New Yorker Allgemeinen Sängerbund Festival

Event Information

Jones's Wood

John [conductor] Rückner

Event Type:
Band, Choral, Orchestral

Record Information


Last Updated:
14 July 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

23 May 1864, 8:30 AM

Program Details

Festival: 8:30 a.m.; Concert: 2 p.m.

The festival was originally scheduled for May 16, 1864 but was postponed because of inclement weather.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Flotow
Participants:  Rubel's Band
Composer(s): Stuntz
Participants:  New Yorker Sängerbund
aka potpourri
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Rubel's Band
aka War Chorus
Composer(s): Otto
Participants:  New Yorker Sängerbund
aka Norwegian sailors' chorus; Chor der norwegischen Matrosen
Composer(s): Wagner
Participants:  New Yorker Sängerbund


Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 14 May 1864.
Full listing of participants, including several regiments and their captains.  Mentions Joseph Hildebrandt as the director of the whole festival.  Indicates that Mayor Gunther will also be in attendance.  Includes other festival events.  Some of the festival will be held on two boats: the “Chase” and the “May Flower.”
Announcement: New-York Times, 16 May 1864, 5.

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 17 May 1864, 8.
“POSTPONEMENT OF THE GERMAN FESTIVAL.—One of the important annual festivals of the Germans, called by them Pfingst Montag, which was to have been celebrated yesterday by the New-York Allgemeinen Sängerbund, by a pic-nic at Jones’s Woods, was postponed until next Monday, on account of the inclemency of the weather.”
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 23 May 1864.

Review: New-York Times, 24 May 1864, 8.
“The Germans of this City celebrated, yesterday, in Jones’ Woods, one of those pleasant national festivals which we thank them for transplanting into their adopted country.  The delightful grove, beautiful in the freshness of its early verdure, was alive with thousands of people, mostly from among the working classes, drawn there, as one of their orators justly remarked, ‘not merely to drink ‘lager’ and have a grand spree, but to enjoy the highest music of the best composers.’  Not that ‘lager’ was wanting—by no means!  It was drank [sic] in huge quantities out of big horns and glasses; but that the humanizing influence of the music of Mozart, and other great masters, was deeply felt and appreciated, was evinced by the quiet order and genial humor of the whole assembly.  The festival was, in every point of view, pleasant and a success.”
Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 24 May 1864, 8.
Very well attended: 10,000 to 15,000 people.  These outdoor festivals are not intended to display the quality of performance but are meant to gather all active and passive members for a joyful celebration.  We do have to recognize, however, the diligence and enthusiasm of the performers and their conductor, Mr. Rückner.  The “Matrosen Chor,” from Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, does not seem suitable for a chorus as large as the Sängerbund.  The peculiar, fast rhythm of the piece is quite difficult to perform with a big choir.