[Met Concert/Gala] CID:13070
Grand Sunday Night Concert. Metropolitan Opera House: 4/29/1894.
Metropolitan Opera House
April 29, 1894
GRAND SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERT
Bach: Chorale and Fugue
Der Freischütz: Trübe, Augen (repeated)
Nahan Franko, Flute
Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor: Largo
Dvorák: Carnival Overture
Mendelssohn: Concerto in E Minor
Henri Marteau, violin
Schumann: Kinderscenen: Träumerai
Handel: Largo (repeated)
Bach/Gounod: Ave Maria
Emma Juch [Only appearance]
Nahan Franko, violin
Unsigned review in the Sun
JUCH WITHOUT MARTEAU
THE VIOLINIST REFUSED TO PLAY AN OBLIGATO TO HER SINGING
Mr. Bremer Makes a Franco-American Incident of It at the Seidl Concert - Marteau Says He Doesn't Play Obligatos and It was Known on Saturday He Wouldn't Play.
The troubles back of the scenes at the Metropolitan Opera House did not end with the departure of the grand opera company for Europe last week. The audience which two-thirds filled the big house last evening at the special Seidl concert was treated, at popular prices, to a genuine sensation of the Calvé-Eames grand opera order. More, the audience was made a party, and a much injured one, to the trouble, and also patriotism was involved by appeal and was deeply stirred.
Two of three soloists at the concert were Miss Emma Juch and M. Henri Marteau, the young French violinist. Marteau played a solo in the first part of the concert, was enthusiastically applauded, and played an encore. A later announcement on the programme was that Miss Emma Juch would sing the Gounod "Ave Maria" and that M. Marteau would play a violin obligato to her singing. The audience had settled itself to applaud the two artists when Mr. Bremer of the Musical Union walked out and said:
"Ladies and gentlemen. I regret exceedingly to announce that Mr. Marteau has refused," and he strong emphasized the last word, "to play the obligato with Miss Juch, and has left the building. Our American artist," with added emphasis on the last two words, "Mr. Nahan Franko, will, however, play the obligato for Miss Juch."
There was a murmur of surprise, and then a bursting storm of hisses from all over the house. The hissing and talking was interrupted by the entrance of Miss Juch, who turned and shook hands effusively with Mr. Bremer, and, blushing scarlet, bowed low to the audience, and swept to her place in the middle of the stage. There was a wild uproar of applause as Mr. Franko, Seidl's concert-master, rose and stepped beside Miss Juch, and the number was given with great effect, and had to be repeated to satisfy the audience's enthusiasm.
There was much discussion of the incident in the lobbies as the audience left, and many compared it with the Calvé-Eames incident, remarking that in this case, too, one artist was French and the other American. Some even wondered whether Marteau was taking up his countrywoman's cause.
It appears, though, that Mr. Bremer knew on Saturday afternoon that Marteau would not play with Juch. Herr Seidl said the affair was a surprise to him. His manager, Mr. Bernstein, explained that the arrangement that Marteau should play with Miss Juch was definitely made a week ago with Mr. Johnson, Marteau's manager. Johnson said Marteau would surely play, and the appearance of the two artists together was announced in the handbills and newspapers.
But Mr. Johnson told Mr. Bernstein on Saturday afternoon that Marteau could not play with Miss Juch. Mr. Bernstein said he did not know why. He and several other members of the orchestra thought it was merely a "young man's whim."
But Marteau was very indignant last night at what he said was the utterly false position in which he was placed by Mr. Bremer before his friends, the American public, especially as last night was his last appearance here for two years.
"Please understand me," said Mr. Marteau, "that I have absolutely no trouble with Miss Juch. I simply do not play obligatos. I am a soloist, and have played only as a solo artist. The arrangement was not made with my sanction, but entirely without my knowledge. Mr. Johnson had no right to make it, and I knew nothing about it until yesterday afternoon, when I arrived in New York from Cleveland. I could not play with Miss Juch for more than one reason. I declined to play and obligato for Melba at a concert at Sherry's; therefore I could not consistently play with Miss Juch. I repeat that I have no feeling in the matter as regards Miss Juch. I simply do not play obligatos. I am much distressed at the way the matter was placed before the audience. It was most unjust and unkind."
The incident came immediately before the last number of the programme. The concert throughout was excellent. It was a special event, and the orchestra had been increased to 150 performers for the occasion. Miss Marion Weed was the other soloist, and sang, with charming effect a contralto aria from "Freischütz." The "Rienzi" overture, Liszt's symphonic poem "Mazeppa," and two numbers from Dvorak were among the orchestral numbers. The best number of the evening, undoubtedly, was the ever-beautiful Handel "Largo," played with the whole force of orchestra, brasses, woods, and strings swelling the majestic finale.