Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison
11 May 2013
“We learn that the hall will be splendidly decorated [by Mr. M. K. Maxmillian], in honor of our late grand victories, which are to be celebrated in the great outside demonstration during the day in Union square.”
Wehli “will perform, by special request, his celebrated Fantasia on Airs from Meyerbeer’s Grand Opera, THE HUGUENOTS, pronounced by the Paris and London musical critics to be the chef d’oeuvre of pianoforte compositions. The passages, which consist of sixths and thirds, are such as have never been introduced in modern pieces; they have been considered an impossibility; but Mr. Wehli has overcome the difficulty, and performs them with perfect ease. There are certain passages taken alternately by each hand, but the subject is still preserved intact. The finale is a perfect hurricane of octaves, among which the charade of the opera is distinctly heard.
The manager draws the attention of the public to this piece, it being a composition the playing of which seems incredible. When its performance took place in Paris before Erards, in the presence of Thalberg, Liszt, Rubenstein, Leopold De Meyer, Dreyschock and other most famous pianists and composers, it was considered the greatest feat ever performed on the pianoforte.”
Harrison “proposes . . . to celebrate our victories not only in music but in war.”
“The concert at Irving Hall this evening is given as a complement to the attaches of the Hall. For the list of performing artists we must refer to the advertisement. Among them we find the names of Mdlle. De Katow, Mr. J.M. Wehli, Mme. De Lussan, Mr. J. R. Thomas, Mr. G.W. Morgan, who form a sufficient attraction in themselves. The uniform politeness of the attendants at Irving Hall is well-known, and we hope that a crowded house to-night will prove the just appreciation of the public.”
“The complimentary concert given to the attachés of Irving Hall, took place on Saturday evening. The audience was quite large, and as not half the tickets sold were represented, we should judge that the concert was a pecuniary success. The stars of the evening were Mr. James Wehli and Mlle. De Katow, vocally assisted by Mrs. J. H. Barclay, Mme. De Lussan, and Mme. Bouligny. Many other artists assisted, the conductors being Mr. G. W. Morgan, Signor Abella, Signor Rosa and Mr. Henry E. Browne.
The performance throughout was very satisfactory, and in the case of Mr. Wehli was more than satisfactory, it was a delight to his audience and a triumph for him. At the Strakosch concerts, it might be, and has been supposed, that personal friends or interested persons surrounded him, and by concerted applause made much of the success which was has achieved. On this occasion, however, the audience was singularly miscellaneous, comprising a large amount of the professional element. He was encored again and again and the reception of his Fanstasia from ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ for the left hand only, was a burst of the most genuine and cordial enthusiastic applause. Mr. Wehli may congratulate himself upon the fact that he came here partially, if not wholly unknown, that a strong professional unbelief was arrayed against him, and that in spite of all, he has compelled public admiration, and stands, with Gottschalk, the most popular pianist in America.”