Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Third annual Conservatory concert

Venue: Estates Theatre

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 21/03/1861 7pm

Season: Lent

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • Prague Conservatory: participating institution, orch
  • MILDNER, Mořic: director of ensemble, conductor

Part 1:

BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : Symphony Eroica, orch, nr.3, E-flat major, op.55

Part 2:

BRICCIALDI, Giulio : unspecified Fantasie, fl, orch
     • Procházka, Josef : fl
BÄRMANN, C. : unspecified Divertissement for clarinet, cl, [orch?]
     • Mayer, Joseph : cl
BELLINI, Vincenzo : duet unspecified, from opera I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, 2vv, orch
     • Pecklová, Johanna : v Pisařovicová, Marie : v
VIEUXTEMPS, Henri : Concerto for violin and orchestra, vl, orch, nr.4, D minor, op.31
     • Řebíček, Josef : vl
RIETZ, Julius : Overture Hero und Leander, orch, D major, op.11


Advance details of this concert were published by Prager Morgenpost 19/3/1861, the report noting the date, time, venue, participants and programme of the concert in performance order. Both on 20th and 21st March the newspaper included the simple notice ‘Thursday 21st March 1861. Concert of the Conservatory.’ Prager Morgenpost published a review, signed ‘!!’ on 23/3/1861. This remarked that ‘The third concert of the Conservatory was as usual [given] in the theatre and took place the day before last at the usual evening time. The instrumentalist pupils had this time in the first part [of the concert] a great problem - the performance of the „Symphonia ervica [Symphonia eroica] by Beethoven – to solve. The youngsters were realtively successful, for the best will and resolve animated their endeavours; best were the first and last movements, the funeral march suffered from hesitant entries in the strings, the scherzo from a slow tempo. Nevertheless the young orchestra was due its applause following the last movement. The second part [of the concert] began with a very brilliantly performed flute solo by Briccialdi [performed] by Josef Prochaska [Procházka]. Then followed a Divertissement for clarinet by Bärmann, in which Josef Mayer demonstrated a very beautiful tone and great technical ability.’ The other soloists were similarly complimented. Finally, the source reported that the concert ended with the ‘spiritedly composer Overture to „Hero und Leander. The concert was ‘well attended.’    

The Dalibor 1/4/1861 review, signed ‘E.’, related that the audience was ‘numerous.’ The performances of the various works received mixed reviews. Thus, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony was considered to have been ‘relatively very successfully performed. Only in the solemn march and in the Scherzo were little misunderstandings perceptible, however, upon the vociferous applause of the audience the latter [movement] was repeated. For his circumspect conducting Professor Mildner was at the end twice [curtain-]called.’ Of the various Conservatory student soloists who participated in this concert, the weakest performance was identified as being that of the flautist, Josef Procházka. Although his ‘technical proficiency’ testified to his ‘great diligence’, the Dalibor critic noted that his rendition of the cadenza ‘was rough’, and that at times his instrument seemingly sounded flatter or sharper than the orchestra. Bärmann, the clarinettist, was complimented upon ‘his great tone’, which reminded the reviewer of the soloist’s Conservatory teacher, the native clarinet virtuoso Julius Pisařovic. The performance from memory by Josef Řebíček of Vieuxtemps’ Concerto was ‘brilliant’, and both soloist and the conductor Mořic Mildner (also Řebíček’s teacher) received a ‘magnificent’ reception from the audience. No specific comment was made about the singing of Johanna Peklová and Marie Pisařovicová.

The programme is reproduced in performance order according to the Prager Morgenpost 19/3/1861 and Dalibor 20/3/1861 reports.

Summary of sources:

Prager Morgenpost (19/03/1861)
Prager Morgenpost (20/03/1861)
Dalibor, hudební časopis s měsíční notovou přílohou (20/03/1861)
Prager Morgenpost (21/03/1861)
Prager Morgenpost (23/03/1861)
Prager Zeitung (24/03/1861)
Dalibor, hudební časopis s měsíční notovou přílohou (01/04/1861)