Funeral Mass for Anita Jardines

Event Information

St. Stephen's Catholic Church

William Berge

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
2 August 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

12 Sep 1866, Morning

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 12 September 1866.
Announcement: New York Herald, 12 September 1866, 8.

“Cherubini’s Grand Requiem Mass will be given this morning at St. Stephen’s church, Twenty-eighth street, by the Mendelssohn Union, under the direction of the celebrated organist, William Berge. The mass is for the repose of the soul of a young lady who died in that parish on Sunday evening last.”

Review: New York Herald, 13 September 1866, 7.

“At the funeral of Miss Anita Jardines, at St. Stephen’s church, Twenty-eighth street, yesterday, Cherubini’s grand requiem mass was sung by Madame De Lussna [sic], Mrs. Wm. Berge, Madame Anschutz, Mr. Gleason and other artists. Mr. Wm. Berge presided at the organ. This is the second time we heard the great work of Cherubini at this shrine of music, as St. Stephen’s church may be appropriately called. It is a grand dramatic work, but requires a large chorus and orchestra. The Dies Irae, one of the most sublime poems in any language before Cherubini’s time, was treated in a style of music which does not convey the spirit of the inspired author. He begins with a majestic trumpet blast, as if the Archangel was summoning the dead to judgment. Then follow rapid, passionate, nervous passages in which the awful wreck of worlds, the falling of the stars and the last general conflagration is vividly portrayed. In the Tuba miserura spargeres sonum [sic] the terrible trump [sic] of Gabriel is again heard. Mors stupebit delineates the terror and trembling of all terrestrial things at the approach of their final dissolution. Rex tremendae majestatis fills the soul will awe at the coming of the Omnipotent Judge. In the first part of the wonderful poem the future scene that will take place in the valley of Jehosaphat is tableaued forth with all the dramatic power that music is capable of. A change ensues. The Recordare Jesu pie is the wild, passionate, yet hopeful prayer of sinful man to his Redeemer, and thrills the heart with emotion. The soprani commence the prayer in unison, followed by the other voices. There is utter abjection and prostration in every bar and every line. The sforzando passages in the Lachrymosa are of the same impassioned nature. Nature at length becomes exhausted, and we hear at the conclusion only fitful wailings and subdued grief. Never has this poem been better interpreted. The violin passages in the orchestra cannot be given on any organ. The finale of the mass, Requiem aeternam, is a fit conclusion for such a work. A dolorous, melting chant, monotonous, but on that account more dramatic, in which each of the voices follow the soprano in a quaint fugue, recall the days when a dark-robed procession issued from cloistered walls and the Cistercian and Benedictine followed the remains of a deceased brother or sister to their final resting place. The mass was very well sung, considering the weakness of the choir. Mr. Berge improvised and conducted as usual, in his own masterly style.”