Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881


Second concert given by the Neruda [Nerudová] siblings

Aufführungsort: Estates Theatre

Programmsorte: Art music culture

Datum: 25/09/1850 pm (evening)

Spielzeit: Summer

Programme including:

  • NERUDOVÁ, Vilemína: soloist, vl
  • NERUDOVÁ, Amálie: soloist, pf
  • NERUDA, Viktor: soloist, vc
  • Estates Theatre orchestra: participating orchestra, orch
HÉROLD, Ferdinand : Overture to opera Zampa, orch
VIEUXTEMPS, Henri : Concerto for violin and orchestra, vl, orch, nr.2, F-sharp minor, op.19
HÉROLD, Ferdinand : aria Jours de mon enfance from act 1 of opera Le pré aux clercs, v, vl obbl., orch
ERNST, Heinrich Wilhelm : variations Variations burlesques sur la canzonetta ‘Cara Mamma mia’, 2 vl, [orch/pf]

Works performed either in this event or during first concert on 25/9/1850:

ARTÔT, Alexandre Joseph Montagney : Fantaisie brillant Souvenir de Bellini, vl, pf, op.4
arr. Lee, Sebastian: Nocturne, arr. of Romanze from [unidentified work] Fräuleins vom See , arr. vc
SERVAIS, Adrien François : Barcarole, vc, [? pf/orch]
STRANSKY, ? : unspecified work for violoncello, vc, [? pf/orch]
STRANSKY, ? : unspecified work for violoncello, vc, [? pf/orch]
ROSELLEN, ? : unspecified Piano Trio, pf, vl, vc
ZACH, Jan : unspecified Variations for piano trio, pf, vl, vc


The date and venue of this concert to be given by the Neruda [Nerudová] sisters was listed in the Tagesanzeiger text of Bohemia 24/9/1850. No further information about the programme was listed by the source, except to note that the performance was preceded by that of Sie schreibt an sich selbst [a play].

A combined review, signed ‘V.’, of the two concerts given by the three children of the Neruda family on 23/9/1850 and 25/9/1850 was published by Bohemia 27/9/1850. This reported a partially erroneous date for the events, specifying that they took place on the preceding day and on ‘Thursday 25th’. 25th September was actually a Wednesday; the three previous Tagesanzeiger sources had specified the dates of the first two concerts given by the siblings as 23rd and 25th September. The three ‘young artists were already laudably known to the local public from an earlier cycle of concerts, and this time too they delighted in an extraordinarily brilliant reception. The pearl of the agreeable trio is indisputably the young violinist Wilhelmina, whose performance, not only was technically virtuosic but also poetically conceived and artistically pertinent’. The correspondent then commented upon the fact of the children’s youth and made clear the opinion that critical comment should ordinarily be levelled at unedifying concert tours being undertaken by children. Of Wilhelmina’s playing it was noted that the ‘poignant and soulful song of the tender cantilenas, of which comprise the most vital part of Artôt’s Fantaisie brillant, appeared to be just as much from her natural talent as did ... [her profundity and brilliant interpretation of the extreme difficulties] in the Second Concerto by Vieuxtemps that began Thursday’s [probably Wednesday’s] event.’ Other works performed by the violinist in the various concerts were then noted.

The review continued by remarking that the violoncellist Viktor ‘has a really deep tone.’ The works that he performed, listed by the text although not the specific concerts in which they were given, were adjudged ‘not to be concert-pieces in the modern sense of the word, but were precisely and flawlessly performed.’ Although the pianist Amalie ‘seemed rather to be only the accompanist’, in the two works for piano trio where the piano gained some independence she was noted to possess ‘a very elegant and clear melodic technique in both hands. The applause that regaled the young artists was ... as very brilliant, and Wilhelmina as the professed darling of the Prague public was received each time with thunderous applause.’ Finally, the review related that Miss Knopp-Fehringer sang a Lied by Hölzl in the first concert, and in the second concert the ‘great aria with violin obbligato from Hérold’s Die Zweikampf. Both were [curtain-]called. The two overtures beginning the two concerts were also identified.

The database programme listings for the concerts given on 23/9/1850 and 25/9/1850 have been compiled from the information contain in the Bohemia 27/9/1850 review. This gave definite details only about the inclusion of certain works in each programme. The concerts in which were performed the two works for piano trio, the pieces for solo violoncello and the Fantaisie brillant were not identified. These pieces have therefore been attached to the programme records for the two events, although they were almost certainly not performed in both. The presence of the Estates Theatre’s orchestra in these concerts was not stated by the Bohemia sources. However, the appearance of the three well-known and popular child-soloists at the venue as well as the inclusion in the programme of popular overtures and concertante items certainly indicates the presence of the ensemble. The identity of the conductor was not specified. The variations for piano trio were stated by the Bohemia review as being by ‘J. Zách’. This was most likely the largely itinerant Baroque-Classical composer Jan Zach, and was probably a movement from a trio sonata for violin, violoncello and keyboard.

Zusammenfassung der Quellen:

Bohemia, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (24/09/1850)
Bohemia, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (27/09/1850)