It’s Friday, and there are three big events tonight: Teresa Carreño is giving her only concert in Berlin this year; Felix Weingartner is premiering a symphony by Christian Sinding, and Robert Robitschek is conducting “modern tone poems” by Dvorák, Humperdinck, and himself.
Ah, Madame Carreño! She has been a favorite since her debut with the Philharmonic in 1889. In fact, she has been soloist on the subscription concerts more often than anyone since, except D’Albert. Her residence, where she gives lessons, is on the Kurfürstendamm, across the street from Joachim’s apartment.
(R.M. Breithaupt’s review: “What is left to say about Teresa Carreño? The magic of her personality, the captivating temperament, the brilliant technique-all of that is so well known, and yet it always has a stimulating effect on us. That is the effect of real spirit, to seem eternally young. She played Beethoven’s E-flat Sonata, 31 with such unruffled noblesse, and how lavishly she handled the Brahms Rhapsody! The Etude “Am Meer” by Smetana was a pleasure in technique above all. Whoever has not yet heard these splendid rolling of arpeggios and passages will never be able to understand what it means to ‘throw the arm over the keys.'”
Bedrich Smetana, Am Seegestade, “Eine Erinnerung” (Welte-Mignon piano roll recording available at naxosmusiclibrary.com)
- Serenade for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 56,
- the Suite in a minor “im alten Stil,” Op. 10,
- his famous Piano Quintet, Op. 5 (Mme. Carreño doing the honors with the Bohemian Quartet in January)
- and his most recent String Quartet, Op. 70; all being performed this year.
His violin concertos and piano concertos are also frequently found on the programs of virtuosos this year.
Robert Robitschek, who has become the Director of the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory, is conducting the Philharmonic with a program that includes Humperdinck’s theater music for Shakespeare plays, Philipp Scharwenka’s “Traum und Wahrheit,” two of his own pieces, and Dvorák’s symphonic poem, “The Golden Spinning Wheel,” which is being played in Berlin for the first time.
(Regarding the last work, Taubert wrote “Not only do I doubt, I will outright deny that music can describe with its own instrumental means how a girl’s eyes are stabbed out and her arms and legs are chopped off.” With regard to Robitschek, Taubert thought the conductor was more interesting as a composer.)
- The soprano Antonia Dolores is adored in Australia, but tonight her voice sounds dry and sharp. She is giving another concert next week.
- The Mozartsaal-Orchestra’s popular concert tonight is at 8 pm, and features as soloists Anna Stephan and Henriette Dubois.
- The choices for opera are Die Lustige Witwe and Die Zauberflöte.