Niblo's Concert Saloon
Price: $1; 1.50 reserved
6 August 2012
“Signor Muzio announced a series of concerts, the attraction of which will be the last nights of Gottschalk in this part of America, most probably for many years, as the arrangements of Signor Muzio will probably carry the party from California to Australia and to India, and thence to Europe. The vocal star will be Miss Lucy Simons.”
Gottschalk and Simons will “charm the Californians out of their specie [sic], astonish all British India and civilize the Chinese and Japanese, as the head of Orpheus did the inhabitants of Lemnos in olden times.”
“Our readers have undoubtedly noticed that Mr. Gottschalk, our truly national pianist, contemplates visiting California, and subsequently the Sandwich Islands, Australia, India, &c. . . . We are, nevertheless, to lose Mr. Gottschalk, and in fact receive but little satisfaction from the four hurried performances which he gives us next week. He should have afforded us at least a farewell series of artistic significance. It seems to us, too, that some recognition of his standing should be made by the public. Mr. Gottschalk has worked long and conscientiously amongst his many friends, it will be a matter of no trouble to get up a grand complimentary testimonial concert. Every one will be glad to assist on the occasion, and Mr. Gottschalk will be sent on his way rejoicing. There is yet time to move in the matter.”
“The first of Signor Muzio’s series of grand concerts, with Gottschalk and Miss Lucy Simons, previous to their departure on their tour round the world—California, China, Japan, India and all the islands of the Pacific—will take place to-morrow night.”
“The first of a series of farewell concerts of this brilliant pianist and distinguished composer takes place tonight at Niblo’s Saloon. . . . The popularity of Mr. Gottschalk is so widespread in this City that we need not commend his concerts to our readers; we will only say that he plays some new compositions which will be heard with great interest, and that he will execute some of his brilliant duetts with Mr. Sanderson, which will revive the furor which attended their performance at his concerts some time since.”
“Gottschalk's first farewell concert, last night, attracted an overflowing audience . . . and was a new proof of the enduring popularity of this virtuoso. M. Gottschalk appeared to be in excellent trim, and played with that rare combination of delicacy, breadth, and power which characterizes his style. He was assisted in the duets by Mr. Harry Sanderson, who introduced a new polka on the occasion called the ‘Festive,’ gorgeously embroidered by Mr. Gottschalk, and played with startling effect by both gentlemen. Miss Lucy Simons, a charming concert vocalist, sang very acceptably, being aided by Signor Ippolito and Muzio.”
“Niblo’s Saloon was crowded last night to its utmost capacity on the occasion of the first concert of Gottschalk’s farewell series. The audience was by far the most fashionable that has been collected together this season, reminding us of his brilliant concerts a year ago.
The characteristics of Gottschalk’s playing are extraordinary delicacy, great crispness of touch, rapidity of execution, and almost unequaled force, all of which are controlled by his fancy and feeling responding to every shade of thought and every passing emotion. His style is not to be mistaken, yet he never plays twice alike, and though always great, is still by no means an equal player. We have heard him play so carelessly even in public that but for the turn of a cadence, or an expression of touch, he might have passed for a third-rate performer.
The Concert opened with a flute solo, which was fortunately very short and was executed by Mr. Eben with grace and fluency. Then Gottschalk played his duet on two pianos on airs from ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ with Harry Sanderson. We have rarely heard anything more brilliant than this duet. The pianists vied with each other in rapidity and force. Its difficulties are enormous—it might indeed be called one tour de force. It was of course encored, when they played Mr. Sanderson’s very beautiful ‘Happy Thought Polka,’ Gottschalk varying it in the happiest and most brilliant manner. Gottschalk’s first solos were a Nocturne and Murmures Eoliene, composed by himself, ever changeful in the modulation and tender in its melody. This was played in a dreamy languid style but with an expression that Gottschalk alone can impart.”
“Signor Ippolito sang ‘Di Provenzo’ feelingly and tastefully.”