Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Third annual Conservatory concert

Venue: Estates Theatre

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 24/03/1850 7pm

Season: Lent

Programme comprising, part 1:

General participants:
  • Prague Conservatory: participating orchestra, orch
  • KITTL, Jan Bedřich: director of ensemble, conductor
LINDPAINTNER, Peter Joseph von : Overture to opera Die Pflegekinder, orch
BERR, Friedrich : Variations for clarinet and orchestra, cl, orch
     • Winternitz, Raphael : cl
SAINT-LUBIN, Leon de : Variations for two horns and orchestra [Variationen für zwei Waldhörner], 2hn, orch
     • Jerie, Adolf : hn Wihnalek, Joseph : hn
VIEUXTEMPS, Henri : Fantasie caprice, vl, orch / pf, op.11
     • Wolf, Johann : vl
Scottish folksong John Anderson, my Jo, v
     • Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : v Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : pf
TAUBERT, Wilhelm : song Ich muss nun einmal singen no.1 of 4 songs [Vier Gesänge], v, pf, op.74
     • Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : v Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : pf
MALIBRAN, Maria Felicita : song [Chanson tyrolienne], v, pf
     • Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : v Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf, ? : pf

Part 2:

MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony, orch, nr.40, G minor, K550


Advance news of this Palm Sunday event, including full details of the programme in performance order, was published by Bohemia 22/3/1850. The programme listing identified the third of the songs to be sung by Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf as ‘Tyrolienne von Mad. Malibran: “lêve toi, jeune garçon”’

The Tagesanzeiger texts of Bohemia 22/3/1850 and 24/3/1850 published details of the date and venue of this event.

A review, signed ‘V.’, appeared in Bohemia 26/3/1850. After reporting that the concert had attracted a numerous audience, the correspondent drew attention to the fact that in the
‘great works for orchestra’ performed during this year’s Lenten concert season, there had been nothing by the composer ‘so idolized in Prague’, Mozart. Neither the ‘Concerts spirituels’ contained any of his symphonies, nor the Quartet soirées in the Clam Palace any of his ‘many chamber compositions.’ This strange occurrence was remedied by the ‘young orchestra of the Conservatory under the magnificent leadership of Mr Kittl ... through a delicate but precise performance of the famous, in its first, third and fourth movements altogether excellent, G minor Symphony.’ The critic then turned to other parts of the programme. Lindpaintner’s Overture to the opera Die Pflegekinder, which opened the concert , was ‘charming, but in its simple form by no means a modern composition.’ Of the solo numbers, the ‘two youthful virtuosi Adolph Jerie and Jos. Wihnalek’ were thought to have played with a success which belied the relatively brief time [admitted 1846] that they had been students of the Conservatory. Their performance was interrupted many times by loud applause and at  the end they were curtain-called. The playing of the clarinetist Winternitz in the ‘exceedingly difficult’ Variations by Berr was characterized by ‘a beautiful full tone and bold bravura.’ Both Winternitz and the violinist Wolf ‘caused not a little sensation’, with the latter Wolf performing Vieuxtemp’s Fantasie caprice with ‘such aplomb and calm’ that the critic deemed that before this ‘promising novice... stands an auspicious future.’ Participating alongside the pupils of the Conservatory was ‘the lioness of the day, Mrs Küchenmeister-Rudersdorf.’ Accompanying herself at the piano, the singer gave three works of ‘polyglottal character’, namely a ‘melancholy Scottish folksong’, the fourth of Kittl’s German Wilde Rosen and a French composition of Malibran, Tyrolienne. ‘So interesting was the performance of these in character so divergent pieces that afterwards she was twice curtain-called. Following an encore she received still more vociferous applause and repeated curtain-calls. The text ended with news, which to ‘music-friends will be welcome’, that the Conservatory was to be participating in a benefit concert. No further details of this were given; the critic may have been referring to the forthcoming concert given by the Society of Musical Artists that took place on 4/4/1850, although the institute regularly participated in that Society’s annual productions.

The Mozart symphony performed in this event was certainly no.40 in G minor and not the earlier work in that key, no.25. The later G minor symphony was a perennial favourite in Prague orchestral concerts during the early- to middle-nineteenth century. Directing this concert, although not specified by the periodical sources, would almost certainly have been the then Director of the Prague Conservatory, Kittl.

Summary of sources:

Bohemia (22/03/1850)
Bohemia (22/03/1850)
Bohemia (24/03/1850)
Bohemia (26/03/1850)