The Musical World, vol. XIX, No. 22 (May 30, 1844), pp. 180-181.

            Joachim’s rendering of Beethoven’s concerto was astonishing. Not only was it astonishing as coming from a comparative child, but astonishing as a violin performance, no matter from whom proceeding. The greatest violinists hold this concerto in awe. It is, we must own, not adapted to display advantageously the powers of the instrument — though a composition of great distinction, the first movement being in Beethoven’s highest manner. Young Joachim, however, attacked it with the vigour and determination of the most accomplished artist, and made every point tell. So well did he play, that we forgot how entirely unadapted for display was the violin part. No master could have read it better, no finished artist could have better rendered it. Tone, execution, and reading, were alike admirable — and the two cadences introduced by the young player were not only tremendous executive feats, but ingeniously composed — consisting wholly of excellent and musician-like workings of phrases and passages from the concerto. The reception of Joachim was enthusiastic, and his success the most complete and triumphant that his warmest friends could have desired. What Charles Filtsch[1] is upon the piano, Joseph Joachim is upon the violin, and he is, in common with that prodigious little genius, remarkable for the most attractive manners, the most amiable disposition, and the most intelligent and charming modesty. We wonder not that he should be such a favourite with Mendelssohn, who is ever the first to acknowledge and to nurture rising genius.

[Probably by J. W. Davison]

[1] Charles Filtsch (1830-1845) was Chopin’s most gifted pupil, about whom Franz Liszt is reported to have said “When that boy begins to travel, I will close shop.” He died, tragically young, in Venice.