Mason and Thomas Chamber Music Soiree: 1st

Event Information

Steinway's Rooms

Event Type:
Chamber (includes Solo)

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 August 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

25 Jan 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Concert was postponed from 01/14/65. Tenth Season of Chamber Music Soirees.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Sonata, violoncello, piano, op. 65, G minor
Composer(s): Chopin
Participants:  William Mason;  Frederick Bergner


Advertisement: New York Herald, 09 January 1865.
Announces concert for 01/14/65.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 09 January 1865.
Announces concert for 01/14/65.
Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 10 January 1865.
Announces concert for the 14th.
Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 11 January 1865, 5.
Next week the soirees of chamber music by Mr. Mason and Mr. Thomas will begin once again.  The location will be the hall of Steinway & Sons.  They have been missed.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 January 1865.
Notice of postponement.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 January 1865.
Announces postponement, “on account of the indisposition of one of the performers.”
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 January 1865, 5.
“It was announced for last Saturday evening but was necessarily postponed on account of an accident to one of the performers.”
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 January 1865.

Announcement: New York Herald, 22 January 1865, 5.

Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 25 January 1865, 17.

What a difference there is in the genre of chamber music.  Here we can nourish our heart and soul.  We wish this purest source of music would be practiced at people’s homes and in family gatherings, rather than what invariably becomes mere piano strumming.  It seems as though fewer people are interested in learning to play the violin, viola or cello.  These instruments, however, are very appropriate to develop a better sense of and ear for music, and a deeper understanding of it.


There would be much more to say about this field of music, but for now, since this was the reason we delved into the subject in the first place, we are bringing our readers attention to the two preservers of this art form.  Mr. Mason and Thomas will begin their soirees this evening, and “everybody who cherishes a deeper understanding of music is encouraged to support and enjoy the only public chamber music events at this time”.
Announcement: New-York Times, 25 January 1865, 4.
Notes “unusually interesting” program.  “We heartily commend these valuable entertainments to the liberal attention of our readers.”
Review: New-York Times, 27 January 1865, 4.
“The programme did not impress us as being unusually judicious, and the room in which the entertainment took place lacks size, convenience for seeing, and ventilation, points which, to say the least, are unfavorable to its use for public purposes. The pieces in the programme, which seemed to have been arranged with a ‘single eye’ to their gradual density and dullness were as follows [gives program] . . . It will be perceived by this extraordinary suite that the intention was to exhibit the worst—or the commonest—periods of three eminent composers.  Messrs Mason and Thomas will of course show us their better efforts at a later period of the season, and we must even now frankly confess that the works we have named were admirably performed.  Eclecticism, however means something more than comparison. We do not wish to know how poor Schumann was in everything save two movements of this particular Quartette; we do not desire to be reminded how gutted and empty is the erstwhile beautiful Septette of Beethoven; and it is not kindly—even when so fine an artist as Mr. Bergner is the performer—to show us how little Chopin knew about the violoncello.”
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 18 February 1865, 400.
“Genuine pearls among the concerts with which our city is blest in winter, are the soirées of classic chamber music to be passed in the society of Messrs. MASON, THOMAS, &c. They are true artistic family gatherings. A refined audience, not attracted by frivolous fashion, but by sincere love and intelligent comprehension of Music, is to be found there year after year. The circle is not a large one, but every season increases the number of believers. To be sure, a few of the uncivilized and uninitiated find place there also, and disturb their neighbors with irreligious behavior, such as nodding the head and tapping with the foot (out of time) in the Minuetto, chattering loudly during a delicate Scherzo, or giving vent to a sonorous snore while a pathetic Schumann Andante is in progress; but these find the air a great deal too pure for them, and they do not come often or stay very long when they do come, fortunately. The executants, the usual party, Mason at the piano, Thomas, Mosenthal, Matzka, Bergner, the quartet—all artists of the right stamp—are always careful to give us the best chamber music that our great masters have written, without neglecting new productions of merit.  And it is hardly necessary to say, that a practice of eight years together has given the quartet an ensemble and perfection of execution that enables them to interpret their programmes in the correct style and spirit.”