Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Farewell concert given by Fr. Němec

Venue: Žofín Island (Žofín Hall)

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 17/12/1851 4.30pm

Season: Advent

Programme including:

General participants:
  • Estates Theatre orchestra: participating orchestra
NĚMEC, František : Overture, orch, E major, op.4
NĚMEC, František : Concert Allegro [Konzert-Allegro] for violin and orchestra, vl, orch
     • Němec, František : vl
NĚMEC, František : unspecified Fantasie on themes from Donizetti's opera L'elisir d'amore, vl, [orch?]
     • Němec, František : vl
NĚMEC, František : Variations for four violins and orchestra, 4vl, orch
     • Pietschmann, Mathilde : vl Brousilová, Bertha : vl Wiener, Wilhelm : vl Hoffmannová z Wendheimu, Gabriela : vl
NĚMEC, František : Scherzo from Symphony, orch, op.7
MERCADANTE, Saverio : unspecified work Der Traum, vv, vc, [orch/ pf acc?]
     • Versing, Wilhelm : v Vogl, ? : pf Goltermann, Julius : vc
HILLER, Ferdinand : chorus Die Lerchen, S., male vv
     • Gmachová, Pauline : v
BÉRIOT, Charles Auguste de : unspecified concert aria, v, [orch / pf acc?]
     • Gmachová, Pauline : v


Advance news of this concert first appeared in Lumír 27/11/1851 which noted that a very interesting entertainment to take place this [concert] season would be give by Professor Němec. New compositions by Němec would be performed, and participating would also be some of his pupils, including the ‘talented young violinist Miss Hoffmannova.’

16/12/1851 published details of this event, reporting that Němec’s concert was to take place on 17th December at 4.30pm in the Žofín Hall. ‘Mr Němec plays his Concert-allegro [Koncertallegro] and a Phantasie on themes from Donizetti’s “Liebestrank”. Participating too were four of the violinist’s pupils, ‘Miss Hoffmann von Wendheim [Hoffmannová], Math. Pietschmann [Pietschmannová], Bertha Brousil [Brousilová] and Mr W. Wiener in the Variations for four violins and orchestra of his [Němec] own composition and directed by him, an Overture in E major Op.4 and Scherzo from a great Symphony, Op.7. Assisting the concert-giver will be Messrs Versing, Vogl and Goltermann (“der Traum” by Mercadante) and Miss Gmach [Gmachová] who Hiller’s “Lerchen” and Beriot’s Concert aria will sing. The great talent of Mr Němec as a composer and virtuoso promises to be interesting.’ The text then reported that ‘the young artist’ was giving this event as a farewell concert before his departure for Russia, and thus on account of his popularity the occasion promised to gain a numerous audience.

A review, signed ‘V.’, of this event was published by Bohemia 19/12/1851. This noted that Němec was one of three eminent violinists who had graduated in the same year from the Conservatory, and lamented that he was to leave his native city to travel to Russia. Němec was known as a composer, teacher and virtuoso; the correspondent commented upon his ability as a composer both in general and with particular reference to the Overture in E major which it was noted had already been heard once before in Prague, and to the Scherzo from the Symphony. The ‘interesting Koncert-Allegro’ in B minor and the Fantasie from Donizetti were also considered to demonstrate his ‘extraordinary talent for composition and in particular for orchestration’. His ability as a teacher was considered to be evident in the performances of his pupils in the Variations for four violins and orchestra. Appearing as composer, conductor and virtuoso Němec was many time stormily curtain called; the correspondent wished him a happy future upon his departure from Prague. Of the remainder of the programme, Mr Versing sang the piece with accompaniment of piano and obbligato violoncello by Mercadante, and gained ‘a well-earned success’. Miss Gmach [Gmachová] assisted the concer giver with a performance of the Concert-aria by Beriot. The Hall was full throughout.’

Performing in the concert was reported by the Bohemia review to have been the orchestra of the Estates Theatre. The order of the programme cannot be identified from the Bohemia texts, except for that the event opened with the specified overture.

Summary of sources:

Lumír (27/11/1851)
Bohemia (16/12/1851)
Bohemia (19/12/1851)