The Joachim Quartet’s first visit to Paris


There were three concerts in January at the Salle Erard. The third was sold out and it was reported they could have easily sold out two to three more concerts if they had been able to extend their stay. There was absolutely no sign of anti-German sentiment, and there were suppers given in their honor by the violinist Léonard and Frau Viardot-Garcia. Gounod congratulated each of the players. The praise in the press was unanimous; even the London papers published extensive, enthusiastic reviews.1Wiener Musikalische Zeitung no. 16 (1887): 275-76.

The programs were:

  • First concert:
    • Schumann Op. 41 no. 1 in a minor
    • Mozart, K 465 (“Dissonant”)
    • Beethoven, Op. 131 in C# minor
  • Second concert:
    • Mendelssohn in E-flat, Op. 12
    • Brahms in B-flat, Op. 67
    • Beethoven in e minor, Op. 59 no. 2
  • Third concert: all Beethoven
    • Op. 18 no. 6 in B-flat
    • Op. 74 in E-flat “Harp”
    • Op. 132 in a minor

A Paris correspondent of the Daily Telegraph writes under date 23rd January: …”Herr Joachim has actually ventured to bring from Berlin the members of his famous quartet party, and to give three seánces in this city where so little first-class chamber music is to be heard. Moreover, his programs are as uncompromisingly severe in Paris as in Berlin. They consist of three quartets unrelieved by anything else. The program of the first Concerts consisted of Schumann’s Quartet in A minor, Mozart’s in C major, and Beethoven’s marvelous work in C sharp minor. Herr Joachim’s companions are Herren de Ahna, Wirth, and Hausmann, and the four performed with an ensemble such as I have never heard in Paris for very many years. Erard’s Concert-room was well filled on the occasion of the first Concert, although the price of admission was twenty francs.” Musical Times Feb. 1887 p. 109-110.

Sixteen years later, the group would visit again.

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