Robert August Stoepel
Price: $.50; $1.00 reserved
21 March 2014
Cast included. “Robert Stoepel’s ‘Hiawatha’ will take place on Nov. 7.”
COMMENT: All other sources indicate that this event took place on November 3, 1863. Also, Irving Hall was booked on November 7.
The ad includes excerpts of reviews from a previous performance taken from the New York Herald, New York Times, New York Tribune, Evening Express, Evening Post, and Musical World.
“Mr. Stoepel’s dramatic and musical illustration of Longfellow’s great poem, ‘Hiawatha,’ is certainly a most original as well as striking innovation as an entertainment. The merit of the exquisite poem is, perhaps, almost inimical to the musical achievement. In the reading there is so much natural melody that the hearer inclines to a forgetfulness of the rare intelligence and delicate appreciation by the composer of the admirable subject he has treated in such a masterly style. Mrs. Matilda Heron Stoepel’s reading was marked by a careful study of the poem. The lady told the story of Hiawatha simply, grandly, with all due effect.
Of Mr. Stoepel’s composition we can but repeat the complimentary remarks made by the whole of New York press on previous occasions. There is a display of rare artistic ability in the whole of the music. The melodies in this ‘romantic symphony’ are not only attractive, but descriptive, at times, to a degree really wonderful. We regret we lack space to say all we would wish about ‘Hiawatha.’
Mrs. Motte, Mr. Castle and Mr. S. C. Campbell lent their valuable aid to the entertainment, and certainly contributed to its great and unqualified success. The choruses were admirably sung, the orchestra, which was directed by Mr. Stoepel, played with the greatest ensemble and effect. In fact, the whole performance was marked by an unusual degree of excellence.
We have no space to mention the many gems of the symphony, and will merely add that the large and fashionable audience which filled the hall gave constant and hearty tokens of their delight at the fine performance.
‘Hiawatha,’ as given last night, must prove attractive to the most cultivated taste.”
“Mr. Stoepel’s ‘Hiawatha’ was given before a large audience at Irving Hall last night. It will probably be repeated.”
“A fine audience assembled last evening on the revival of Mr. R. Stoepel’s vocal and instrumental symphony, the words from Longfellow’s poem Hiawatha. Having already, at the first public production of this work, expressed at length our opinions of it, we shall not repeat them here. Suffice to say, that an élite audience received it with great favor, and indeed with such manifestly high approval as to warrant its repetition, for it is a poor compensation to a composer after the time and elaboration bestowed on such a work to shelve it. – The chief parts were executed by Mrs. Motte, Mr. Castle, and Mr. Campbell. Mrs. Stoepel recited the strophes.”
“Election night is a bad night for aesthetic enjoyment, and worse still for attracting an audience to a peculiar and elevated kind of entertainment. Mr. Stoepel had to suffer from this cause on Tuesday last, when he revived his celebrated cantata-symphonique ‘Hiawatha.’ Under ordinary circumstances Irving Hall would have been crowded; as it was there was an audience which probably paid expenses, and amply demonstrated that, had the night been more favorable, there would have been a more gratifying result. The work will be repeated during the present week. It is, in many respects, novel, and in all, admirable. Longfellow’s musical trochaics are intensified by Mr. Stoepel, with a graceful earnestness and fluent freshness of invention that can hardly be better. The solos are rich in distinctive, even characteristic melody; the choruses constitute a vivid background, and the orchestration, whilst it displays the aptness of a man of talent, reveals the erudition of a thorough musician. ‘Hiawatha’ is the most important musical work that has lately been produced in America. The poem was read by Matilda Heron; mildly and inoffensively in the first part; earnestly and well in the second. Messrs. Wm. Hall & Son, the well known music publishers, are about to issue the music of ‘Hiawatha.’ Many of the numbers will obtain a wide degree of popularity.”
COMMENT: No record of the work being repeated during the week.