Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Musical matinée given by the pianist Franz Decker

Venue: Konvikt

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 24/11/1861 12 noon

Programme comprising:

General participants:
  • DECKER, Franz: soloist, pf
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van : Piano Trio Ghost, pf, vl, vc, nr.5, D major, op.70/1
     • Mildner, Mořic : vl Schmidt, Heinrich : vc
MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, Felix : unspecified caprice, pf
LISZT, Franz : unspecified Valse-caprice on themes by Schubert, pf, S427
LISZT, Franz : unspecified Hungarian Rhapsody, pf
UNSPECIFIED, ? : unspecified song[s?], v, [pf?]
     • Miková-Bennewitzová, Emilie : v
UNSPECIFIED, ? : unspecified song[s?], v, [pf?]
     • Bachmann, Eduard : v


No news of this event was published by the Czech-language periodical Dalibor or Národní listy.

Prager Morgenpost 23/11/1861 reported the ‘Programme for the Matinée Musicale of Franz Decker, Sunday 24th November at 12 o’clock in the Konvikt Hall.’ The works to be performed and the participating soloists were noted. Following the Schubert-Liszt transcription Miss von Schulzendorf [Schulzendorfová] was to perform an unspecified declamation. The Tageskalender of Bohemia 24/11/1861 included the listing ‘Sunday 24th November... 12 noon in the Konvikt Hall, Matinée-Musicale of Mr Decker.’ However, the event did not take place on this day, Bohemia 26/11/1861 publishing news of its cancellation due to the piano having been tuned three quarters of a tone too high. The source noted that Mr Decker intended the concert to take place next week.

A review, signed ‘!!’, was published by Prager Zeitung 5/12/1861. The source confirmed that the concert had been given on Monday [2/12/1861]. ‘No wonder, when it was so poorly attended, that the number of gas lights exceeded the number of listeners. So it seemed, that neither did the piano, a Bösendorfer grand piano perform well, in that the bass was disproportionately heavy with not enough brightness. Mr Decker is admittedly as technically accomplished as a hundred other players, but not much more. He played in the company of Prof. Mildner and Schmit, Beethoven’s Trio in D, then solo Mendelssohn’s Caprice in F minor, Liszt’s transcription of Schubert’s Waltz-theme and a Hungarian Rhapsody of his [Liszt]. A declamation by Mr Harry-Meyer, then song performances by Miss Mik and Mr Bachmann constituted the other numbers of the gloomy programme.’ No Caprice by Mendelssohn exists in F minor, the piece was probably the Capriccio in F-sharp minor, op.5.

The very brief, unsigned Dalibor 10/12/1861 review reported the date that the concert was given, the venue, the participation of Mildner and Schmit, listed the works given and noted that ‘
Mr Decker displayed great bravura and skill; however, we missed a neatness of touch and clarity in delivery.’

Summary of sources:

Prager Morgenpost (23/11/1861)
Bohemia (24/11/1861)
Bohemia (26/11/1861)
Prager Zeitung (05/12/1861)
Dalibor, hudební časopis s měsíční notovou přílohou (10/12/1861)