artiste, and on the operatic stage will undoubtedly produce a more marked effect than when confined within the narrow limits of the concert. She fairly carries her audience with her by sheer force of magnetic influence. In action, manner and expression her power really lies. In opera she would be overwhelmingly effective. This was shown last night, when at the conclusion of the romanza ‘Connais tu le Pays,’ obedient to a general call she reappeared and sang ‘The Last Rose of Summer.’ She sang it magnificently, but with a pathos and tenderness of expression which fairly electrified the audience. Mlle. Nilsson sang during the concert an ‘Ave Maria,’ by Gounod; ‘Grand Scena’ and ‘Cavatina Lucia di Lammermoor,’ ‘Connais tu le Pays,’ and that gem of Irish music which was her greatest triumph. Miss Annie Louise Cary distinguished herself in the duet of ‘La Favorita,’ with Signor Verger, who was also effective, while Signor Brignoli in ‘M’Appari’ from ‘Martha,’ was deservedly applauded. Mr. Henry Vieuxtemps’ performances on the violin drew the willing plaudits of the brilliant audience. Altogether the concert was a splendid performance throughout, and gave entire satisfaction.”

Review: New York Post, 27 September 1870, 2.

“Steinway Hall last night resounded again to the applause which Mlle. Nilsson is always sure of winning. Her voice, however, probably owing to her recent cold, was hardly equal in purity and strength to what it has been at previous concerts. She sang Gounod’s Ave Maria, a scena from ‘Lucia,’ a little French song, and for an encore, ‘The Last Rose of Summer,’ enlisting in all the sympathies of the audience, but winning the heartiest recognition in the latter selection. Mr. Vieuxtemps played with his usual skill and grace, and Brignoli sang his favorite aria from ‘Martha.’ Miss Cary made a very favorable impression in a song from the ‘Huguenots.’

“A marked feature of the evening was the superb playing of Miss Anna Mehlig, who in Liszt’s transcription of the ‘Faust’ waltz, won a most unmistakable encore. It is to be hoped that this lady will be heard again in the Nilsson concerts, which will be continued both this and next week.”

Review: New York Sun, 27 September 1870, 1.

“Nilsson sang ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ on an encore last evening, Vieuxtemps played ‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning,’ and a bald-headed gentleman in the southeast corner of the hall attempted to sing ‘Kamo-Kimo,’ but was squelched.”

Review: New-York Times, 27 September 1870, 5.

“Last evening Miss Christine Nilsson appeared for the fourth time in the concert-room before the American public. As on every preceding occasion the house was crowded and the enthusiasm unbounded. The same artists as hitherto, with a single exception, assisted in interpreting the programme for the evening, and while Miss Nilsson, the divina dea, carried off the honors, the audience were by no means slow in testifying their appreciation of the efforts of the others.

“The first selection which Miss Nilsson rendered was Gounod’s ‘Ave Maria,’ with a violin obligato by Mr. H. Vieuxtemps. The piece is a familiar one, and is also fortunately a favorite. But its rendering last night seemed to give it a new meaning. Miss Nilsson possesses the rare attribute of feeling all that she sings. With her the soul speaks in the song. So from the first note of the ‘Ave Maria,’ the melody, the audience and the artist were forgotten, and the prayer was the one thing felt by all alike. Rich and superb as is her voice, the varying shades of expression with which she clothes it leave a far more lasting impression on the auditor than could any feeling of mere wonder at its perfection. It is this quality, this leave given a magnificent voice to be the medium for the creation of every tint of feeling, and this quality in its perfect form, that particularly gives Miss Nilsson her pre-eminence and her complete control over her audience. She carries them with her, till they forget the singer and think only of the sentiment. She is more than an artist, because mistress of her art. That she can execute the most difficult passages with ease, was evident from her rendering of the scena and cavatina from ‘Lucia.’ Trills and arpeggios, scales and chromatics, came rippling forth like the gentle murmurings of the way-side stream, winning for the artist the enthusiastic admiration of spectators and of orchestra alike. But it was, perhaps, in the romanza from Ambroise Thomas’ opera of ‘Mignon’ that Miss Nilsson won her most signal triumph, and this, too, despite an exceedingly uneven accompaniment. Miss Nilsson, thanks to the hints of the composer, is most capable of justly interpreting Thomas’ music. Its peculiarities she thoroughly understands. The opera of ‘Mignon’ was virtually rewritten for her, and she created the part in England, as she did that of Hamlet in France. Special interest was therefore felt to hear her in this portion of the opera. Although the romanza selected is by no means the most difficult in the work, it is nevertheless exceedingly trying, and requires the most varied qualities for its proper interpretation. Miss Nilsson sang with spirit and with force, displaying at time the full power of her voice. In response to the loud and prolonged applause which greeted has as she breathed the last note, she sang, in English, ‘The Last Rose of Summer.’

“But little need be said in addition to what has already appeared in these columns with reference to the other artists. Encores were generously repeated and as generously complied with. M. Vieuxtemps gave his own version of ‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning,’ displaying his wonderful command over the king of instruments and by his instrumentation establishing his claims to stand facile princips among violinists. Miss Anna Mehlig replaced Mr. Wehli as piano soloist, and played Liszt’s ‘Faust Waltz’ with the marvelous technique for which she has won distinction. Miss Cary’s rich contralto was heard to advantage in an aria from the ‘Huguenots,’ while Signor Brignoli filled his position on the programme with M’appari, from ‘Martha,’ and the serenade, com é gentil, from ‘Don Pasquale.’ Signor Verger was heard with pleasure in the concerted pieces, his voice being hardly such as to render his singing of the air from ‘Il Barbiere,’ where the lively little barber narrates his troubles, as interesting as we have heard it from the lips of other artists. Finally, Mr. Maretzek led the orchestra, and Signor Carlo Bosoni accompanied at the piano with so evident a knowledge of his art that a better acquaintance with him will probably avoid the recapitulation in future of the pretensions of miscellaneous pianists to the special science of the genuine accompanyist [sic]. We subjoin the programme of the evening as a matter or record [see above].”

Announcement: New-York Times, 28 September 1870, 4.

Pianist Wehli’s termination of his connection with the Nilsson Concert Troupe; amicable parting on both sides.