Mason-Thomas Chamber Music Soiree: 2nd

Event Information

Dodworth's Hall

Price: $1.50

Event Type:
Chamber (includes Solo)

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
19 April 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

24 Jan 1866, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 22 January 1866.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 22 January 1866.
Announcement: New-York Times, 24 January 1866, 4.

     “The second soirée of that incomprehensible organization, which barely recognizes its own existence, but which in arduous times used to be called Mason and Thomas’, takes place at Dodworth’s to-night.  We have for eleven years used our utmost endeavor to impress upon the public the aesthetic value of these entertainments—the vital part they should in every way take in the musical education of the rising generation. The true honesty and merit of the artists who have so often—at no profit to themselves—given us the fruits of ripe practice and mature musical judgment, are, we think, fully recognized. . . . This mysterious organization—which sheds its name like a musical python—is the best we have ever had in America, and we earnestly hope that fathers who have dexterous daughters will prevail upon them to patronize it. A quartette speaks the whole truth of music. We may agree with it or not as we like, but the truth is there; and it is bad for us if we do not recognize it. The orchestra in its many colors frequently conceals the truth. It fleshes mediocrity with more than its living warmth. It is picturesque; high toned. To find the form of things; to learn how comely is genius; to sit with it, talk with it, agree with it, anger with it, we must go to the quartette.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 24 January 1866.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 24 January 1866, 4.

     “The programme is very choice.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 26 January 1866, 8.

     "The second of these interesting and high-toned concerts took place last night at Dodworth’s Hall. The pieces selected were Spohr’s Sextette in C, op. 140; Schumann’s Trio in G Minor, op. 110, for piano, and Beethoven’s Quartette in E- Flat, op. 74, No. 10.

     The Sextette, for 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 violoncellos, was very finely played throughout; there was clearness in the details and firmness in the tempos, which made the whole design distinctly apparent, even through the complicated counterpoint with which Spohr’s writings abound. Of the work itself, while fully appreciating the science and the harmony resources which it so eminently displays, we are bound to say that it is heavy and tedious. It lacks in imagination and fancy, it is devoid of spontaneity, and seems to be a work of labor rather than of love. The perpetual use of the diminished seventh, while it is exquisitely sweet in effect when rarely used, becomes, by constant repetition, terribly palling upon the ear, imparting a sense of sameness which is wearying in the extreme. Still it contains passages of exceeding beauty, which only Spohr could have written.

     The Trio of Schumann is a lovely work, fresh and full of imagination. The first movement was very indifferently played; the instruments were not up to the piano’s pitch, the piano was too loudly developed, and the general effect was anything but pleasant. The other movements were, however, played up to the mark, the two last especially finely.

     The Beethoven quartette was the gem of the evening. The work itself is so complete, so grand, so satisfying, that one can listen and admire. Of the performance of this work we can speak in terms of unqualified praise. The instruments were handled as if but one mind animated the whole, and in all points of expression, and in the finest shade of coloring, the performance left but little to be desired. It was altogether the best speciman of quartette playing that this party has yet given to the public. The grand piano used was made by Steinway & Sons.”

Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 29 January 1866, 60.

     No report about performance or attendance. Only an interpretation of the music pieces of the program. The choice of ending the concert with Beethoven’s quartet is praised.

Review: New-York Times, 30 January 1866, 5.

     “Messrs. Mason & Thomas gave their second concert of chamber music at Dodworth’s Hall on Wednesday last.  The executants were in excellent mood, and discussed the programme with spirit.  It was made up of Spohr’s Sextet in C, (for stringed instruments,) opus 140; Schumann’s trio in D minor, opus 110, No. 3; and Beethoven’s quartette for stringed instruments, in E flat, opus 74, No. 10.”

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 03 February 1866, 181.

     “The second soirée of Chamber Music took place on the 24th.  There were three pieces.  Spohr’s Sextet (in C, op. 140) a very fine work, was played  by Messrs. Thomas, Mosenthal, Matzka, Bergner, with the assistance of Messrs. J. Hess and H. Mollenhauer.  The second movement, Larghetto, is remarkably beautiful.  Schumann’s Trio (G minor, op 110) was excellently played by Mason, Thomas and Bergner.  The great Beethoven Quartet (E-flat, op. 74) was well interpreted also.”