Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Benefit concert given in aid of free meals for poor students of the Prague Technical School

Venue: Žofín Island (Žofín Hall)

Event type: Art music culture

Date: 08/03/1862 4.30pm

Beneficiary: Poor students of the Prague Technical School

Programme comprising, part 1:

General participants:
  • Estates Theatre orchestra: participating orchestra
FLOTOW, Friedrich von : Overture Jubel-Ouverture, orch
ABT, Franz Wilhelm : song Gute Nacht, du mein herziges Kind, v, pf, op.137/2
     • Lucca, Paulina : v
KÖHLER, ? : song [Lied] Der Blinde, v, [pf]
     • Krén, J. : v
VENZANO, Luigi : [aria] Grande valse, v, orch
     • Ehrenbergů, Eleonora z : v

Part 2:

NETZER, Josef : Overture from opera Stella
VIEUXTEMPS, Henri : Adagio and Rondo from Concerto for violin and orchestra, vl, orch, nr.1, E major, op.10
     • Brückner, Franz : vl
BEIER, ? : song [Elegie] Ob sie wohl kommen mag, v, pf
     • Krén, J. : v
UNIDENTIFIED, ? : Austrian folksong Gebirgsbleamerln, v, [pf acc.?]
     • Krén, J. : v
UNIDENTIFIED, ? : unspecified Czech folksongs, v, [pf acc?]
     • Ehrenbergů, Eleonora z : v


The programme is reproduced in performance order, according to both the Národní listy 4/3/1862 report and the Dalibor 20/3/1862 review. The only significant discrepancy between these two published listings concerned the songs by Abt and Köhler. Národní listy gave the titles of these two works in Czech while the Dalibor review did not specify the songs’ titles yet clearly stated that they were performed in German. During its early years the translation of most German titles into Czech was common practice for Národní listy. This was probably patriotically motivated and certainly did not alone provide an indicator as to whether vocal works were actually performed in the Slavic tongue. Prager Morgenpost 4/3/1862 also published advance news of this event, the ‘Free meals-concert [das Freitische-Concert] for Technical Students’, noting its date, time and details of its programme in performance order. This source did not identify the composer of the ‘new’ opening Festive Overture. The songs by Abt and Köhler were listed with German titles. The Prager Morgenpost listing also noted that two spoken declamations were to be given in the concert: the first followed the opening overture and would be performed by Mr Schamberg; the second would follow the work by Vieuxtemps in the second half and would be given by Miss von Schulzendorf [Schulzendorfová].

An advertisement for this event appeared in the German-language newspaper Bohemia 5/3/1862 announcing that ‘The Free-meals concert for Technical [School] Students will be on Saturday 8th March 1862 at 4.30pm in the Žofín Island Hall under the direction of the Kapellmeister Mr Mayr [Maýr] and will be performed with the pleasing participation of the ladies: Miss Lucca [Luccová], singer of the Royal Prussian Court Opera; Miss von Schultzendorff; Miss von Ehrenberg; and the Messrs orchestra-leader Mildner, Krén, Schamberg, Brückner and Slansky. Tickets to the Circle cost 3 fl. Austrian silver and to the Hall 1 fl 50 kr. Austrian silver, and can be obtained from the music shop of Messrs Christoph and Kuhé, and on the day of the concert from the box office.’

Národní listy 28/1/1862 announced that the singer Eduard Bachmann was to have performed in this concert. However, his participation was not confirmed by subsequent reports appearing in later issues of this newspaper or by the Dalibor 20/3/1862 review. Similarly, although the pre-concert report published by Národní listy 5/3/1862 noted that Miss Schulzendorfová, Mořic Mildner, ‘Šamberg’ [F.F. Šamberk] and Ludevít Slanský were to take part in the production, only Schulzendorfová and Šamberg were mentioned by the review, each having performed spoken declamations.

A review, signed ‘a-a.’, of this concert was published by Lumír 13/3/1862. This text was notable for briefly commenting upon the concert season and how it contrasted with the previous pre-Lenten carnival season. The correspondent remarked ‘Carnival time, the season in which vigorous balls and other noisy entertainments would make way for entertainments of another sort, mainly concerts and besedy, began this time here with the concert to benefit the fund for meals for Technical School students and the concert of the violoncellist Mr Popper. Both concerts on 8th and 9th March in their performance and attendance gained a respectable success; the concert for technical students was particularly well attended, so that the voluminous space of the Žofín Hall was insufficient. The programme of that concert was in the whole multifarious, although we were spared classical items; the orchestral part comprised the Festive Overture by F. Flotow and the Overture to the opera “Stella” by Netzer. Both compositions, which do not contain ideas of higher inspiration and brilliance, were being performed for the first time and were very coolly received by the audience. Mr Krén sung decently some German hackneyed song. The Prussian Court singer Miss Luccová happily performed Apt’s [Abt] song Dobrou noc with expression and on general demand repeated it. It is fitting to mention the facility with which Miss z Ehrenbergů sang “Valčík [Waltz]” by Bensana [Venzano] and a Czech folksong, but did so without higher artistic fervour and tenderness. Deserving mention was the declamation of Hálek’s Ranní písně [Morning Songs] by Mr Šamberg, [and] the playing of Mr Brückner, who excellently performed the difficult Concerto in F major by Vieuxtemps [E major - Vieuxtemps did not write a concerto in F major], and finally the German declamation by Miss Schulzendorffová. It is pertinent to point out that this concert, except for two numbers was entirely German and was entirely without equality. Kapellmeister Mr Maýr directed the concert very accurately and was honoured by being presented with a precious baton with the Czech inscription “Od Pražských technikův - 8 března 1862 [From Prague technical students - 8th March 1862]”.’

The Dalibor 20/3/1862 review, signed ‘r-r’, praised the ‘excellent’ singing by Miss Luccová and J. Krén, and related how Miss z Ehrenbergů’s ‘polished and nuanced performance of the difficult Waltz by Venzano and of the Czech national songs, caused a great sensation and was rewarded with vigorous applause.’ The violin playing by Brückner, a pupil of the Conservatory Professor Mořic Mildner, ‘was accurate, without fault; his passage work was clean and clear, his tone is pleasant but small.’ The audience was ‘very numerous.’

Národní listy 4/3/1862 reported ticket prices for this concert. Admission to the circle cost 3zl, to the salon 1zl 50kr.

Summary of sources:

Národní listy (28/01/1862)
Národní listy (04/03/1862)
Prager Morgenpost (04/03/1862)
Národní listy (05/03/1862)
Bohemia (05/03/1862)
Lumír (13/03/1862)
Dalibor, časopis pro hudbu, divadlo a umění vůbec (20/03/1862)