Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881


Concert given by the violinist Bertha Brousil [Brousilová]

Aufführungsort: Konvikt

Programmsorte: Art music culture

Datum: 04/03/1854

Spielzeit: Lent

Programme comprising:

  • BROUSILOVÁ, Bertha: soloist, vl
  • BROUSILOVÁ, Antonie: accompanist, pf
  • MILDNER, Mořic: singer, vl
  • PAULUS, Alfred: soloist, va
  • GOLTERMANN, Julius: soloist, vc
  • FISCHER, ?: actor / actress / theatre performer
HAYDN, Franz Joseph : unspecified String Quartet, 2vl, va, vc
BÉRIOT, Charles Auguste de : unspecified Concerto for violin and orchestra, vl, orch[/pf acc.]
LAFONT, Charles Philippe : unspecified Fantasie on themes from Auber opera La muette de Portici, vl, pf [arr?]
UNSPECIFIED, ? : unspecified Czech song, v, [pf]
     • Wagner, Franziska : v
MOSEN, ? : song Hofer, v, [pf]
     • Steinecke, ? : v
MILDNER, Mořic : Variations on a Czech folksong Sil jsem proso (I reaped corn), 2vl, va, vc
     • Brousilová sisters: str quartet Brousilová, Bertha : vl


News of this concert by the ‘young violin virtuoso Bertha Brousil’ appeared in Tagesbote aus Böhmen 3/3/1854. The source noted the date and time of the event and that participating too would be Professor Mildner, Professor Goltermann and Mr Paulus. Miss Wagner [Wagnerová] and Mr Steinecke were to sing Lieder and Mr Fischer would give a declamation. Also to be performing in the concert were five young sisters. Of these, ‘Miss Antonia will accompany her sisters on the piano, and the four younger sisters, the first being 4-and-a-half years old, will perform a String Quartet „Variazionen über ein böhmisches Lied.’ The venue of this event was not specified by this source.

A review, signed ‘V.’, of this event was published by Bohemia 7/3/1854. Der Tagesbote 6/3/1854 published an unsigned review. The latter reported that the concert was visited by a ‘numerous and refined’ audience. ‘We discerned in the young concert-giver a proficient and well-schooled talent. A solid technique, expressive playing and intimate understanding were [all of] merit; Miss Brousil gave worthy performances of all the numbers in which she played (3rd Quartet by Haydn, Concerto by Beriot, Fantasie by Lafont). The young artiste met with vigorous applause and curtain calls, in particular following Lafont’s Fantasie. In Haydn’s Quartet the concert-giver was supported with customary mastery by Messrs Mildner, Paulus and Goltermann, in the other two pieces she was accompanied at the piano by her elder sister. Of the other numbers [of the programme] most pleasing was Miss Wagner, with a charming Czech song whose repetition was vigorously called for and granted, and then Mr Steinecke with a German song. The performance of a duet by the two last-named, a declamation by Saphir [spoken] by the actor Mr Fischer and a Quartet by the younger sisters of the concert-giver (the youngest is a maiden of 4½ years old), completed the programme. The last-mentioned Quartet, a very simple composition performed by the young executants with extraordinary accuracy was given encouraging applause by the benevolent audience.’

An unsigned review of this event was also published by the Czech-language periodical Lumír 9/3/1854. The correspondent noted the contrast between the changing musical season from the Carnival dance period to that of Lent and before Easter when dancing as a public social entertainment was not permitted in Prague: ‘Happy sounds of dance music died out and music arrived in the true sense. The concert season began in dignified fashion with a concert of the young native artiste, our talented violinist Berta Brousilová, pupil of Professor Miltner [Mildner]. From the time we last heard our young countrywoman she has made great strides, which she demonstrated most of all in the great concerto by Bériot. With particular spirit and with tender feeling she played the pretty Fantasie by Lafont on Auber’s
Něma z Portici“ [Němá z Portici]. As a quartet violinist too she demonstrated her ability with graceful, sure playing. Particularly interesting was the quintet performed by Berta Brousilová and her younger brothers and sisters; the youngest of these concert-givers was no more than 4 and a half years old. The humorous composition that they performed unfolded on the pretty foundation of Czech folksongs. The anonymous [at the time of performance] author of this pleasant composition is Professor Miltner [Mildner]. Miss Wagnerová sang with great applause a Czech song and Mr Steineke [Steinecke] successfully perfomed Mosen’s national song Hofer. The attendance was numerous, the applause plentiful and entirely merited. Berta Brousilová certainly has a similar future [in prospect] to her countrywoman Klausová.

Zusammenfassung der Quellen:

Tagesbote aus Böhmen (03/03/1854)
Tagesbote aus Böhmen (06/03/1854)
Bohemia (07/03/1854)
Lumír (09/03/1854)