Proprietor / Lessee:
7th Ave. between 58th and 59th Sts. Central Park Garden
Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
15 November 2017
Part of announcement for all of the upcoming concerts managed by Theodore Thomas.
“Close of Thomas’ Garden Concerts—The Symphony Soiree and Philharmonic Programme.
To-night the hundredth and last concert at Terrace Garden takes place, and this handsome little ‘rus in urbe’ will no longer be filled with the soul-breathing melodies and massive harmonies of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Weber and Meyerbeer, interpreted by an orchestra of which the metropolis of America may justly boast. Although the lateness of the season and Mr. Thomas’ numerous engagements render the closing of those entertainments a necessity, still the patrons of those concerts, and their name is legion, will receive the news of their termination with regret. How often have the professor and amateur sat in one of the little secluded arbors communing with the mighty spirits that now spoke in trumpet tone and again murmured in zephyr strain every passion and sentiment that sway the human heart! When the mercury was up in the nineties, and sweating Gothamites sought relief in vain at home, there was always a refuge, pleasure and enjoyment for them at Terrace Garden. Now the billowy chords of some great symphony; again the dreamy waltz, the impetuous gallop, the sparkling polka and the merry quadrille of fatherland; then a potpourri, a fantasia or operatic scena, following each other like a grand musical pageant. The enterprise of giving concerts every night during the summer with an orchestra of first class artists was both a hazardous and tasking one for the director, when we consider the merely nominal prices of admission, the exodus of musical people to the country and the labor of making out and rehearsing one hundred entirely different programmes. Mr. Thomas has met with the most gratifying and deserved success. There is no artist that has worked more faithfully and conscientiously for the public and art than he, and the wonderful progress made by music in the metropolis is mainly owing to him. Next summer he will revive the garden concerts on a grander scale, and, with Terrance Garden, the Park and the splendid new Garden of Art, there will be no lack of music and entertainment to those who prefer to spend the summer in the city.” Remainder of announcement goes on about the Symphony Soirees and New York Philharmonic concert season.
Brief. "Herr Theodore Thomas gives this evening at Terrace Garden his hundreth and final summer concert."
“Contrary to the expectations and prophecies of many, these open air summer concerts have been a genuine success. It was a hazardous undertaking. The engagement of such a large number of first class musicians for a season of one hundred nights involved an expense which may be called enormous when we take into consideration the novelty of the enterprise and its very doubtful success. The merit of this is of course due to Mr. Thomas, without whom nothing of the kind would have been attempted during the season which has just passed. He himself is an artist eminently fitted for the position in which he is now placed, for to the musical proficiency with which he is blessed a good business talent is added. In another way they have been beneficial. It has now been shown that there is a music loving spirit not in the go-out-of-town-in-the-summer fashionables, but in the class who work for their daily bread from year’s end to year’s end. With these thoughts Mr. Thomas can look back on his past labors with a consciousness of having done a good work in heightening the popular estimate for good music.
The selection offered last evening was good. The principal piece was the overture to Beethoven’s Fidelio. We have never heard this immortal composition played with more taste. The first of Beethoven’s mature genius infused into this piece was seconded by its fine rendition, and the burst of applause which followed the closing strain testified to the appreciation with which it was received. A romance from Halevy’s sparkling operetta, L’Eclair, was pleasant. One of Lumbrie’s [sic] sweet melodies, ‘Visions in a Dream,’ was received as favorably as this composer’s pieces, which have been conspicuous on the programmes of these concerts, usually are. A grand selection from L’Africaine was middling, though well performed. The Traviata was also to be heard. Both these operatic performances were but ill received, compared with the remainder of the programme. This looks ominous. A galop, Fools, by Gungl, brought to a close the evening’s performance.”
Brief. “Mr. Theodore Thomas’ Garden Concerts terminated for the season on Saturday evening last, when the one-hundredth entertainment was given. We scarcely need add in view of this fact that the enterprise was in every way successful. Mr. Thomas will now resume his grand symphony soirees—for which the most liberal preparations are being made.”
This concert concludes a very successful season. The programs were tasteful, the performances, after initial challenges, very good, the attendance high and thus the revenue excellent. Thomas can move into next summer’s season with strength and confidence. We want to mention also that the owner of the Terrace Garden, Mr. J. Koch, did everything possible to make the audience comfortable and cared for it tirelessly. We were told there will be renovations and other improvements of the venue for next summer. It will become one of the most pleasant and brilliant venues.