These were concerts of predominantly nineteenth-century orchestral repertory, given twice a day (3.30 and 8pm) by the Metropolitan [Opera] Orchestra, conducted by Anton Seidl, under the auspices of the Seidl Society. The concerts included a number of 'new' works and works being performed for the 'first time'. There are also a large number of pieces either composed or arranged for string orchestra.
The concerts were led by Nahan Franko and Clifford Schmidt in 1899 and by Schmidt alone from 1890. Max Spicker and Herbert Victor are listed as assistant conductors in 1889 and from 1890–91 respectively. A small number of soloists are listed in the programmes, the majority of whom were drawn from the orchestral ensemble, including appearances in all three seasons by Mr John Cheshire (harp). Additional soloists are listed below.
The programmes are bound together in weekly groups, running from Saturday to Friday. Unless otherwise stated below, the Friday evening concert was referred to as a Symphonic Concert. Certain other concerts were also given titles. These were listed on the title page for the week’s concerts, along with an indication of any additional soloists engaged and/or any new works to be performed. This information is recorded below.
The majority of the programmes carry some brief historical and descriptive programme notes as well as some more general musical observations/reports. There are a large number of advertisements, including some for printed musical material and for musical instruments, and information regarding the Brighton Beach Railroad.
Volume 1: 1889
An incomplete set of programmes for concerts given from 6-12 July, 13-19 July, 20-26 July, 10-16 August, 17-23 August and 31 August-8 September 1889 (missing programmes for 6-8 September), each group beginning with a photograph of Seidl and a list of the orchestral ensemble.
The afternoon performance on 26 July 1889 was described as a Wagner Matinee whilst that on 16 August 1889 included Beethoven, Concerto in E flat (with Victor Benham, piano) and the first performance of pieces for string orchestra by Casella (Sous l'Ombrage) and Nicosias ('Paroles d'Amour'). The concerts from 17 to 23 August included an Italian Composers’ Matinee and French Composers’ Night (17 August) and a Beethoven Concert and Wagner Concert (23 August). The advertisement for the final, extended week of concerts (31 August-8 September) claims that: 'Beethoven's III., V., VI., VII and VIII. Symphonies, the masterworks of WAGNER, LISZT, Saint-Saens, Bizet, Delibes, Massenet, besides many others, which have delighted the audiences of the Brighton Beach Concerts, will be found in the Programmes of the LAST NINE MATINEES and LAST NINE EVENING CONCERTS of the present Season'.
Volume 2: 1890
Programmes for the ten weeks of concerts given during 1890 season, missing programmes for the final day of the season. From 25 July, the Friday morning performance was referred to as a Request Programme.
28 June–4 July 1890: including Selected Dances by Renowned Composers (30 June, evening), 2 Wagner Matinees (1 and 3 July) and a Symphonic Concert containing the first performances of Bazzini, 'Francesca da Rimini', Symphonic Poem and Goldmark, Overture 'Der Gefesselte Prometheus' (3 July, evening). This last concert, given on a Thursday, replaced the traditional Friday Symphony Concert.
5–11 July 1890: including a Brilliant Programme of Selected Dances (5 July, afternoon and evening), a Grand Wagner Matinee (8 July) and a Liszt Matinee (11 July).
12–18 July 1890: including a Wagner-Liszt Night (15 July) and a Bach-Beethoven-Wagner Matinee (18 July).
19–25 July 1890: including a Matinee of Selected Dances (19 July) and a Wagner Concert (23 July, evening).
26 July–1 August:
2–8 August 1890: including a Berlioz-Liszt-Wagner Concert (5 August, evening) and the first performance of Richard Strauss, Don Juan (8 August, evening).
9–15 August 1890: including evening concerts devoted to Schubert-Schumann-Rubinstein-Mendelssohn (11 August), Bach-Mozart-Beethoven-Berlioz (12 August), Wagner (13 August) and Liszt (14 August). The afternoon performance on 11 August consisted of a Musical Lecture on Orchestration, delivered by Mr W.J. Henderson (Musical Critic of the New York Times) and assisted by Mr Anton Seidl and his orchestra, including Selections from Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner and other Composers, illustrating the growth and development of the orchestra.
16–22 August 1890:
23–29 August 1890: including a Popular Wagner Concert (27 August, evening) and a Liszt Concert (28 August, evening).
30 August–7 September: including a Liszt Concert (3 September, evening) and Wagner Concert (4 September, evening).
Volume 3: 1891 season
An incomplete set of programmes for the fourth season of Seidl Concerts, missing programmes for weeks 1, 7 and 8.
4–10 July 1891: including a Second Wagner Concert (8 July, evening) and a Second Symphonic Concert incorporating the first performances of: Mrs Holmes, 'Ireland', Symphonic Poem; Dvorak, Sclavonic [Slavonic] Rhapsody (II), G minor; and a new piece by Shelley, Souvenir from Baden-Baden (10 July, evening).
11–17 July 1891: including Selected Dance Music (11 July, evening) and a Third Symphonic Concert, with cellist Victor Herbert, containing the first performance of Grieg, Minuet (From a sonata) and new pieces by Scharwenka ('Liebes-Nacht', symphonic poem) and Rietzel, Suite on popular German Airs (17 July 1891). The title page for this week notes that the evening concerts from Monday to Thursday each included 'four selected numbers, by Richard Wagner'.
18–24 July 1891: including a Popular Wagner Matinee (18 July) and a Wagner Concert (22 July, evening) and evening concerts containing the first performances of Czibulka, 'Love's Dream after a Ball', for string orchestra and harp (20 July) and Gillet, Little Serenade (for string orchestra) (23 July).
25–31 July 1891: including afternoon performances dedicated to French Composers (27 July), Russian Composers (28 July, including the first performances of Tchaikovsky, Elegie for String Orchestra and Borodine, Ballet Music from Prince Igor), Wagner (29 July), Liszt (30 July) and Lala-Gillet (31 July). Also, evening concerts dedicated to Godard-Delibes (27 July), Massenet (28 July), Saint-Saens (29 July) and Bizet-Chabrier (30 July, including the first performance of Fête Polonaise and Danse Slave).
1-7 July 1891: including the first performances of Liebling, The Kensington Waltzes (1 August, afternoon), Pizzi, Gypsy Dance (7 August, afternoon) and Noskowski, Overture, ‘Das Meerauge’/Grieg, Norwegian Dances (7 August, evening). Also, a Popular Wagner Concert (1 August, evening) and Schumann, Piano Concerto in A minor with Miss Mabel Wagnalls (3 August, evening).
The evening concerts of 3-5 August all concluded with a section entitled 'Popular Dance Music', comprising two or three pieces by J. Strauss.
22-28 August 1891: including the first performances of Cheshire, Andante Cantabile/Mascagni, Prelude and Sicilliana from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ (24 August, evening) and Brandeis, Dance Heroic/Bendel, ‘Hans in Luck’, a Fairy Tale (25 August, evening). Also, Dance Music (22 August, afternoon) and a Grand Wagner Concert (26 August, evening).
The title page for this week included the announcement that Herr Emil Fischer will sing for the Society’s Benefit on 1 and 3 September.
29 August–7 September 1891 (extended week): including the first performances of Grieg, Berceuse and Dance Caprice, arranged for string orchestra by Charles Rothmeyer (31 August, evening, entitled Selected Dances), Schui, Fantasie Waltz (1 September, afternoon), Brandeis, Dance Heroic (2 September, afternoon) and Claassen, Margarethe from Suite, Trumpeter of Säkkingen (5 September, evening). Also, a Wagner Concert (including the Siegfried Suite and a new Grand Fantasia by Nicolai, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2 September, evening) and a Symphonic Concert (4 September, evening). The performance on 30 August (evening) was given with the kind assistance of the Arion Singing Society of Brooklyn (conducted by Arthur Claasen) and the evening concerts on 1 and 3 September featured Emil Fischer (vocal).
- Wagner, Richard -
- Wagnalls, Mabel -
- Tchaikovsky, Pyotr -
- Strauss, Richard -
- Strauss, Johann I -
- Spicker, Max -
- Shelley, Harry Rowe -
- Seidl, Anton -
- Seidl Society -
- Schumann, Robert -
- Schubert, Franz -
- Schmidt, Clifford -
- Scharwenka, Philipp (Ludwig) -
- Saint-Saens, Camille -
- Rubinstein, Anton -
- Noskowski, Zygmunt -
- Nicolai, Otto -
- Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus -
- Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York -
- Mendelssohn, Felix -
- Massenet, Jules -
- Mascagni, Pietro -
- Liszt, Franz -
- Liebling, Emil -
- Herbert, Victor -
- Henderson, William James -
- Grieg, Edvard -
- Goldmark, Karl -
- Godard, Benjamin -
- Gillet, Ernest -
- Franko, Nahan -
- Fischer, Emil -
- Dvorak, Antonin -
- Delibes, Léo -
- Czibulka, Alphons -
- Claassen, Arthur -
- Cheshire, John -
- Chabrier, Emmanuel -
- Borodin, Alexander -
- Bizet, Georges -
- Berlioz, Hector -
- Benham, Victor -
- Beethoven, Ludwig van -
- Bazzini, Antonio -
- Bach, Johann Sebastian -
- Arion Singing Society of Brooklyn -