Christine Nilsson Concert: 4th

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)

28 Sep 1870, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Ophelia's mad scene; A vos jeux, mes amis
Composer(s): Thomas
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
aka Kennst du das Land?; Do you know the land?; Mignon's romance
Composer(s): Thomas
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
aka Letzte Rose
Composer(s): Traditional
Text Author: Moore
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
aka Home sweet home
Composer(s): Bishop
Text Author: Payne
Participants:  Christine Nilsson
aka Fantaisie sur Gounod’s Faust
Composer(s): Vieuxtemps
Participants:  Henri Vieuxtemps
Composer(s): Vieuxtemps
Participants:  Henri Vieuxtemps
Composer(s): Chopin
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
aka Bravour-Studien nach Paganini’s Capricen "La Campanella"
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
aka Serenade; O come to the window
Composer(s): Mozart
Participants:  N.[baritone] Verger
Composer(s): Mozart
Participants:  Pasquale Brignoli
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Participants:  Annie Louise Cary


Advertisement: New-York Times, 25 September 1870, 7.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 28 September 1870, 4.

Wehli has left the company to join Clara Louise Kellogg’s concert tour; Bosoni takes his place as accompanist; uncertain whether Anna Mehlig will continue as piano soloist.

Review: New York Post, 29 September 1870, 2.

“Enjoyable as the Nilsson concerts have undoubtedly been, many music lovers have noticed that the selections were too often commonplace and hackneyed. Last night there was an improvement in this point. Mozart figured on the programme in three excerpts from ‘Don Giovanni,’ sung by Miss Cary, Mr. Brignoli, and Mr. Verger. The orchestra played the ‘Tell overture,’ Meyerbeer’s ‘Coronation March,’ and Brignoli’s melodious attempt at orchestration called ‘The Sailor’s Dream.’ Miss Cary sang as her solo piece the ‘Shepherd’s Song,’ from ‘Dinorah,’ revealing to excellent advantage the full rich tones of her lower register. She was liberally applauded, and receiving a prodigiously big tray of flowers, essayed to carry it away on her head, to the great delight of the audience. Mr. Vieuxtemps played his ‘Faust’ fantasia, and Miss Mehlig charmed her hearers by her exquisite delicacy of touch and tender sentiment in an impromptu by Chopin and Paganini’s ‘Campanella.’

“Miss Nilsson, who was dressed in a style of grace unusual even in one so noted for her taste in matters of toilet, was in good voice, and repeated several of the selections which have given so much satisfaction at previous concerts. Her rendering of the charming melody ‘Connais tu le pays,’ from Thomas’s ‘Mignon,’ is one of her most finished and exquisite performances, though it does not display the extent of her voice. The mad scene from ‘Hamlet’ she repeated last night with good effect, and in the last part of the concert sang ‘The Last Rose of Summer.’ Enjoyable as these selections are, the public is beginning to look for a wider variety in the Nilsson repertoire, and we presume the succeeding concerts will gratify this desire.

“Steinway Hall is illuminated to an extent which renders the atmosphere unendurable on such warm evenings as last night. Fewer gas-jets and more open windows would be appreciated by the audience.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 29 September 1870, 8.

Presence of cornetist Jules Levy and contralto Adelaide Phillips at last night’s concert.

Review: New-York Times, 29 September 1870, 8.

“Miss Nilsson’s fifth appearance at Steinway Hall was made last evening, in presence of an audience that equaled, almost, in numbers and in brilliancy, the assemblage gathered to greet her on her first night in this country. The programme included a few fresh elements, but was composed mainly of known pieces of the repertory of Mr. Strakosch’s troupe. There is, of course, no occasion to complain because of this rehearsal of semi-familiar compositions. Miss Nilsson’s rendering of the scene from ‘Hamlet,’ commencing ‘A vos jeux mes amis,’ is too good an example of difficulties of vocalism overcome, and of great variety in dramatic expression, not to bear repeated hearings, while her interpretation of the romance from ‘Mignon,’ beginning ‘Connais-tu le pays,’ is exceptionally interesting also, because of its purity and delicacy. Besides these two compositions, given yesterday, Miss Nilsson sang ‘The Last Rose of Summer,’ and in response to the subsequent encore, ‘Home, Sweet Home.’ She was in admirable voice, and lacked no incentive to effort in respect of applause or floral tributes; of the latter a wreath of real laurel leaves, procured with some difficulty by a Swedish Ladies’ Society, was a conspicuous part. The artists already written of here played and sang with Miss Nilsson. Mr. Vieuxtemps contributed to the entertainment his fantasia on motives from ‘Faust,’ and his variations, comical rather than beautiful, on an Irish popular air. Miss Anna Mehlig played one of Chopin’s impromptus with the poesy and refinement of a finished artist, and gave, afterward, its full value to Liszt’s ‘Campanella.’ The serenade from ‘Don Giovanni’ was sung with much taste by Signor Verger, and the romance, ‘Il mio Tesoro,’ from the same opera was recited in his well-remembered style by Signor Brignoli. Mozart’s grandest opera, by the way, was drawn upon a third time during the evening, the duet ‘La ci darem,’ by Signor Verger and Miss Cary being the final piece of the bill. Miss Cary’s solo was the shepherd’s song from ‘Dinorah,’ and was thoroughly well suited for the display of the timbre of this lady’s superb contralto notes. A basket of flowers of Homeric size was presented to Miss Cary after she had sung this air, and one of the most amusing incidents of a very agreeable concert arose out of her resting it upon her head and thus retiring from view. As hitherto, Mr. Maretzek conducted the orchestra, and Signor Carlo Bosoni accompanied at the piano.”

Article: New York Herald, 02 October 1870, 6.

“The concerts of the distinguished cantatrice, Christine Nilsson, have been a pecuniary as well as artistic success so far, and the wealth and fashion of the metropolis may be found each evening at Steinway Hall when the Swedish nightingale appears. Mlle. Nilsson has not created the same furor that marked the visit of her fair compatriot, Jenny Lind; but the musical taste of the American people has been very much changed for the better since that time. Our public now give an artist a respectful and even enthusiastic reception, without that questionable and unreasoning tumult of feeling that is akin to humbug, and that no true artist can value as a proper recognition of his or her talents. No humbug of exhibitor of monstrosities can deal with art as with a wooly horse or a Feejee mermaid, and no insane hatter can successfully advertise his business by being the first at the box office of a great artist. Mlle. Nilsson has achieved a triumph fully equal to that of her distinguished predecessor, without the element of humbug that attended the first season of Jenny Lind. We trust now, that independent of the pleasure derived from hearing such an accomplished , conscientious artist, her visit to this city will be productive of good in other respects. If our vocal societies are roused from their Rip Van Winkle lethargy and prove themselves capable of performing some of the magnificent promises set forth in their circulars; if music teachers cease their pernicious efforts to ruin some of our young, fresh American voices, which in other hands would bloom forth as rare flowers in the garden of vocalism; if musical managers cater to the legitimate taste of their audience, and trash be forever banished from the domain of music, then the visit of Nilsson to America will bring forth good fruit.”