Academy of Music
1 May 2015
The Board approved paying Rotter $50 to sing at this concert. (2/27/1864)
“Under the direction of Mr. Theodor Eisfeld, the fourth concert of this orchestra will take place at the Academy of Music tonight. Mr. E. Mollenhauer and the German Liederkranz will perform.”
“The fourth Philharmonic Concert, on Saturday night, attracted very fine audience, thus proving that the old names are after all the most attractive to the public. The programme was made up entirely of compositions by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn—an entire contrast to the programme of the third concert, where the new school was preresented in all its force. Mr. Theodore Eisfeld conducted with his accustomed ability. The items of the entertainment were:—1. Symphony No. 3, in E flat, by Haydn—a work full of wonderful counterpoint and ingenious writing for the stringed quartette and wood instruments, but not very satisfying in these days of orchestral brilliancy; 2. Solo, (‘Figaro’s Hochzeit,’) by Mozart, sung rather laboriously by Mme. Rotter; 3. Movement (the first) from Beethoven’s violin concerto, opus 61, played with immense and almost unsurpassable technical ability by Mr. Ed. Mollenhauer; 4. The Hymn of Praise, (Lobgesang,) by Mendelssohn. The last-named work was the feature of the evening, and the public owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Eisfeld for producing it honestly and fairly in its entirety. Fragments of the cantata have been volunteered to us before, but we learn with surprise that the complete work was played for the first time on Saturday. It is the fashion to decry Mendelssohn; among a certain set he is even an object of scorn, but the grandeur, grace and beauty of this fervent and exquisite composition are beyond the reach of detraction. We search in vain amongst modern composers for a work that is similarly rich in these qualities. A quiet reverent air of devotion pervades every movement which, if it not be inspiration, is at least a calm and exalted earnestness not far removed from it. The orchestral numbers were deliciously rendered; but the final movement, which is vocal as well as instrumental, suffered from the tameness of the Liedercranz [sic] chorus. The solos were sung by Madame Rotter, Madame Paulitsch, and Mr. Quint.”
“On Saturday evening, the fourth Philharmonic concert was well attended by an elegant audience. The program mostly contained only well-known pieces. Haydn’s third symphony, old, but beloved, opened the program. Even though this symphony is dated, it always sounds fresh and new; therefore, its many old but beautiful passages will endure. Mr. Eisfeld conducted the symphony, impeccably executed by the vigorous Philharmonic Society orchestra. The violinist, E. Mollenhauer delighted the audience—or at least the part thereof with musical sensibility—with his fine and well conceived performance of a movement from Beethoven’s violin concerto. Mendelssohn’s symphonic poem, ‘Lobgesang,’ comprised the concert’s finale; the Deutsche Liederkranz, under the direction of Mr. Paur, sang the choruses; Mr. Quint, Mesdames Paulitsch and Rotter, who made a sensation earlier with their rendition of an aria from ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ were the soloists.”
Lists program and performers.
“The programme of the third concert was composed of what has been called ‘music of the future,’ this last one took us back to the past. Our Philharmonic Society seems to have a word for everybody, just as our audiences who applaud Petrella’s ‘Ione’ as heartily as Gounod’s ‘Faust.’ And why not? Musical enjoyment is as much a matter of disposition of mind as anything can be. We can very well understand why the Viennese relish Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin,’ and also uphold Offenbach’s ‘Rhine Fairies.’ It was a time when they had ears but for music by Rossini and Strauss, that was the time of their musical decadency, a time which is happily past. For these reasons we cannot find fault with an arrangement that gives us at one time one of Haydn’s symphonies, and at another time Liszt’s illustration of the ‘Fuast’ tragedy. We must confess we enjoyed both, although the above symphony in E flat is not one of the happiest inspirations of Father Haydn. It is much more the sentiment which appeals in most of his symphonies to our modern sympathy than his ideas. If any one can call this, [musical example] a fine, or a good, or even a moderately good idea, he is welcome to do so, we cannot. And nobdy will deny that ideas like these abound in Haydn’s symphonies, although their treatment, as in the above instance, is masterly and entirely worthy of the great name of the author.
Mendelssohn’s Cantata (in its greater part) has been performed here before. It is an noble work, deficient in form, and bearing the imprint of that monotony which characterizes all the larger works of Mendelssohn, with exception of his overture to ‘Midsummer Nights [sic] Dream,’ but nevertheless full of highly finished and interesting details.
The solo performances on this occasion do not call for any special remark.”