Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Název události:

Concert given by pianist Augusta Kolárová

Místo konání: Konvikt

Typ akce: Art music culture

Datum: 22/03/1863 12 noon

Sézona: Lent

Programme comprising:

  • KOLÁROVÁ, Augustina: soloist, pf
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : Sonata for pianoforte, pf, nr.7, D major, op.10/3
HÉROLD, Ferdinand : aria Knäbchen mit dem Bogen from opera Der Zweikampf, v, orch
     • Brenner, Johanna : v Mildner, Mořic : vl Slanský, ? : pf
RAMEAU, Jean-Philippe : Rigaudon from act I of opera Dardanus, kbd
HAYDN, Franz Joseph : unspecified Menuette, pf
MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus : unspecified Gigue, pf
LISZT, Franz : melodrama Leonore, v, pf, S346
     • Hallenstein, ? :
SCHUBERT, Franz Peter : unspecified song [Lied], v, pf
     • Bachmann, Eduard : v
SCHUBERT, Franz Peter : unspecified Moment musical, pf, op.94, D780
SCHUMANN, Robert Alexander : Warum? no.3 of Fantasiestücke, pf, op.12
MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, Felix : unspecified Scherzo, pf
Czech folksong Červená růžíčko (Little red rose), v
     • Bachmann, Eduard : v
UNIDENTIFIED, ? : Czech folksong V tom našem sadě (In this our orchard), v
     • Bachmann, Eduard : v
KOLÁROVÁ, Augustina : Tarantelle no.8 from Piano pieces, pf, op.1
KOLÁROVÁ, Augustina : Waldstück no.3 from Piano pieces, pf, op.5
Scherzo fantastique, pf, op.2


The Czech-language newspaper Národní listy 10/3/1863 first published information of the intention of Kolárová to give a concert on 22/3/1863. A report appeared in the section of daily news: ‘Concert. On 22nd March Miss Augusta Kolárová, daughter of our preeminent playwright and poet Jíř. Kolár, will give in the Konvikt Hall a concert, of which the programme is very interesting. Messrs Bachmann, Hallerstein, Mildner and Slanský will be participating. Miss Aug. Kolárová is well-known with our public already from some concerts and she has given concerts with great success in Paris. For sure, the audience numbers of Mis Kolárová’s concert will be great.’

Detailed advance news of this event was published by
Prager Morgenpost 12/3/1863. The report specified the date, time, venue, programme and participants in detail, noting: ‘The programme to the Concert of the esteemed artiste Auguste Kolar [Kolárová] takes place on Sunday 22nd March at 12 noon in the Konvikt Hall, containing the following numbers: 1. Sonata in D major op.10 nr.3 by Beethoven. 1st movement Presto 4/4, 2nd movement Largo 6/8, 3rd movement Menuette, 4th movement Rondo 4/4. (Auguste Kolar) – 2. „Knäbchen mit dem Bogen“, aria from the opera: „Der Zweikampf“. (Miss Brenner, Prof. Mildner and Mr Slansky). – 3. a) Rigodon [Rigaudon] by Rameau, b) Menuette by Haydn, c) Gigue by Mozart. (Auguste Kolar). – 4. Leonore, Ballade by Bürger. With melodramatic piano accompaniment by Liszt. (Mr Hallenstein). – 5. Lied by Schubert. (Mr Bachmann). – 6. a) Moment musical by Schubert, b) Warum? by Schumann, c) Scherzo by Mendelssohn. (Auguste Kolar). – 7. a) „Červená růžičko“ [Little red rose]. b) „V tom našem sadě“ [In this our orchard]. (Mr Bachmann). – 8. a) Tarantelle nr.8 from op.1, b) Waldstück nr.3 from op.5, c) Scherzo fantastique op.2 by A. Kolar. (Auguste Kolar).’ On 19/3/1863 Prager Morgenpost reported: ‘The concert of Miss Auguste Kolar takes place on Sunday 22nd; the programme is of heightened interest in that the proficient [tüchtige – proficient/brave] will perform pieces of her own for the first time.’

Neither of the Czech-language arts periodicals Dalibor and Slavoj reported upon or reviewed this concert. The event was however covered by the Czech-language newspaper Národní listy in a report published on 22/3/1863, the day before the concert, and in a review published on 29/3/1863.

Národní listy 22/3/1863 published a detailed notice of the programme to this concert. This corresponded with the Prager Morgenpost 12/3/1863 report except for the second number which was apparently to be an aria from the opera
Souboj’. This presumably referred mistakenly to Zvonař’s Záboj, extracts from which had been performed in other Prague concerts during early 1863. The Národní listy 22/3/1863 noted: ‘Concert. Programme to the concert of Miss Augusta Kolárová, which as we have already previously reported will be taking place today, is as follows: 1. Sonata in D major by Beethoven performed Miss Aug. Kolárová. 2. Aria from opera Souboj“ performed Miss Brennerová, Prof. Mildner and Mr Slanský. 3. Rigodon by Rameau, Menuetta [Menuetto] by Haydn and Gigue by Mozart, performed Miss Aug. Kolárová. 4. Leonora, ballad of Bürger performed Mr Hallenstein. 5. Song by Schubert perf. Mr Bachmann. 6. Moment musical by Schubert. Warum? by Schumann, Scherzo by Mendelssohn, perf. Miss Aug. Kolárová. 7. Červená růžičko, V tom našem sadě, singing Mr Bachmann. 8. Tarantella, V lese [In the woods], Scherzo fantastique, performed Miss Kolárová.’

The German-language newspaper Politik 24/3/1863 published an enthusiastic review, signed ‘M.’, of this event. The critic wrote: ‘Concert. The young pianist Miss Auguste Kolár gave a concert on the 22nd of this month in the Konvikt Hall which, thanks to both her eminent ability and her selection of concert pieces, turned out to be one of the most interesting of the present season. Here is no amiable dilettante whose achievement merits a few words of recognition; here rather is complete technical artistry, paired with brilliant and many-sided interpretation, arising from of the most dedicated aspiration and from a training such as only could have been passed on by our talented old master Proksch to his gifted pupils. On this occasion Miss Kolár surprised us with all her concert performances in such a way that we do not hesitate to hail her, as also her older colleague Wilhelmine Clautz-Szarvady, as a bright new emergence from this school who will soon be in a position to travel the world leaving everywhere a string of the greatest triumphs. All the stimuli of truly artistic playing, such as is served by an exceptional technique existing solely as the means to that artistry, came to most beautiful fruition in her concert pieces over many genres; their execution was all the more illuminated by the charm of her outward appearance. From the softest pianissimo, like a dying breath, to an aesthetically permissible level of physical force, the young lady has full command of all the effects of the instrument. In this manner she played firstly Beethoven’s Sonata in D [major] from op.10, no.3, then the Rigodon (old French dance) from the opera Dardanus by Rameau, a most interesting piece; a minuet by Haydn and the famous Gigue in G by Mozart, the latter with truly stunning skill. Then the Moment musical by Schubert, the so poetic Warum? by Schumann and the tender Scherzo by Mendelssohn. Finally, in conclusion, three of her compositions that demonstrated her true musical spirit: the Tarantella from op. 1, Waldstück from op. 5 and Scherzo fantastique from op. 2. Extra numbers [in the programme] included Lieder performances by Miss Brenner (the bravura aria from Zweikampf with violin accompaniment performed by Mr Mildner, by Mr Nachbauer (Mendelssohn’s Frühlingslied) and by Mr Schwarz (a song by Pivoda), then the declamation by Mr Hallenstein of Leonore by Bürger, with the melodramatic piano accompaniment by Liszt played by the concert giver. Naturally all soloists were greeted with great applause. Attendance was so high that some of the elegant audience had to be accommodated on the stage.’

Prager Morgenpost 24/3/1863 published a review, signed ‘-ý.’, of this concert. The correspondent reported: ‘Music. The concert, which the pianist, Miss Auguste Kolar, gave on Sunday in the Konvikt Hall, had an extraordinarily favourable success. The numerously assembled public was unequivocal proof of the public’s justifiable interest in the concert-giver: for again the performance of the young pianist was found to be sublime beyond praise. Miss Auguste Kolar is one of those few who care not for the frivolous impertinences of this time, but enshrine themselves deep inside the sanctity of their Art and only interpret and create as their own inner voice commands. Such an artistic nature requires does not require much of the critic, for no critic is as severe – as they [i.e. this type of artist] of themselves. The concert was opened with the D major Sonata by Beethoven, op.3 [op.10 nr.3], a composition in which the young lady found sufficient opportunity to deploy the entire splendour of her playing. In addition we encountered generally brief pieces by well-known masters, among which arrayed in the front rank were Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn and others, the concert-giver also played three of her own compositions in the happiest disposition: a Tarantella, a Waldstück and a Scherzo, excellent in all respects. In the Tarantella glowed sparks of genius, it is therefore as effective as some compositions of the present time period...The Scherzo is a charming bouquet, fresh and gossamer-fine, witty, fine and beautifully coloured, and yet unpretentious in its innermost aesthetic content. Miss Kolar was rewarded with vociferous applause and was presented with a bouquet of flowers. Additions to the concert were made by the aria:
„Knäbchen mit dem Bogen“, from the opera: „Der Zweikampf“, sung by Miss Brenner with the participation of Professor Mildner and Mr Slanský; then Mendelssohn’s Frühlingslied, performed by Mr Nachbauer in place of the indisposed Mr Bachmann, and ending with a Czech song sung by Mr Schwarz.’

The Národní listy 29/3/1863 review, signed ‘ilz.’, was by contrast with the German newspaper – given this was a native Czech artiste – surprisingly unreceptive to Kolárová’s playing. It began by commenting: ‘Among our young Prague pianists Miss A. Kolárová has earnt praiseworthy reports. The concert which she gave last Sunday reiterated the good opinions that are going around about her artistry; the pieces she performed convinced the public that she has peruse widely musical literature; her playing is clean and fresh, and because in her playing she conducts herself with great calm [klidně], we suppose that in the course of her performance there is much more going on inside her than on the outside.’ This critical observation was deemed to be responsible for her performance of the sonata by Beethoven to have been not to the satisfaction of the reviewer or to a proportion of the audience who, the correspondent considered, were divided in their opinions. Kolárová’s interpretation of this work was ‘too sober and too innocuous... not ardent and not spontaneous.’ The piano part in the melodrama by Bürger was ‘a little suppressed by the powerful voice of Mr Hallenstein’, perhaps suggesting Kolárová’s playing there was also found to be understated. The critic also found fault with the Hérold aria given by Brennerová and Mildner, finding that the singing was missing a degree of ‘subtlety and graciousness’. In poetic vein her singing was likened to that of a strong person plucking full chords from a harp while the listener listens expecting the sounds of an aeolian harp. The concert was noted to have been numerously attended.

A comparison between the review and the pre-concert sources makes clear that the content of the programme changed in various details from what was first advertised. All specified sources agree upon the performance of Beethoven’s Sonata, the participation of Miss Johanna Brennerová and the violinist, Mořic Mildner. However, the Národní listy review made no mention of the presence of Bachmann in the concert or the performance of unspecified Schubert song and two Czech folksongs. Miss Brennerová was said to have sung
Knäbchen mit dem Bogen“, with no note of an aria from Záboj having been given. The change to the aria by Hérold was may have stemmed from hostile reception of Czech and German critics to extracts from Záboj given only two weeks earlier in a concert on 8/3/1863, which may have discouraged Zvonař from releasing any more of his unstaged new opera. No solo piano works other than the Sonata by Beethoven were described by the Národní listy review. This probably stemmed from the correspondent’s criticism of the soloist’s playing.

In view of the conflicting programme information presented by the two specified pre-concert reports and by the Národní listy review,  articles, the database programme record has been assembled from the earlier Prager Morgenpost source, which specified the performance of the aria by Hérold and not by Zvonař, combined with the Prager Morgenpost and Politik reviews.

Přehled zdrojů:

Národní listy (10/03/1863)
Prager Morgenpost (12/03/1863)
Prager Morgenpost (19/03/1863)
Národní listy (22/03/1863)
Politik (24/03/1863)
Prager Morgenpost (24/03/1863)
Národní listy (29/03/1863)