Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 06, 1879Wilhelmi
Yesterday afternoon, January 6, Wilhelmi gave his last Chicago concert for the season. Let us hope that he will return within the near future. It was a splendid idea to induce the great artist to arrange a Sunday program at the North Side Turnhalle as it was thus possible for many people who do not frequent concert halls to enjoy the magic strains of his violin.
Long before the beginning of the concert the entrance hall and stairway were crowded. More than 2,500 people were present, some of whom were forced to stand, and it is not likely that the Turnhalle has ever housed a greater multitude.
Most of the audience was German, but the American elite was also well represented. Many a fashionably dressed lady appeared who, on any other Sunday afternoon, would have scorned the idea of being seen in the Turnhalle, or perhaps anywhere except in her home or at church.2
Smoking and drinking were not permitted last night--the usual convivial character of the Turnhalle concerts had to undergo certain transformations in order that the program might attract as large an audience as possible.
The concert began shortly after 3 P.M. The Chicago Orchestra, under the direction of A. Rosenbecker, played the "Overture from Aladdin,"by Hornemann. The orchestra gave a better rendition of this number than ever before and thereby won the complete approval of the largest audience of their experience. Deafening applause then greeted the appearance of Wilhelmi. The orchestra played the stirring introduction to the "Concerto Grosso" by Paganini, and when the master drew his bow across the strings of his violin, deep silence reigned, broken only at the conclusion of each component part by tremendous applause. The cantabile passages were especially enchanting. In response to the thunderous applause an encore was played.....
After a brief intermission, during which the public strolled, socialized, and 3tried in various other ways to make themselves comfortable in the cold hall, the Orchestra presented the second part of the program, the "Iphigenia" Overture.
Wilhelmi....played again and was again enthusiastically acclaimed....He chose the "Hungarian Songs" by Ernst....The enthusiasm was silenced only by the simultaneous appearance of the artist and Emil Dietzsch.
Mr. Dietzsch turned toward Wilhelmi and said, My dear Mr. Wilhelmi, it is not without a purpose that you are here!
"Certainly, anyone as capable as you in influencing human emotions, in stimulating mankind to noble thought and deeds, has a genuine claim to universal friendship, irrespective of creed or nationality; in this sense I greet you as a friend.
"You are standing on historic ground. For years Chicago Germans have congregated here whenever it has become necessary to represent and defend their interests.4
Many a movement was planned and brought to life here. In this hall we foster not only the convivial spirit of the Germans, but also German art, and therefore we feel highly indebted to you because you have done so much to enhance our casual Sunday diversions.....At the behest of the Chicago Orchestra I present to you this laurel wreath as a token of their reverence and esteem! When you have returned to your beloved native land across the sea, tell our countrymen that here, also, far from the storied fatherland, one finds Germans enraptured by art."
The artist accepted the gift with evident surprise. He did not respond in words, but in Handel's "Largo" he expressed his gratitude. His violin sang with jubilation, and throughout the auditorium there were manifestations of joy and exaltation.....The number had to be repeated....before the applause would subside.
This marked the end of Wilhelmi's participation in the concert, but the interest of the audience did not waver. Only a few persons left the uncomfortably cold hall. More than four fifths of the audience waited until the "March from Tannhauser" heralded the end of the program.....5
Yesterday's concert undoubtedly succeeded in creating a host of friends for the Chicago Orchestra.
Wilhelmi's repeated public appearances must be ascribed not only to his enterprising management but also to his exceptionally brilliant performances which always pave the way for future concerts.
Today Wilhelmi is scheduled to appear in a concert in Milwaukee; tomorrow he intends to return to Chicago where he will stay until Friday, and where, according to his own words, he was accorded the most cordial reception in America.
II A 3 b, IV
Your search criteria returned no results.