Philharmonic Society of New-York Concert: 4th

Event Information

Irving Hall

Theodore Eisfeld

Price: $1.50

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
18 September 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Mar 1863, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Philharmonic Society of New-York (27th Season)

William Saar, pf, was replaced by Urso because of illness. His pieces were to be: Mendelssohn’s “Concert for the piano, op. 25;” Chopin solos for piano; Liszt solos for piano.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Jupiter symphony
Composer(s): Mozart
aka In native worth; Schopfung. Mit Wurd und Hoheit angetan
Composer(s): Haydn
Text Author: Swieten
Participants:  James Ernest Perring
Composer(s): Beriot
Participants:  Camilla Urso
Composer(s): Wagner
Composer(s): Bergner
Participants:  Frederick Bergner
aka Adelaida
Composer(s): Beethoven
Participants:  James Ernest Perring


: Chapters of opera [Krehbiel], 0000, 124.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 09 March 1863, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 09 March 1863, 7.
Time, price, performers, some works.
Advertisement: New York Post, 10 March 1863.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 March 1863, 7.
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 14 March 1863, 393.
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 14 March 1863, 394.
“Look out for the rainy weather!” (T.W.M.)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 14 March 1863, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 March 1863, 7.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 14 March 1863, 5.
: Strong, George Templeton. New-York Historical Society. The Diaries of George Templeton Strong, 1863-1869: Musical Excerpts from the MSs, transcribed by Mary Simonson. ed. by Christopher Bruhn., 14 March 1863.

Attended the “Philharmonic rehearsal this morning, taking Ellie [Mrs. Strong] and Miss Rosalie.Heard Mozart' s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony with delight, admiration if possible increased. How perfectly the 1st movement embodies the sentiment of some stately, splendid, joyous sunshiny pageant. Heroic and chivalric! One could write several pages of profound esthetic criticisn on each of the four movements--but for the high price of paper and the shortness of human life. I listened also to the overture by Wagner—‘Faust’—& a hybrid of Overture & Symphony by Schumann. Both well enough, but concoctions of clay beside Mozart's living crystals of sapphire.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 March 1863, 8.
“The Symphony players and performers are too well known to require particular description. In place of Wm. Saar, Camille Urso, a young lady, performed two solos on the violin; and considering the phenomenon of her sex essaying that instrument, and her splendid abilities, it formed one of the most remarkable musical exhibitions ever heard. A beautiful tone, in turn strong and tenderly defined; a large style of bowing; clean diatonic runs; command over rapidly iterated and diverse chords; piquancy, grace, intelligence—these are the qualities which she displayed, to the loud approbation of the audience. Mr. Perring sang with sweetness his airs; and Mr. Bergner caused the elegiac violoncello to emit its captivating woes.”
Review: New-York Times, 16 March 1863, 8.

“The fourth concert of the Philharmonic Society, given on Saturday night, was one of the most agreeable of the season, and this notwithstanding an important change in the programme, arising from the sudden and severe indisposition of Mr. Wm. Saar, who was to have been the solo pianist of the occasion in Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony—a work full of frank impulses and unstrained erudition; a work, indeed, that shows grandly the knowledge and nature of the composer, and illustrates that the highest flights of genius need not of necessity be tedious. It may be added, however, that to ears accustomed to the vivd coloring of the modern orchestra, the many repeats in this work are a little superfluous. The themes are so clear that they can be caught readily at a single hearing; hence it is unnecessary, by reiteration, to enforce them on the ear. The Symphony was played admirably by the orchestra, especially the magnificent figure in the last movement. In the second part of the programme there were two instrumental morceaux, both heavy enough to outweigh poor Mozart, but distinctly failing to do so. The first of these, Wagner’s overture characteristique to ‘Faust,’ is a stormy, boisterous, and overwhelming production, in which the listener gets tossed about, and has his bulwarks stove in, and both paddle-wheels carried away, and would fain take to the boats if it were in his power to do so. It is labeled with a motto from Goethe’s ‘Faust,’ expressive of the hero’s abhorrence of life, and ardent desire for death, but regret and dissolution are alike noisy affairs with Wagner. The only merit of the work is found in its broad and showy mechanism. Robert Schumann’s very effective Overture, Scherzo and Finale in E, op. 52, concluded the evening’s entertainment. Like the preceding piece, it was excellently played, but, unlike it, it gave satisfaction to the entire audience. The intellectual chafings of Richard Wagner in search of an idea, are only cheerful to a few. Mr. J. E. Perring, the well-known tenor, was the vocalist of the evening, and acquitted himself in a thoroughly musician-like way. It is a pity that we do not hear this gentleman more frequently in the concert room. In consequence of Mr. Saar’s indisposition, a substitute had to be provided. The directors had the extraordinary good luck to secure the services of Mlle. Camille Urso, the celebrated violinist, who volunteered, at a moment’s notice, to play the Andante and Rondo-Russe from the second concerto by De Beriot; and Vieuxtemps’ Fantasie-Caprice in A, op. 11. It is many years since this lady appeared before our public; the interval having been passed, as we are informed, in purely domestic pursuits. It is now our pleasant duty to welcome her back to the world of art, and to state that she has vastly improved since we last had the pleasure of hearing her. The Philharmonic audience—not excluding the musicians on the platform—were astonished to hear an artiste of such first-class ability, and a perfect ovation was, in consequence, awarded to her. Mlle. Urso phrases with remarkable elegance, and in some instances with even masculine vigor; her technical command of the instrument is equal to any emergency; her tone is large, clear, and absolutely just; her manner quiet, lady-like and subdued. These traits were so amply illustrated on Saturday, that the greatest excitement prevailed, and a success of the best kind was obtained.”

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 March 1863, 403-404.

New York, March 16.—The Philharmonic Society gave their fourth concert of the season, on the 14th, under the direction of Mr. Theodore Eisfeld. The programme was as follows: [Lists program].

            Mozart’s Symphony, undoubtedly his finest work in this form, and written at a time when he had probably reached the highest point of his artistic and creative powers, is throughout an ode to joy, a glorious expression of those triumphant movements that more than recompense the artist for the sufferings almost inseparably linked with genius. Yet Mozart’s inspired joy is even more general than individual,—in it he forgets himself; this quality gives one charm to his creation, to rob it of another. It does not passionately appear to certain natures, as do most of the works of Beethoven, Schumann, and Schubert; it speaks a language perhaps more generally understood. The enthusiastic jubilance of the Allegro; the quiet, reflective happiness of the Andante—a movement usually reserved for the expression of grief, melancholy, or longing, but which here is but softly clouded by momentary remembrances of pain;—the verve of the Minuet and Trio; the melodic charm, the contrapuntal art, the fine harmonization, the victorious playing with difficulties of the highest order—the rapture of a soul rejoicing in its own strength—of the great closing fugue, the whole is a hymn of gratitude for, and delight in, all that is best and sweetest in poor human life, although it may not reach the deepest and the highest in the life of exceptional genius.

            Schumann’s fine work, composed during a period when he was most occupied with instrumental writing, we found clear in conception and execution, full of elegance and original in strength, and masterly in the instrumentation. Especially beautiful is the Scherzo; it is as though we sat in a gondola, the measured dip of the oars, and the soft gurgle of the water, occasionally broken by the shooting past of other gondolas, each filled with its singers and orchestra. And in the rich and effective fugued finale, music reaches the highest point of poetically humorous jollity.

            ‘They would have thought, who heard the strain,
            They saw, in Tempe’s vale her native maids
            Amid the festal-sounding shades
            To some unwearied minstrel dancing;
            Brown Exercise rejoice to hear [sic];
            And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.’

            We failed to discover any charm in Wagner’s ‘Faust’ overture; the work is intended, we presume, as a musical translation of the motto from Goethe’s drama, which Wagner prefixes to it—‘the God who dwells within my breast, can deeply move my inward soul; he sways all my powers, yet cannot move aught of the outward; and thus being is a load to me, death longed for, and life hated.’ The overture sounded noisy and confused to us—not vague, for vagueness with method in its madness is a positively poetic quality—but unclear, and even trivial in idea, although the instrumentation, when not drowned in brass, is in parts fine.

            In place of Mr. Saar, who was prevented from playing by sudden illness, M’lle Camila Urso played, at short notice, the Andante and Rondo Russe, from De Beriot’s 2nd Concertino, and Vieuxtemps’ Fantasie Caprice in A, with all her own feminine grace and delicate finish. The pleasant surprise of her appearance was greeted with enthusiastic welcome.

            Mr. Bergner’s Violincello ‘Révérie’ was a very agreeable variety in the programme. 

            Mr. Perring’s voice and style, pleasing enough in ballad music, are not sufficient to give effect to oratorio recitative, or such a song as ‘Adelaide.’”

Review: Musical Review and World, 28 March 1863, 75.

[Lists program.]

            “The Programme suffered a change in consequence of the sickness of Mr. Wm. Saar, Mad. Camilla Urso, the violinist, took his place and acchieved [sic] genuine success by her clear and neat performance. She draws a good tone, and has a very acceptable technical ability. More fire, more warmth and spirit, light and shade shortly more really artistic style would, however, considerably improve her performance. Mr. Perring acquitted himself of his soli in that intelligent and musician-like manner for which he is distinguished. A little more abandon and warmth, however, would also be for him of considerable service. Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony offered the usual features. The last part will always stand as a monument of polyphonic art, the whole is certainly the best instrumental music of the pure classical school, beautiful in form and in its contents, but nobody will deny, that these contents cannot cause in us that sympathy, which we have been accustomed to greet in symphonies, especially after Beethoven has given us his famous Nine. Modern life with its griefs and joys, its passions and resignations, is that for which our hearts long, which we can understand best, and which the great symphonists of this century, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann have pictured to us in such glowing colors. The historical interest attached to the symphony, is by far greater than the artistical one, and for this very reason we should have liked one of the other symphonies by Mozart. To judge from our modern concert-programmes it seems really as if Mozart had written but his symphony in G minor and his ‘Jupiter.’

            Wagner’s ‘Faust-overture’ seems to find more favor with our amateurs than it used to do. If we bear in mind, what side of ‘Faust’ he wished to represent, his work must certainly be pronounced remarkably characteristic.

            The great feature of the evening was, of course, Schumann’s charming, melodious and sparkling work, called ‘Overture, Scherzo and Finale.’ The author has never written anything more fluent and melodious. It was composed at a happy time of his life, and gives in so far a great proof of his genius, as it bears but trifling reminiscences of that influence, which Mendelssohn at that time exercised upon all young composers, especially those, who lived in Leipzig and like Schumann, had entered upon terms of very great intimacy with him.”