The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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This article was published in 1924.
984 articles were published that year.

This article has a primary subject code of "Music" (II B 1 a).
1468 articles share this primary code.

  • Sonntagpost -- June 08, 1924
    The Saengerfest of 1881

    [Translator's note: This is one of several special articles appearing in the Sonntagpost on the eve of the great Chicago Saengerfest, June 11-13, 1924.]

    Chicago became the festival city for the second time when the twenty-second great Saengerfest of the North American Saengerbund was held here in 1881. For weeks and months ahead, preparations were enthusiastically pushed, and the festival committee, under the guidance of the festival president, Louis Wahl, did everything in its power to insure the success of the event. When the first festival day, June 29, finally arrived, the out-of-town guests were first of all taken by the reception committee to their quarters, where they received an excellent meal for thirty-five cents. The members of the Chicago Turngemeinde and the residents of Clark Street had festooned the entire length of that thoroughfare with flowers, wreaths, and electric lamps, and the newspapers devoted columns to accounts of this "fairy-like" lighting display. People were not as accustomed to electric lighting in those days as they are now. The reception and festival committees 2were divided into members on foot and members on horseback, the latter of whom had to supply their own mounts and their own sashes. In this respect, too, times have changed considerably--something for which the committee members of the coming festival will no doubt be grateful.

    The following Chicago societies participated in the festival arrangements: the Orpheus Maennerchor, the Germania [Maennerchor], the Teutonia [Maennerchor], the Frohsinn Gesangverein, the Alemania Maennerchor, the Senefelder Liederkranz, the Freier Saengerbund, the Eintracht Liederkranz, the Concordia Maennerchor, the North Chicago Maennerchor, the Schiller Liedertafel, the Schweizer Maennerchor, the South Side Liederkranz, and the Harmonie Gesangverein. [Names of participating societies from out of town are omitted in translation.]

    At 3 P. M. on June 29, all the guests were officially welcomed in the festival hall, the Exhibition Building [not further identified]. The orchestra played the Coronation March from Meyerbeer's "The Prophet"; Mayor Carter Harrison and Louis Wahl, the festival president, extended a hearty welcome to the guests; and the 3[North American Saenger-] Burd flag was handed over to the festival president in the usual manner. The guests then retired to their quarters, in order to brace themselves for the concerts on the next day with a good, strong drink.

    Attendance at the festival was not at all confined to the German-American population of Chicago. Other Americans, too, were tremendously impressed by the imposing opening of the event. For several days in advance [of the festival opening], the English-language newspapers carried column-long reports [on the forthcoming event], and the Chicago Morning News even went so far as to demonstrate its good will by publishing a greeting of welcome to the out-of-town guests in the German language. This "Gruss an die Saenger" we herewith reproduce [in translation] for its own special interest:

    "To the guests who have come from far and near to participate in the celebration of the Saengerfest of the North American Saengerbund, the Morning News extends today its heartiest greetings. We bid them welcome--all who have hastened here in order to provide proof within the walls of the Garden City that the cultivation 4of the noble muse of music has found a place in our fatherland in the materialistic nineteenth century.....To all who have come here in order to contribute their mite to the success of the festival--to the soloists, the singers, the musicians, and the visitors--the Morning News calls forth a hearty 'Welcome!'"

    [Translator's note: A festival poem written by Emil Dietzsch and first published in the Freie Presse is likewise reproduced in the present article. It is omitted in translation.]

    As has already been mentioned Hans Balatka was the music director of this Saengerfest.....Once again [as in the festival of 1868] the best musicians in the country were summoned, and an orchestra of one hundred and fifty pieces was assembled. In contrast to the Saengerfest of 1868, there were a fairly large number of soloists present. A sextet of artists had been recruited from the best talent then available; it consisted of Frau Dr. Peschka-Leutner, Emma Donaldi, Anna Louise Cary, Wilhelm Candidus, Franz Remmertz, and Myron W. Whitney.


    The opening concert was held on the afternoon of June 30, the overture to "Oberon," by C. M. Weber, serving as the introductory selection. The "Te Deum" of Haydn was presented by the massed chorus with overwhelming force and beauty. Sigmund's Love Song, from "Die Walkuere," sung by W. Candidus, was enthusiastically received, and the remaining selections, too, released veritable storms of enthusiasm among the audience.

    Whereas this [opening] concert was attended by only five thousand people,....the festival hall was packed to the breaking point at the evening concert. Several hundreds listened to the performance while standing in front of the building, and the immediate neighborhood of the festival hall was said in the newspapers to resemble an army camp.

    The third concert was likewise a splendid success. We herewith present for its own interest the program offered on this occasion. [Translator's note: The accuracy with which the aforesaid program is reproduced can be gauged by the fact that the oratorio "Elijah" is attributed to Bach-Handel!]


    The Program

    1. "Kaisermarsch," with final chorus-------------------------Richard Wagner Massed Chorus of the North American Saengerbund, 1600 voices

    2. Masonic Cantata---------------------------------------------Mozart W. Candidus

    3.Gebet vor der Schlacht-------------------------------------Moehring The Saengerbund Chorus

    4.Der Halle Rache, aria from "The Magic Flute"------------Mozart Frau Peschka-Leutner

    5.Aria from "Orpheus"-----------------------------------------Gluck Miss Louise Cary


    6. "Salamis"----------------------------------------------------- [Composer not identified]

    (Hymn of Triumph of the Greeks after the Victorious Naval Battle at Salamis)

    The Saengerbund Chorus Solo by the Junger Maennerchor of Philadelphia

    7. Oratorio from "Elijah--------------------------------------- Bach-Handel [sic]

    The Milwaukee Musikverein and Several Chicago Societies; Carl Wolfsohn, director

    Soloists: Frau Peschka-Leutner, Anna Louise Cary, W. Candidus, M. W. Whitney

    The remaining concerts were likewise a success, and the attendance was generally good.

    II B 1 a, II B 1 c 3