Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Second quartet soirée [Quartetsoirée] of Ferd. Laub

Venue: Konvikt

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 12/12/1851 4.30pm

Season: Advent

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • LAUB, Ferdinand: soloist, vl
  • WEBER, Jan: soloist, vl
  • PAULUS, Alfred: soloist, va
  • GOLTERMANN, Julius: soloist, vc
  • PFEIFFER, ?: soloist, va
MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus : unspecified String Quartet, 2vl, va, vc, D minor
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : String Quartet Harp, 2vl, va, vc, E-flat major, op.74
VEIT, Wenzel Heinrich : String Quintet, 2vl, 2va, vc, A major, op.29


Advance news of this event was published in the Tagesanzeiger text of Bohemia 12/12/1851, noting the date, time, venue and the participation of Laub. Lumír 4/12/1851 reported the arrangement by Laub of quartet soirées to take place on 5th, 12th and 19th December and in which would participate Goltermann, Paulus and Weber. The source remarked that ‘Every lover of so-called chamber music, of which there number many in Prague, will be sincerely greatful for after the departure of our Král and Messrs Köckert [Röckert] and Träg, we had no hope that so soon we would have any further such entertainments. The name of Laub, who has just gain has just returned to his homeland from London where he became a great favourite, guarantees us a rare musical treat.’ The review published by Lumír 11/12/1851 of the first soirée alsoreported the programme to be given during the second and third events in this series.

A review, signed ‘V.’, of this concert was published by Bohemia 14/12/1851. The event was notable for the first performance in Prague of the new A major String Quintet by Veit. The piece was enthusiastically received by both the Bohemia critic and by the audience, with the Märchen movement having to be encored. Both this work and Beethoven’s String Quartet in E-flat Major op.74 were given brief descriptions by the correspondent. The performance given by Laub was described and praised with specific reference to his playing in the quartet by Mozart. Attending the concert was the composer W.H. Veit and the recently deposed Emperor Ferdinand.

Lumír 18/12/1851 published a review, signed ‘K.S.’, of this event. The correspondent reported that ‘In the second quartet beseda we heard the Quartet in D minor by Mozart performed by Messers Laub, Weber, Paulus and Goltermann in such complete perfection, that it could not have been better.’ The Scherzo and Trio had to be encored. Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat major was not with the same assiduity and concision as a work of that rare genius deserves. A Beethoven Scherzo can be thunderous, cliffhanging [skalolomné - certain translation not found], devastatingly stomach churning and above all victoriously conquering ... this [was to an extent] missing here, although the performance was successful. Given with greater diligence and with complete finesse in both playing and effect was the Quintet in A major of Veith [Veit]. The work itself is very well executed and numbers amongst the best compositions of Veit. Mr Veit belongs among the best of living composers of chamber music and exhibits a freshness, originality and consummate coherence in his works. Especially is the Scherzo entitled ‘báchorky [báchorky - lit. fairy tales]’. The playing was was so felicitous that on the unanimous wish of the public it had to be repeated. His Majesty the Emperor Ferdinand graced the beseda with his presence.’

The second viola player was Pfeiffer. The sequence of the programme is not determinable from the source texts.

Summary of sources:

Lumír (04/12/1851)
Lumír (11/12/1851)
Bohemia (12/12/1851)
Bohemia (14/12/1851)