George W. Morgan Organ Recital: 1st

Event Information

Church of St. John the Baptist [Episcopal]

Price: $1

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
24 January 2015

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

01 Mar 1866, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Bach: Fugue in E-flat, per NYTr, or e minor, per NYH [Fugue, organ, unidentified]

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Lefébure-Wély
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
Composer(s): Morgan
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Composer(s): Knight
Text Author: Willard
aka Ave Maria; Ellens dritter Gesang; Hymne an die Jungfrau; Serenade
Composer(s): Schubert
Text Author: Scott


Advertisement: New-York Times, 27 February 1866.
Announcement: New York Post, 28 February 1866, 4.
Announcement: New York Herald, 01 March 1866, 5.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 01 March 1866, 4.
Review: New York Post, 02 March 1866, 3.
Mr. Morgan gave last night . . . an organ concert which is the first of a series which, we believe, he intends to give. The idea is a good one, and whether it can be made remunerative can only be decided upon trial. Certainly if anyone can make a paying success in this line it is Mr. Morgan. He possesses all the attributes of a popular organist. He is so thorough a musician that those ‘learned pundits’ of the strict organ school, who never condescend to play anything short of Bach or Rink [Rinck], cannot but acknowledge his ability even in that sphere, so remote from the taste of miscellaneous audiences; while his kindly appreciation of melody and his willingness to play music within the range of popular acceptation, make his performances enjoyable to the great majority of listeners. In operatic overtures and arrangements no organist we know of can excel Mr. Morgan. His ‘Tell’ overture, and his ‘Huguenots’ fantasia are proofs of this.

Last night Mr. Morgan played a graceful offertoire by Wely, a Bach fugue, a Mendelssohn overture, a Beethoven symphony and a ballad arrangement, showing to advantage his versatility and finish of execution. Miss Zelda Harrison sang very well indeed, and would have been warmly applauded but for the respect due to a place of worship. Mr. Colby, whose ability is well known, was the accompanist.”
Review: New York Herald, 04 March 1866.
“This church . . .  was crowded to excess . . . Of the organ selections it will be only necessary to mention one of Bach’s organ fugues (in E minor) and the finale to Beethoven’s immortal symphony in C minor, both played in Mr. Morgan’s most brilliant style, to give an idea of their superior character. The symphony was a severe test for the organ, a rather delicately voiced instrument, and abundantly exemplified the necessity of those pneumatic composition knobs we spoke of some days since. The instantaneous effects produced by those remarkable improvements are absolutely necessary to bring out all those delicate shades and marvelous colorings of Beethoven and his great predecessor.  There is, perhaps, no organist in America, with the exception of Mr. Morgan, who can present the C minor symphony as a whole, with all its delicate and grand imaginings, on account of the hitherto clumsy method of effecting combinations and changes. When this revolution in organ building has taken place, and one of those new organs peals forth in oratorio and concert at our new opera house, then shall the musical appetite of the citizens of New York be supplied with more palatable food than the refuse of Italian opera. The rich, cultivated voice of Miss Harrison gave the aria from Elijah, ‘Oh! rest in the Lord,’ with thrilling effect.  We have never heard ‘Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep’ sung with more intense feeling and power than by this lady on Thursday night. Mr. Koecko sang Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ in a very creditable manner.”
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 05 March 1866, 4.

“Considering the many other attractions progressing that evening, the large attendance proved Mr. Morgan’s popularity still in the ascendant. His performance was admirable throughout, but the audience had no opportunity to reward his skillful performance with its just meed of applause, for the Rector promulgated a stern decree against the slightest token of satisfaction, and severely reproved one attempt to express the delight which all derived from the organist’s skill. [some of the program listed] In all these Mr. Morgan displayed the most masterly manipulation, and proved his perfect knowledge and command of all the resources of the instrument. By general request he played one of his most showy and popular pieces, which afforded opportunity for the display of his really wonderful pedal playing.

Miss Zelda Harrison sang very pleasantly, her rich voice telling out well in the ample space. Herr Koecko was less fortunate, showing neither voice, style nor method worthy so critical an audience.”