Haydn Festival

Event Information

Jones's Wood

Carl Anschütz

Price: $.30 (.50 in AD: NYH 09/11/64); $1

Event Type:
Choral, Orchestral

Record Information


Last Updated:
5 January 2023

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

16 Sep 1864, Afternoon

Program Details

Herr Vierecke substituted for Herr Quint.

The original program featured a concert at 2 pm and the oratorio at 4 pm. The following performers were scheduled: Schreiber, org; Frederick Letsch, trb; Carl Formes, b; Unknown chorus; orchestra; Mister Zelsch, spoken performance; 100 musicians; and 300 choristers.

The original program included:
Mendelssohn: Athalia: march
Mozart, Die Zauberflöte: In diesem heiligen Hallen (Carl Formes, b)
Schnabel: Concertina for trombone (Frederick Letsch, trb)
Beethoven, Egmont overture
Haydn, Die Schöpfung – Johannsen (Gabriel); Quint (Ariel); Formes (Raphael and Adam); Zimmermann (Eve)
Handel, Messiah: Hallelujah chorus (accompanied by an organ from the factory of H. R. Engelfried and 4 large bells from the American Bell Company)
The program that was finally performed included several unidentified works for orchestra.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Schopfung; Creation
Composer(s): Haydn
Composer(s): Handel


Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 20 August 1864.
“A splendid musical festival is indicated, to take place at Jones’ Wood on Monday, the 29th of August, under the auspices of Carl Anschutz and Carl Formes.  It is to be called the ‘Haydn Festival,’ and the principal [sic] feature will be the performance of the ‘Creation’ of that great master, with a strength of instrumentation and chorus likely to stamp the even as the inauguration of a new character of festival on this continent.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 21 August 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 21 August 1864, 8.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 30 August 1864.
Solos by Karl Formes.
Announcement: New York Herald, 04 September 1864.
“A musical festival will take place in Jones’ Wood tomorrow.”  Lists Johannsen, Quint, Mme. Anschutz, Zimmerman and Carl Formes as performers.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 September 1864.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 05 September 1864, 7.
“100 MUSICIANS, 300 CHORUSES [sic].”
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 05 September 1864, 8.
Besides The Creation, there will be “other compositions on a very grand, wholesale, monster scale. . . . In no other place in the world, for its size, among Christian cities, is choral music so neglected as it is in New York.”  Anschütz sent a circular to clergymen, asking for their cooperation on the concert.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 September 1864, 8.
Postponed to the 7th due to unfavorable weather.
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 06 September 1864.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 07 September 1864.
Postponed.  Sunday is not a good day for the program and will not attract a large audience.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 08 September 1864, 7.
The concert “will be produced positively on SUNDAY, Sept. 11.”
Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 08 September 1864.
“’The Creation’ will be produced most positively, SUNDAY. SEPT. 11.”
Announcement: New York Herald, 10 September 1864.
“Handel’s great oratorio, the Creation, which was announced some time since to be given at Jones’ Wood . . . will take place Sunday next.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 11 September 1864.
Program, with performers on Creation.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 September 1864, 7.
Program, performers, price.  “At 3 o’clock P.M.”
Announcement: New York Herald, 16 September 1864.
“We hope that Superintendent Kennedy will be on hand to criticize the oratorio, the singers and the orchestra.”
Announcement: New-York Times, 16 September 1864, 5.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 16 September 1864.

Announcement: New York Clipper, 17 September 1864, 182.
Fairly long article on why the police cancelled the event on September 11.  Plus, a second smaller note on the same page.  “The superintendent of police, however, knew something about these German Sacred Concerts, from his quiet visits to the sacred places of resort in the Bowery; and probably fearing a rupture of the peace where so many people of the Schleswig-Holstein persuasion would assemble, he came out with a pronunciamento, forbidding the ‘Sacred Concert’ on Sunday.”
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 19 September 1864, 5.
The police were present but did nothing.  “Messrs. Formes and Anschütz deserve praise for their effort in poetizing the hum-drum of daily life. . . . The Forest of Jones was a delectable scene. . . . Back of the white house and the inevitable Corinthian columns were assembled, first a mass of vocal and instrumental musicians on elevated stands, and second a large number of auditors, lads and lasses . . . almost universally indulging in the language of the fatherland and exhibiting . . . the good humor of the ‘Teutonic element.’” 
Review: New-York Times, 21 September 1864, 5.
“HAYDN’S oratorio of the ‘Creation’ was performed, after many unavoidable postponements, at Jones’ Woods on Friday last, under the direction of Herr Carl ANSCHUTZ. The number of executants was far short of the promised four hundred, but the orchestra and chorus were both strong, and sufficient in all respects to interpret the work in an exceedingly creditable manner.  The solos were rendered by [Johannsen, Zimmerman, Vierecke, and Formes].  Jones’ Woods are ill-adapted to such entertainments.  There is no regularly constructed platform for the orchestra, and there are no convenient positions from whence the music may be heard.  The attendance was very poor; had it been otherwise there would have been a deplorable lack of accommodations, for the only place set aside for the audience was the dancing floor by the river side--the orchestra and chorus being perched on the back piazza of the hotel.  It was impossible for the music to make a powerful effect, but it seemed to us to be rendered smoothly, and we are glad to learn that the Oratorio will shortly be repeated at the Academy of Music. Before Haydn‘s work a few pieces for the orchestra were played.  A solo from Mozart’s ‘Zauberflote’ was also announced, but Herr FORMES failed to make his appearance. After the ‘Creation,’ the chorus sang the ‘Hallelujah’ from HANDEL’S ‘Messiah.’ Auxiliary aid was expected in the shape of a mammoth organ, a peal of bells, and a battery of six pounders. The organ was not to be found—except on the bills; the peal of bells tinkled incoherently, as if some one was throwing pebbles at them; and the battery consisted of eight two-ouncers (part of them damp) done up in the form of crackers. Col. GOETZE wheeled into the field with his battery neatly wrapped up in an old newspaper. He served it with great gallantry, and to the admiration of several small boys, who were greatly disappointed that the stalwart artillerist had no more ammunition for the encore. The encore, by the way, was superfluous, for the singing of the chorus was anything but good, and the rest was nonsensical.
Review: New York Clipper, 24 September 1864, 190.
“‘The Creation,’ having been destroyed on a recent Sunday by the indefatigable police, Messrs. Anschutz and Formes tried to re-create it on Friday last, at Jones’ Woods, but the whole thing was a failure, and must have created a pecuniary loss for the enterprising managers.  We don’t think ‘Oratorios’ are peculiarly adapted to out-door shows.”
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 01 October 1864, 320.
“THE CREATION. Some weeks ago Messrs. ANSCHUTZ and FORMES announced their intention of establishing oratorio performances, which were to commence with Haydn’s ‘creation.’ The first concert was to have taken place in the open air, in Jones’s Wood. But the raingod had also made up his mind to visit Jones’s wood on that day; so he slipped on his wet mantle, and spoiled the fun. The concert was postponed to the following Sunday, and promised to be crowded, especially as the ears that that thirsted for classical music were to be regaled with instrumentation strengthened by ‘four-great bells, and a battery of six-pounders!’ But destiny again forbade. The superintendent of police, seconded by the superintendent of showers, laid his protest on the Sunday performance. At length, on the 16th of September, the affair took place before a small public—the whole thing a failure. The choir was small and ineffective; and the orchestra sounded thin in the open air. The Solos were in the hand of Mme. JOHANNSEN, Mme. ZIMMERMANN, Herr FORMES, and as Herr QUINT was taken ill with a ‘sudden cold,’ a nameless gentleman sung the part of Uriel. The right temper was wanting to the whole personnel engaged. ‘There is but one step’ etc., etc., and this occasion again proved the truth of the old proverb. When the turn of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ chorus came, every ear was on the stretch for the promised ‘four great bells, and the battery of six-pounders.’ Four small bells hung on one side of the platform; the battery was invisible and inaudible, although ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah,’ loudly sounded; but all anticipated the immense effect that was expected at the hands of those who had so wisely improved on Mozart’s already rich instrumentation of Handel’s score. ANSCHUTS gives the sign—to the left, to the right—he stretches out his neck, and his head, moves his arms—bends his whole body—the long drawn hallelujahs of chorus and orchestra had almost died away,--and the bells? The battery? At last, timidly, tremblingly, a little bell sounded—and an artillerist of giant form threw off hastily a few—fire-crackers! Doubtless, both artists had made a mistake in counting their bars. In place of exciting awe and reverence, such as scarcely any other chorus is able to awaken, must Handel’s ‘sublime’composition be thus made the groundwork for humbug, laughter and derision?”