7 October 2012
“The German Societies, &c. At a convention of delegates of the German musical societies and glee clubs, held at the Metropolitan Rooms, in Hester street, it was resolved that the various societies attend in a body the Presidential funeral procession on Tuesday, and the officers of the convention were authorised to make the necessary preparations. These societies number about nine hundred singers, who, on the arrival of the body in front of the City Hall, propose to sing a funeral chorus. Mr. Paur, the leader for the ninth Saengerfest, will lead the chorus on this occasion. The committee has selected the Geistchertor, of Schuberth (the spirit chorus) and the Pilgrim Chorus from Tannhauser, which to-day will be rehearsed by the members of the various societies. . . .
The German public was shocked at the re-opening of the German Stadt theatre on Friday evening, while all other respectable theatres, out of respect for our deceased President, remained closed, and a document was circulated, in which an indignant public protested against what was considered a gross impropriety. Hundreds of names were affixed to this document. The protest, which was published yesterday, is as follows—
Protest. New York, April 21, 1865. We, the undersigned, adopted sons of this country, consider it against our honor to suffer the theatrical performances to be resumed while the whole loyal people still mourn the loss of our father, Abraham Lincoln. Particularly we Germans, who, in order to avoid the despotic tricks of our old country’s potentates, sought and found an asylum in this free country, ought to be foremost to honor the memory of a man who has brought us so near to our point, which is universal liberty. While our native fellow citizens have closed all their public places of amusement, we Germans born Americans ought to be careful not to injure our name. Therefore, do we, the undersigned, request the honorable directors of the Stadt Theatre to confine to-day’s performances to an obituary discourse.
Notwithstanding the ‘protest’ the performances were resumed on Friday, with Schiller’s play of ‘Maid of Orleans,’ The audience, however, was exceedingly small.
Among others, the resident Poles and Bohemians have signified their intention to participate in the obsequies, and will meet to-day to complete the arrangements.”
After the difficult, fate-filled pause, which the nation lived through [Lincoln’s death, 4/15/65], last week musical activity finally stirred anew. It makes us happy to be able to say that it was German singers who paid the first musical tribute to the fallen president. About a thousand singers* performed Schubert’s “Chor der Geister” and the Pilgrims’ Chorus from “Tannhäuser” at the funeral. And as they passed by the bier, the winds played Mr. A. Paur’s arrangement of the March of the Dead from Hiller’s “Saul” [op. 80, Grove].
*The following singing clubs were represented: Liederkranz, Teutonia, Sängerrunde, Colonia, Concordia, Euphonia, Frohsinn, Fidelia, Germania, Harmonia, Helvetia, Loreley Liedertafel, Liedertafel Williamsburg, Liedertafel der Vereinigten Social-Reformer, Lyra Männerchor, Mozart-Verein, Orpheus, Quartett-Hoboken, Rheinische Sängerbund, Sängerbund Williamsburg, Schillerbund, Sängerrunde Jersey City, Social-Reform Gesangverein, Social-Reform Liedertafel, Sing-Academie, Uhlandbund, Social Männerchor, Quartett-Club Williamsburg, Beethoven Männerchor, Schwäbische Sängerbund, Melomanen, Arminia Männerchor.