The Times, London, Issue 21152 (Saturday, June 26, 1852), p. 5,
HERR JOSEPH JOACHIM’S CONCERTS.
Of Herr Joachim and his career, of his precocious talent as a boy, of the influence of Mendelssohn upon his studies, of his appointment to share with Liszt the duties of Kapellmeister at the Court of Weimar, and of his gradual advance to the high position he now enjoys in his profession, we have previously spoken. Although only 21 years of age, Herr Joachim’s [sic] enjoys the prestige of a name, and possesses the acquirements of a master. As a performer on the violin he stands in the first rank; and, as a composer, he has already won a place among those who have done much for the progress of the instrument. With such claims to notice, it is not surprising that the concert, announced in his name to take place in the Hanover-square Rooms, should have attracted a large assembly of amateurs and professors of the violin.
The concert was of first-rate pretensions. The programme was strictly “classical,” and one of the principal features was a grand orchestra — rivalling that of the Philharmonic Society and strength and efficiency — led by M. Sainton, and conducted by Herr Ferdinand Hiller, a musician of acknowledged eminence. The performances of Herr Joachim included, Beethoven’s concerto in D (the only one written for the violin by that great composer), a fantasia on Hungarian airs, and a concertrstück in G minor, composed by himself, and the 24th caprice of Paganini, originally intended as a solo study, to which an introduction and orchestral accompaniments have been added. The execution of Beethoven’s concerto by Herr Joachim, when a boy, several years ago, at the Philharmonic Society, created a sensation which can hardly be forgotten. Practice and experience have not been lost upon the young musician, who’s precocity was not, like that of many others, a mere “flash in the pan,” — the forerunner of subsequent mediocrity. Nothing could be finer than his reading of Beethoven’s music last night, and nothing more masterly than his performance. The two cadenzas were both remarkable. Considering the duration of the opening allegro, however, the first might fairly be pronounced too long; but its merits of invention and ingenuity were so great that this fault was overlooked. It was, moreover, an extraordinary display of manual dexterity on the part of the executant. The second cadenza, in the rondo finale, was brief, and as faultless as it was brief. The fantasia on the Hungarian airs, though shorter and less elaborate than that on Scotch airs which Herr Joachim introduced at the last concert of the Philharmonic Society, was better calculated for general effect. The monotony of colour and rhythm by which the Hungarian tunes are signalized is counteracted by the variety of the orchestral treatment and by the novelty of the traits de bravoure. In the concertstück in G minor, which consists of a single movement, Herr Joachim has put forth all his strength as a musician, and has succeeded in producing a composition of high character and great interest, in which breadth of outline, fine melody, skillful adaptation of the passages to the instrument, and rich and elaborate orchestral treatment, are all exhibited in the most favourable manner. For mechanical difficulties, at once original and striking, the concertstück of Herr Joachim surpasses anything that has been composed for the violin, except, perhaps, the Allegro Pathétique of Ernst, to which, in other respects, it bears no resemblance. The execution of this fine piece was the triumph of the evening; and at the conclusion the applause was so enthusiastic that Herr Joachim was compelled to return to the orchestra and acknowledge the compliment. The 24th caparice of Paganini derived a double interest from the beautiful introduction for violin and orchestra, and the accompaniments to the theme of variations which Herr Joachim has composed for it. Several of the variations were loudly cheered, and none more unanimously than one in double notes and octaves, another in full harmony, and a third in which the staccato and pizzicato are mingled after the peculiar manner of Paganini. After this performance Herr Joachim was again compelled to reappear and receive the hearty salutations of the audience.
Macfarren’s spirited overture to Don Quixote — a very clever and original concert overture, in D minor, by Herr Ferdinand Hiller — and the War March of the Levites, from Mendelssohn’s Athalia, gave full employment to the orchestra, which was conducted by Herr Hiller with remarkable ability. It duets for two pianofortes, also composed by Herr Hiller, was brilliantly executed by Mdlle. Clauss and Herr Pauer. Mdlle. Clauss played upon an instrument of Erard’s, and Herr Pauer upon one of Broadwood’s, which gave amateurs an opportunity of judging the qualities of each. The duet was greatly admired and applauded. Some vocal music by Miss Dolby, Herr Reichart, and Herr Von Der Osten, completed the programme. From this it is only necessary to single out a beautiful air from Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris, which Herr Von Der Osten sang in such a manner as to convince the audience that no German tenor had of late years been heard in England with so agreeable voice and so expressive and unaffected a style. Altogether, Herr Joachim may be congratulated on having given one of the most interesting and successful concerts of the season.