Chamber (includes Solo)
16 November 2015
“. . . . Mr. Mollenhauer has been actively engaged during the past two or three years in building up his conservatory, and is very successful. He has now several hundred pupils, who are taught vocal and instrumental music by competent professors, at rates which enable persons of limited means to pursue a thorough course of study. This benefit concert is a proper tribute to his energy and skill.”
“The teachers and pupils of the Musical Conservatory, 820 Broadway, gave a complimentary concert to Mr. Edward Mollenhauer, at Irving Hall, last evening. Considering the rough and rainy state of the weather the attendance was large and certainly, to use a common phrase, it was very ‘appreciative.’ The programme consisted principally of instrumental music, for the piano, violin, and violoncello, and was performed by Messrs. Boeckelman, Bernard and Henry Mollenhauer. One of the gems of the evening was a caprice of Romberg’s, which was given on the violoncello by Henry Mollenhauer. Mr. Boekelman performed a fantaisie from Le Prophète in excellent style, and received a hearty recall. The vocal part of the entertainment was sustained by Miss Stirling and Signor Millera, both of whom received from the audience flattering proof of its appreciation of their efforts.”
“On Saturday night Mr. Edward Mollenhauer, the Director of the Conservatory of Music, was the recipient of a complimentary benefit at Irving Hall. It was tendered to him by the pupils and professors of the Conservatory. The night was execrable and the attendance small, but the compliment was completed in the handsomest manner by the presentation of a service of plate to Mr. Mollenhauer. The concert was good. Mme. Gazzaniga, who was announced to sing, being indisposed, could not do so. Miss Sterling, who is certainly one of the best artists now before the public, took her place, and fully satisfied the audience.”
The concert attracted a fairly large audience despite the rain. The audience rewarded the individual performances with plenty of well-deserved applause. Especially pleasing was the performance of Paganini’s
[not clear of the following is from the opera Paganini or from the composer] “Herentanz” (sic) by Henry E. Mollenhauer, and Bökelman’s piano playing of Haydn’s “Fantasie”. Miss Stirling, replacing Gazzaniga, and Mr. Milleri were asked to do encores by the audience. In the intermission, Mollenhauer received a silver service from the teachers and students honoring his service to the students and the music scene in New York. Mollenhauer, clearly moved, expressed his gratitude with a few words.
“At the Testimonial Concert on Saturday night to Mr. Henry Mollenhauer, a beautiful service of silver was given him by the pupils of the Musical Conservatory of which he is the director. This we take pleasure in recording, because the name of Mollenhauer is a synonym of worth in our local profession of music, and, if we needed another reason, because the concert of which Mr. Henry Mollenhauer was the star, was so well fitted by its unusual excellence to be the occasion for such a gift. The greatest feature of the programme was Schumann’s Fantasiestuck, op. 88, for piano, violin, and cello—in which a duet of the deepest and most variable fancy preludes the quaint fountain-like Humoreske of the trio. How charming it is we need not say; we would only suggest the pleasure derived from so graceful a performance as that of Mr. Bockelmann and the brothers Mollenhauer. The next important feature of the programme was Naumann’s admired ‘Song of the Syrens, and imaginative poem, in which the subtle and persuasive melancholy instinct in the old legend, is not lost. It was well described in a duet of violins by Edward and Bernard Mollenhauer. “The Witches’ Dance” by Paganini was indifferently played at the outset by Mr. Edward Mollenhauer; but all the grace and adroitness of style became enlisted in the work as it proceeded. Mr. Mollenhauer will never bring the trinity of ‘spirit, fire, and dew’ out of his instrument, and to very few violinists is it given this to succeed; but he is, nevertheless, a brilliant player. He exhibits his style elegantly in Paganini’s witch dance—a composition worthy of its name, but quite as elfish and weird. The bow must play a prank or two to be equal to the theme, and the abrupt, inimitable breaking up of the dance in the last scattering twang of the fiddle-strings is more than a mere trick of art—it is a highly suggestive idea, the effect of which Mr. Mollenhauer brought out finely by his excellent shading of contrasts. The new pianist, Mr. Bockelman, gave us a fantasia of his own on a theme of Faust—an interesting composition in its manipulative freedom, but too uniform otherwise. It gave Mr. Bockelmann, nevertheless, the opportunity to show that he is a meritorious and accomplished player. The brothers Mollenhauer should give us such concerts often, and we should hear them once in a while to so good an advantage, as when they all take part in playing the excellent violin compositions of the elder.”