Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881


Second concert given by Julius Schulhoff

Aufführungsort: Platýz

Programmsorte: Art music culture

Datum: 29/04/1850 5pm

Programme comprising:

  • SCHULHOFF, Julius: soloist, pf
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : 1st movement of Sonata for pianoforte Sonata pathétique, pf, nr.8, C minor, op.13
CHOPIN, Fryderyck Franciszek : Andante Marche funèbre 3rd movement of Sonata for pianoforte, pf, B minor, op.35
SCHULHOFF, Julius : Idyll Chant du berger no.1 of 3 Idylles [Trois Idylles], pf, op.23
SCHULHOFF, Julius : no.6 of Études Le trille, pf, op.13
MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, Felix : song Winterlied no.3 of 6 songs [Sechs Lieder], v, pf, op.19a
     • Botschon-Soukupová, Cecilie : v
DONIZETTI, Gaetano : unspecified solo vocal work, v, [?pf arr.]
     • Botschon-Soukupová, Cecilie : v
SCHULHOFF, Julius : Caprice sur des airs bohémiens, pf, op.10
JÄGER, ? : [song] Resedchen, v, [pf]
     • Botschon-Soukupová, Cecilie : v
arr. Schulhoff, Julius: Overture to C.M. von Weber's opera Oberon , arr. pf


A brief note of this event was published by Bohemia 28/4/1850, stating that Schulhoff’s second concert would take place on 30th April. The concert actually occurred on 29/4/1850. This was confirmed by the Tagesanzeiger text published by Bohemia 28/4/1850, which specified the date, time, venue and programme of the event.

A review, signed ‘V.’, and titled ‘Schulhoff’s Second concert on 29th April’, appeared in Bohemia 3/5/1850. This began by noting that a completely full hall [concert venue] had for many years been a rare phenomenom, but that this concert provided a spirited reminder of ‘past good times’. The circle, hall and gallery [Cercle, Saal und Galerien] were all ‘very busy’ with an audience eager to hear the virtuoso. The choice of works given by the pianist was not wholly welcomed by the correspondent, although the review text was only complimentary of Schulhoff’s playing. Although the concert contained ‘many pieces by other composers’ [his first concert comprised only his own works], the inclusion of only parts of compositions - namely, the first movement of the Beethoven sonata and the slow movement of Chopin’s B-flat minor Sonata - was thought to be misguided. The last movement of the Sonata pathétique might be considered of ‘inferior effect’ when given as a separate item before a large audience, the ‘fragmentation of the whole work, particularly by an artist whose magnificent performance is utterly appropriate, who himself shuns frivolous taste’ and whose success in the concert hall is assured. ‘The same applies to the “Marche funèbre” of Chopin’s B-flat minor Sonata, Op.35. This highly interesting work by the poetic Pole offers only gratefulness to the consummate pianist; in the first movement with its individual ideas, poignant expression of the D major [subject], and its harmonic interest in the development section; in the whimsical but also wonderful E-flat minor Scherzo; in the brilliant unison Finale. The performance of the said Andante caused a double regret that Mr Schulhoff had not played the whole Sonata. In particular he caused us to be moved in the beautiful lyricism of the D-flat episode, admiring the most wonderful elastic touch of his song-rich fingers.’ The following, ‘utterly charming’ Chant du berger and Les trilles so inspired the audience with enthusiasm that the two pieces had to be repeated.

Concerning Schulhoff’s arrangement of Weber’s Overture to Oberon, the correspondent was circumspect in criticism, not disapproving of the performance itself but expressing doubt as to the suitability and appropriateness of producing a piano arrangement of such an overture. With such works the arrangement was likened to a ‘lithograph’ alongside the ‘magic colours’ of an original, and even if the copy was masterly it would still be ‘merely a beautiful reminiscence.’ However, the enthusiasm of the audience following this work was still noted to have reached the highest pitch, so that Schulhoff was then ‘so often curtain-called that he had to add three more pieces to the programme.’  These consisted of the Menuetto from the E-flat Symphony by Mozart, from the first concert the ‘Barcarola’ [Barcarolle], and the Galope di Bravoure.

Of the vocal items performed in the concert, the Bohemia review reported that even though it had been advertised that Mr Versing was to perform two songs by Heller, he did not appear. Instead Mrs Botschon-Soukup [Botschon-Soukupová] performed three songs. Of these the correspondent felt that the work by Mendelssohn was ‘indisputably ... the most grateful’ and of the best content. The review concluded by stating the view that any subsequent concert given by Schulhoff should include concertante works with orchestra.

The database programme record lists the works for piano in order of which they were noted by the earlier Bohemia report. That this was the actual order of their performance was confirmed by the detail of the Bohemia review. Mr Versing was to have performed two songs Am Ziel and Oči modré [Blue eyes]. Their place in the programme has been replaced with the songs known to have been sung by Mrs Botchon-Soukup [Botschon-Soukupová].

Zusammenfassung der Quellen:

Bohemia (28/04/1850)
Bohemia (28/04/1850)
Bohemia (03/05/1850)