Event type: Art music culture
Date: 02/08/1851 9am-1pm
News of these examinations was published by Bohemia 1/8/1851, which reported that on ‘Saturday, 2nd August take place in the Platteyßsaale [Platýz] . Following the theory component will be the performance of various Preludes and Fugues composed by pupils of the school, then the performance of Seb. Bach’s great Fugue in B minor, of so great interest as we in Prague seldom have the opportunity to hear compositions for the organ. The end of the programme was the brief yet none the less very notable concert of church music’. The four sacred vocal works were then listed.
A review, signed ‘V.’, of these examinations was published by Bohemia 7/8/1851. The correspondent began by remarking how ‘At a time when art and the institutions devoted to it are mainly used to serve other purposes than art itself, the aspiration to serve art’s true aim, which renounces secondary agendas of egotism, is an all the more pleasant occurrence when it is combined with knowledge and skill. The examinations ... of pupils of the Organist School for the year 1851 filled us once again with deep respect for the excellent scholar and artist to whom the musical and didactic management of this institution so important to out Fatherland is entrusted.’ Under the stewardship of Pitsch, the success of the ‘theoretical and practical tests ... were even more surprising than usual. The results of the first year pupils proved excellent, and the performances of their own compositions by the second year pupils showed some very promising and productive talents in the field of strict and sacred music. Our attention was drawn in particular to a fugue with two subjects upon a theme by Haydn, and to another fugue in E-flat major.’ The performances were said to have exhibited good technique as well as intellectual understanding. As an example was cited the playing by Rastrelli of fugues by Bach in B-flat major and A minor ‘with equal virtuosity and intellectual grasp.’
The correspondent then noted how the concert that always followed these examinations provided local music-lovers with the rare opportunity to hear ‘masterpieces of a great period of art’. Brief yet enthusiastic appraisals then followed of the four vocal works performed on this occasion.
Bohemia 12/8/1851 published an erratum by the critic of the above article noting that the most successful pupil of the year, J. Klecanda was the composer of the Fugue on the Austrian national anthem [almost certainly the one described in the review as ‘with two subjects on a theme by Haydn’ and also was the performer of Bach’s B minor Fugue.