Central Park Garden Concert

Event Information

Central Park Garden

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]

Price: $.50; $1 private box

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 August 2023

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

09 Jun 1871, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Freischutz overture
Composer(s): Weber
aka Vorstadtler, Die
Composer(s): Lanner
aka One heart, one soul
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Strauss
aka Festival overture, op. 105; Fest Ouverture
Composer(s): Reinecke
aka Spharen-Klange; Spharen Klange
Composer(s): Strauss
aka Queen of Sheba
Composer(s): Gounod
Composer(s): Rossini
aka Autumn roses
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Bach


Advertisement: New York Herald, 09 June 1871, 2.

Includes program.

Review: New York Post, 10 June 1871, 2.

“The most enthusiastic advocate of German manners and culture might be content with the splendid success of the Central Park concerts, which, as far as the orchestra is concerned, are German in personnel and selection of music, while they are at least semi-Teutonic in the whole arrangement and regulation of the auditory. Of Mr. Thomas it delights us to speak in terms of praise on every convenient opportunity. Having begun by deserving success he ends by commanding it. Most men would under such circumstances give signs of deteriorating into charlatanry. Not so Mr. Thomas, who is, in all and through all, the same modest, courteous, self-possessed gentleman, and earnest thorough musician as at first. There is an old phrase—expressive of great vigor and efficiency—about doing anything ‘sixteen to the dozen.’ On this scale the Central Park orchestra plays some twenty or more to the dozen, for the conductor, by sheer force of precision, spirit and taste in his leading, aided by corresponding virtues on their own part, gets out of his company of forty as much effect as an ordinary leader out of a less skillful orchestra of sixty or more. In some pieces, indeed, the effect is almost unpleasantly sharp and clear, and the bass and big drum, spite of careful checking and toning down, get more than their share of auditorial attention. The difficulty is owing to the magnifying effect of the apse or pavilion in which the performers are stationed, and to the smallness and peculiar acoustic quality of the hall. It is one of Mr. Thomas’s day dreams to get a handsome hall, on the plan of Bilse’s Concert Haus in Berlin, where he can entertain two or three thousand people at a much lower price than at present, and with better musical effect. For the sake of our popular culture, it is greatly to be hoped that the plan may be tried. If it is ever put in operation, we hope earnestly that the good sense and taste of the audiences themselves may establish the same role as in the Fatherland. At the better class of orchestral concerts in Berlin and Dresden, even at the popular rates of eight to ten cents per head, audible whispering or talking is promptly suppressed by the indignant hisses of those who have gone to really listen. Much of the good effect of Mr. Thomas’s admirable music is lost in the dull murmur and rustle of conversation, to say nothing of other disturbing noises, even during the choicest and most classical numbers of his programme. Can’t this be obviated?”