The Times (London) Issue 21130, (Tuesday, Jun 01, 1852), p. 8.




[…] the other feature of the evening was the execution of Mendelson’s [sic] Concerto in E minor by Herr Joseph Joachim, a gentleman who now disputes the palm with Ernst himself among violinists of Germany. When Mendelssohn lived, and Joseph Joachim was a mere boy, he used to say that no other artist could perform this concerto as he himself had imagined it. Since the death of Mendelsson, however, some of the greatest violinists have essayed it in public, among the rest Ernst, Sivori, and Sainton. The deserved success of Signor Sivori on Friday night, at the new Philharmonic Society, rendered Herr Joachim’s task the more difficult. His triumph, nevertheless, was complete. A grander, a more finished, and altogether a more artistic performance we have never listened to. We shall not attempt a comparison between Herr Joachim and Signor Sivori; it would be invidious, out of place, and unjust to both. One feature of Herr Joachim’s performance, however, must be specialized — viz., the extreme rapidity with which he played the last movement, which, it should be added, was in consonance with Mendelsshon’s [sic] own views, as frequently disclosed by himself. In the midst of this the neatness and decision of the execution were never once endangered; no mechanism could be more faultless; while fire and expression gave life and vigorous character to the whole. The orchestral accompaniments were played with points and precision, but by no means with that extreme delicacy which was remarked when Signor Sivori performed the concerto at Exeter-hall. The applause bestowed upon Herr Joachim’s performance was enthusiastic, and at the conclusion he was summoned back into the orchestra, to be newly complimented.


The fantasia of Herr Joachim, built upon the Scottish melodies, “Joe Anderson my Joe,” and the “Blue Bells of Scotland,” although remarkably clever, elaborately written, and skillfully scored, wanted the characteristic lightness and brilliancy of the true fantasia school, and was, therefore, less eminently successful than the concerto; a prodigious display, however, of dextrous execution on the part of the performer, it was applauded with warmth and unanimity.

Times (London) Review June 1 1852_Page_1