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  • Writer's pictureGeoffrey Dean

US Cello Performances, 1891-2: An Annotated Timeline, Part 2

Updated: May 28, 2022

See Part 1 here

January 1892

9 Liederkrantz Hall, NY Anton Hekking among the solo performers

on Liederkrantz 45th anniversary event for 600 members and guests.

11 Academy of Music, Philadelphia Alwin Schroeder performs solos

on Boston Symphony Orchestra concert there. The Leipzig Musikalisches Wochenblatt reported on the “enthusiastic reception” of Schroeder's playing in Philadelphia, and the local press wrote “Mr. Schroeder, the ’cello soloist of the orchestra, ...has a full, rich tone and an excellent technique, firm and fluent as well as exact...” (The Times (Philadelphia), Jan. 12, 1892, p 2)

21 Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA Schroeder in Saint-Saens Concerto, Op. 33

and solos with piano, accompanied by BSO music director Arthur Nikisch. This was Schroeder's first performance of the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1, a work he had played many times in Europe and would return to regularly over the next 30+ years.

21 Buffalo, NY Victor Herbert appears as soloist

with the local orchestra. Later famous as a conductor and composer of popular operettas (e.g., Babes in Toyland), the Irish-German Herbert had come to the US as a leading member of the orchestra of New York's Metropolitan Opera, where his wife had been engaged as a star vocalist. Herbert gave the first US performances of works such as the Brahms Double Concerto. “Victor Herbert, the ’celloist par excellence of this country, was a concert all in himself …His own “Suite” for ’cello… bristled with difficulties, but he surmounted them so

easily that it seemed the simplest thing in the world to play the ’cello. … After playing his solos, [Herbert] took his seat among the performers and assisted very materially in the ensemble.” (Buffalo Courier, Jan. 22, 1892, p 5)

31 Carnegie Hall, NYC Hekking in Volkmann Serenade No. 3

with the New York Symphony Society conducted by Walter Damrosch. Robert Volkmann's Serenade No. 3 for string orchestra, with lyrical cello solos throughout, was often programmed to feature the principal cellist. Giese, Hekking, and Schroeder all played it with the Boston Symphony.

February 1892

1 Boston Theatre, Boston Benefit concert for Fritz Giese

with the Boston Philharmonic and soloists Giese, Mrs. Giese, and Arthur Foote. “There is no more popular artist among musicians and the musical public generally than Mr. Fritz Giese…” (Boston Globe) On this concert, his performance of the Servais burlesque on “The Carnival of Venice” was “interrupted several times by the outbursts of spontaneous applause.” (Boston Evening Transcript) This was Giese’s first reappearance following an arm injury that had required an operation and had raised doubts as to whether he would be able to play again.

7 Music Hall, Boston Giese solos on Grand Operatic Festival Matinee

12 Brooklyn Schroeder in Saint-Saens Concerto, Op. 33

15 Union Hall, Boston Schroeder in Mendelssohn cello sonata

with pianist Helen Hopekirk. The central work on a Kneisel Quartet concert, the Mendelssohn was “a decided feature of the evening,” which ended with the Schubert cello quintet (Leo Schulz, second cello). (Boston Globe, Feb 16, 1892, p 4)

15 Tremont Temple, Boston Hekking solos on Popular Concert

of the New York Symphony concert under Walter Damrosch. Because it was a program of lighter music, “encores were frequent. Mr. Hekking’s playing was magnificent, and he was twice recalled.” (reported in Portand Daily Press, Feb. 16, 1892, p 8)

23 Tremont Temple, Boston Giese solos on the Star Course

This was the 20th concert of the 20-event Star Course, with the Boston Philharmonic conducted by Bernhard Listemann. Listemann was the original concertmaster of the Boston Symphony, 1881-5.

26 Phillips Chapel, Fitchburg, MA Wulf Fries solos on Mary Howe concert

The original first cellist of the Boston Symphony, Fries had been in Boston since the late 1840s. He and his violinist brother had been founding members of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and Fries gave early Boston performances of works such as the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1 and the Beethoven Triple Concerto. “Wulf Fries and his ’cello have been favorites with music-lovers for the past 30 [sic] years, and the old gentleman still handles his instrument in a most artistic manner.” The Fitchburg Sentinel blames the audience for the excessive length of the program: “Indeed, the audience was almost too appreciative to please those who had ordered hacks for 9:30, as encores lengthened the program from 12 to 22 numbers. Constant recalls were the order of the evening...” (Fitchburg Sentinel, Feb. 27, 1892, p 6)

March 1892

2 Music Hall, Boston Schroeder on BSO Pension Fund concert

Paderewski also volunteered his services as a soloist on this concert. Mrs. Jack Gardner, a well-known Boston art patron and collector whose Fenway residence is now the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, showed her support by placing a floral bouquet on each musician's chair.

8 Plainfield, NJ Hekking in concerto with NY Symphony

10 Boston Giese solos on Boston Philharmonic concert

14 New Haven, CT Hekking solos on NY Symphony concert

19 Boston Theatre, Boston Giese solos on Actors’ Fund concert

23 Carnegie Hall, NYC Hekking in Goltermann concerto

with New York Symphony on a Young People’s concert. That evening he played it on the orchestra's concert in Poughkeepsie.

29 Akron, OH Giese solos on Listemann Company concert

Similar to organizations such as the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, the Listemann Company toured with "miscellaneous" programs featuring, in addition to quintet and quartet movements, instrumental solos and vocal numbers. The Listemann Company's spring 1892 tour also took it to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kansas, and other states.

April 1892

3 Liederkrantz Hall, NYC Schroeder solos on Liederkrantz concert

4 Union Hall, Boston Schroeder in Beethoven A Major sonata

on the sixth and final concert of the Kneisel Quartet's 1891-2 Boston series. “The second number, Beethoven’s sonata, for piano and violoncello, was sustained by Mr. Perabo at the piano and Mr. Schroeder on the ’cello. Rarely has this sonata received such masterly treatment.” (Boston Globe, April 5, 1891, p 4)

8 Bumstead Hall, Boston Schroeder in “Violoncello Recital”

The Boston Herald asserted that this performance established Schroeder as “the equal of any artist in his line heard here in recent years, and in the breadth of style shown in his playing, the mastery of the technique of his instrument, and the fine taste and sentiment which characterized all his work, he proved himself one of the world’s great ’cello players.” The US premiere of Brahms F Major cello sonata, Op. 99, which Schroeder had helped introduce in Germany a few years earlier, opened the program, but was largely passed over in the local press. The Herald apologized that, “though a novelty, [the Brahms sonata] cannot be commented upon this morning... ,” and only the Boston Musical Record devoted a sentence to Schroeder and Busoni's splendid interpretation of this “rich, noble, melodious” work. Schroeder's recital also included the US premieres of Busoni's Kultaselle Variations and Bruch's Canzone.

10 Carnegie Chamber Hall, NYC Hekking in Rubinstein sonata

on New York Symphony Quartet concert. “Mr. Hekking [was] excellent in tone and pleasing in the Rubinstein “Sonata,” while Mr. Damrosch gave artistic proof that an orchestral leader can appear as a pianist with marked success.” (The World, April 11, 1892, p 2)

May 1892

1 Columbia Theater, Boston Giese solos on benefit concert

3 Buffalo Schroeder local solo debut

in solos with piano on BSO concert during the orchestra's spring 1892 tour. “[T]here will be a curiosity to hear the ’cellist who has been so highly praised in Boston and New York.” (Buffalo Morning Expresss, May 1, 1892, p 10) “Mr. Schroeder is a delightful musician and draws a particularly sweet tone from his cello, playing thoughtfully and well. … Mr. Nikisch quietly seated himself at the piano as Mr. Schroeder’s accompanist and his perfect work was a lesson to every local worker in the same field.” (Buffalo Commercial, May 4, 1892)

7 Chicago Schroeder local solo debut

in solos with piano on BSO concert. On this program Schroeder was filling in for concertmaster Franz Kniesel, the originally-announced soloist, who had taken ill.

8 Columbia Theater concert, Boston Giese solos

10 Ann Arbor, MI Schroeder local solo debut with BSO

12 Pittsburgh, PA Schroeder local solo debut with BSO

“On Thursday evening…[s]everal violoncello pieces will be given by Mr. Alwin Schroeder, the famous Leipzig artist, who has never been heard here.” (Pittsburgh Dispatch, May 8, 1892, p 11) “Although quite unknown to most of his hearers, [Mr. Schroeder] also excited their enthusiasm to a degree that amply upheld his great European reputation. ... Sympathetic and truly artistic tone, rarely clear phrasing, true musical feeling and a notable brilliance of execution were among the qualities displayed by Mr. Schroeder. Mr. Nikisch played the pianoforte accompaniments to the ’cello pieces…with consummate skill and discretion.” –Pittsburgh Dispatch, May 13, 1892, p 9)

17 Mason & Hamlin Hall, Boston Giese in US premiere of Brahms clarinet trio

w C. L. Staats, clarinet, and Arthur Foote, piano. Of this performance, Louis C. Elson wrote, “It was good to hear Mr. Giese’s ’cello once more; there is a certain fine, masterly something in him that places him at the head; his tone and phrasing, the whole spirit of his playing are unique.” (Boston Evening Transcript, May 18, 1892)

1 Comment

Dec 04, 2021

Those performers were B*U*S*Y ! !

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