Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Concert given by Miss Sulzer

Venue: Platýz

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 01/01/1850 12 noon

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • SULZER, Marie: soloist, v
  • BEZEČNÝ, ?: soloist, pf
  • KÖCKERT, Adolph: soloist, vl
DONIZETTI, Gaetano : aria Preghiera Prayer from unspecified opera, probably Maria Stuarda, v, orch [arr. pf]
THALBERG, Sigismond : song Die Thräne no.5 from 6 German songs [Sechs deutsche Lieder], v, pf, op.11
SCHUBERT, Franz Peter : song Die Post no.13 from Song cycle Winterreise, v, pf, D911
MEYERBEER, Giacomo : aria Mon coeur s'élance of Berthe from act 1 of opera Le prophète, v, orch
     • Sulzer, Marie : v
ERNST, Heinrich Wilhelm : Fantasie Othello-Fantasie, vl, orch [pf acc.], op.11
     • Köckert, Adolph : vl
DREYSCHOCK, Alexander : Nocturne Bluette, pf, F major, op.16
     • Bezečný, ? : pf
KITTL, Jan Bedřich : Impromptu Le zephir no.6 of 6 Impromptus, pf, op.18
     • Bezečný, ? : pf
SCHULHOFF, Julius : [Fantasie] Carnaval de Venise, pf, op.22
     • Bezečný, ? : pf


Bohemia 1/1/1850 published news of the time and venue of this concert given by Sulzer [Sulzerová] in the Platteiss Hall [Platýz]. The text listed other individual participants, including the actress Mrs Frey [Freyová], but did not provide any details of the programme. The concert, its time and venue were also noted in the newspaper’s Tagesanzeiger. 

A detailed review of the concert, signed ‘V.’, was published by Bohemia 3/1/1850. This began by noting that Miss Sulzer carried a name that was well known in the artistic world, not only on account of her father in Vienna, but from her own successes in Italy where she had received a friendly reception following her appearances in the theatre. The event given in the Platteiss Hall [Platýz] on New Year’s Day was, the critic noted, despite the time of day [noon] and the actual date ‘quite numerously attended [ziemlich zahlreich besucht]. The applause was very animated and the singer was delighted by the repeated [curtain-]calls.’ After listing the four works in which she appeared, all noted to have been performed with piano accompaniment, there followed a mixed appraisal of her success and ability. In the first three compositions, the unspecified prayer by Donizetti [possibly from Maria Stuarda] and the two Lieder, Miss Sulzer was thought to be quite at home. The aria by Meyerbeer was less satisfactory. The correspondent considered this to be a highly dramatic work inseparable from the plot and scene of the opera, and for which orchestral and theatrical resources were essential. With respect to the expressive, dramatic element the singer was thought out of her depth and overwhelmed, her performance suffering faults in rhythm, melody and intonation. However, in the other compositions, except for her singing of trills, which the critic considered to be ‘peculiar’, her performance was ‘mostly clear and coherent, pure and tasteful. ... Whether the voice of Miss Sulzer, peculiarly fluctuating between a high and a mezzo-soprano has enough strength to hold the accompaniment of a full theatre orchestra, whether her performance is capable of the dramatic fervour and warmth which the public expects of a coloratua singer, after three concert performances cannot be decisively determined.’ The performances of all of the other soloists inspired much more positive comment. Mrs Frey [Freyová] was praised for her masterly declamation of Seidel’s poem Der Aelpler. The violinist Köckert performed Ernst’s Fantasie ‘with unusual bravura and ease in overcoming the technical challenges [of the work]’. Bezečný’s playing was outstanding on account of ‘his delicate, elastic touch and outstanding elegance in the melodic arabesques of the F-major Nocturne of A. Dreyschock ... and of his polish ... in Kittl’s Le Zephyr.’ Kittl’s work was noted to have become a favourite following its performance by Rosa Kastner during the previous year. The work performed by Köckert was also reported to have been given by Rode last year during a summer concert. The review ended by relating that both Köckert and Bezečný received great applause and were repeatedly [curtain-]called. 

Summary of sources:

Bohemia (01/01/1850)
Bohemia (01/01/1850)
Bohemia (03/01/1850)