Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

First 'Musical and humorous little Garland [Hudební a humoristický věneček]' arranged by Emanuel Meliš and [H.] Přerhof

Venue: Konvikt

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 05/12/1860

Season: Advent

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • unspecified amateurs: participating ensemble, vv
  • PŘERHOF, Heřmann: actor / actress / theatre performer
HELLER, Ferdinand : quadrille Kadryla z národních písní (Quadrille from folksongs), male voice chorus
     • Heller, Ferdinand :
SUCHÁNEK, František : unspecified song, v, [pf?]
     • Körschnerová, Marie : v
SLAVÍK, Karel : song Má hvězdička (My little star)
     • Körschnerová, Marie : v
TOMÁŠEK, Václav Jan Křtitel : unspecified Dithyramb, pf
     • Nápravník, Eduard : pf
KITTL, Jan Bedřich : Impromptu Le zephir no.6 of 6 Impromptus, pf, op.18
     • Nápravník, Eduard : pf
SMETANA, Bedřich : unspecified Scherzo-polka for pianoforte, pf
     • Nápravník, Eduard : pf
arr. Rubinstein, Anton Grigor'yevitch: Janissary march , arr. pf
     • Nápravník, Eduard : pf
BERGMANN, Josef Adolf : song Šotek Goblin no.6 from 6 songs [Šest písní], v, pf, nr.6, op.9
     • Körschnerová, Marie : v
PIVODA, František : song Jako krajina nebeská Like a heavenly land no.1 from 8 songs for low voice [Osmero písní pro nížský hlas], v, pf, op.26/1
     • Pivoda, František : v
PIVODA, František : 4 unspecified songs, v, [pf]
     • Pivoda, František : v


The German-language newspaper Der Tagesbote 4/12/1860 reported that three ‘humorous Garlands [humoristischen Kränzchen] arranged by Meliš and Přerhof were being given in the Konvikt Hall on 5th, 12th and 27th December. ‘Music, song and humorous sketches will make up their content; Miss Körschner [Körschnerová] as well as Messrs Lukes, Piwoda [Pivoda], Heller, Naprawník [Nápravník] and others have promised to participate. The admission fee is 30 kr.’

Because this soirée was arranged by the editor of Dalibor, the Czech periodical stated that it ‘had no right’ to publish a critical review of the event. Instead, the journal took the unusual step of substituting a review published by the German ‘local political newspaper’ Prager Morgenpost. This review was generously complimentary about the occasion, noting that the ‘soirée got not only a large attendance, but also a very favourable outcome. The Quadrille [. . .] by Ferd. Heller, arranged for men’s chorus was [. . .] so precisely and with such nuance performed, that it had to be repeated twice. Not less pleased the talented alto Miss Körschnerová, who with deep feeling sang songs by Fr. Suchánek and [. . .] by Karel Slavík, and upon general request also performed the humorous song Šotek (The Goblin) by Bergmann. The young pianist Mr Ed. Nápravník played at the piano a Dithyramb by Vác. Tomášek and Zefír by Bed. Knittl [actually by J.F. Kittl] with such bravura and elegance, that upon general demand he gave [too] a Scherzo-Polka by Bed. Smetana and the Janissary march by A. Rubinstein. The applause was very lively and increased still more at the performance by the well-known song composer, Fr. Pivoda. This artist sang five of his own songs with fervent sensitivity, first-rate expressiveness and excellent accentuation, provoking stormy applause after each strophe of his song Jako krajina nebeská (Like a heavenly land). This singer, in terms of vocalisation, expression and manner of performance, can but serve as a model for many [other] of our singers.’ The quoted review ended with the comment that ‘the arrangement of this little soirée was in each respect prudent and tasteful.’ Following the extract from Prager Morgenpost, the Dalibor text concluded by mentioning that ‘some gentlemen, whom we now know of, spread rumours, that in our Czech soirée they would themselves intentionally sing songs from other non-slavic nations. We denounce these people as wretched slanderers, and such an act as blackguardism.’ Neither Prager Morgenpost nor Dalibor stated whether or not this disruption actually occurred. The programme is reproduced in order corresponding with the Prager Morgenpost review, published in its entirity by Dalibor 10/12/1860.

A brief, unsigned review of this event was published by Bohemia 7/12/1860 reporting that ‘The first of the humourous Garlands [humoristische Kränzchen] arranged by Messrs Meliš and Přerhof took place the day before last [vorgestern] in the Konvikt Hall to the complete satisfaction of the audience. The Czech youth was very numerously represented [i.e. the audience comprised a large number of young Czechs], but the ladies were greatly outnumbered. The applause for all numbers of the programme, for the musical as well as the declamatory items, was unending. Particularly pleasing reception was given to the singing of Mr Piwoda [Pivoda], not less to the declamations of Mr Přerhof...’ Prager Zeitung 8/12/1860 also reported briefly about this event, noting that although successful and gaining a quite numerous audience, the occasion was sparingly attended by ladies. The dates of two further ‘Garlands’ were noted by this Prager Zeitung text as 12th and 27th December.

Summary of sources:

Tagesbote aus Böhmen (04/12/1860)
Bohemia (07/12/1860)
Prager Zeitung (08/12/1860)
Dalibor, hudební časopis s měsíční notovou přílohou (10/12/1860)