Philharmonic Society of New York Public Rehearsal: 2nd

Event Information

Steinway Hall

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
10 November 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

03 Nov 1866, 3:00 PM

Program Details

Liszt's "Episoden" and Bristow's "Columbus" overture were performed for the first time.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Schumann
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Participants:  Natalie Seelig
aka Sextus’s aria; Send me, but, my beloved
Composer(s): Mozart
Participants:  Natalie Seelig
Composer(s): Bristow


Announcement: New York Herald, 22 October 1866, 4.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 30 October 1866.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 01 November 1866, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 04 November 1866, 5.

“The lover of music could never tire in listening to Schumann’s second symphony in C, for at each repetition of it new treasures and new beauties are afforded. The adagio of the third movement is a mine of tender imaginings and warm breathing harmony, which appeal to the noblest and purest feelings of the soul in irresistible language. Here and there recollections of Beethoven and Mozart appear for a moment, but Schumann himself, and Schumann at his best, too, is the leading spirit in the entire symphony. The finale is a brilliant, dashing, full chorded movement. We think that the tempo in which it was taken at yesterday’s rehearsal was too fast, as many of the best string passages were thereby rendered indistinct. After the symphony came Liszt. Schumann, had he been present, might well have exclaimed, ‘Nach mir die sündfluth.’ Mr. Bergmann is an able conductor, and has good materials at his command, but we fear he is attempting an impossibility when he tries to evoke order out of the chaos which Liszt calls the Nachlichte Zug, from Lenau’s Faust. It should rather be termed the Instrumentaliche Zug, for even Wagner’s Meistersanger [sic] is a Beethoven work when compared to it. The tuning of the instruments of the orchestra during the intervals between the different pieces in harmony and coherency when placed next to this work of Liszt. We would advise Mr. Thomas to drop it from the programme of his third Symphony Soiree and substitute something in which there is music and common sense. It is perhaps too late for the Philharmonic Society to change it. With a sigh of relief the audience turned to the Columbus overture, by George Bristow. This work was played for the first time, and public expectation has been raised very high regarding it. We can congratulate the composer for presenting a work of considerable merit, dramatically treated, and showing in every part a thorough knowledge of orchestration. We shall reserve detailed remarks on it until the concert takes place, observing only the skilful and effective management of the fugue that is introduced in the middle of it. There is characteristic power in this overture and construction of ideas which add greatly to its effect. This was the first time that Steinway Hall was acoustically tested by a large orchestra, and it gave the highest satisfaction in every respect.”