The Weekly Herald (New York), August 31, 1844, p. 275.
This article is interesting primarily as one of the earliest mentions of Joachim in an American periodical. It concerns his first London sojourn, as Mendelssohn’s protégé, and mentions him in conjunction with several other violinists whose abilities young Joachim commented on in his letters (particularly Ernst, whom Joachim considered the greatest violinist he ever heard). Note that it gives Joachim’s age as fifteen. According to Joachim’s widely accepted birth date he was thirteen, but there is some additional evidence that he may have been older.
LONDON, August 1, 1844.
Musical Doings in Europe.
The season of 1844 which has been the most brilliant on record is drawing to a close, and will be classed in a few days among “things that were.” Lions out of number from every part of continental Europe paid us visits. Mendelssohn, the great composer; Ernst, the greatest living violinist, who has mounted the throne of Paganini, and sits unmolested. His success has no parallel in the musical annals. He has more fervor and passion — more grandeur and variety of expression in his playing than any of the great fiddlers. He possesses a poetical style which is to be preferred to all the mechanism in the universe, although as a mere mechanist his dexterity is unrivaled. Joseph Joachim is another violinist, of fifteen, who has now accomplished, what many of the most celebrated players have not yet achieved. He has the most complete command over the instrument and executes music of all schools from a fugue of Bach to a caprice of Ernst and Bériot with equally marvelous facility. He is Mendelssohn’s pet, and quite outshone Camillo Sivori, “the great humbug of the day,” who, although a violinist of great power, does not possess one atom of originality, and belongs to that respectable class who are justly nick-named “monkey-Paganinis.” Another violinist, who gained more laurels than sovereigns is Mr. Pott, a very clever artist, but who does not possess any transcendent quality so requisite to produce a sensation amongst such a galaxy of talent. […]