Richard Wagner ist Leipziger - Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH

Augustusplatz 9, D-04109 Leipzig
 
Date: 07.12.2016

The old Gewandhaus concert hall | Richard Wagner ist Leipziger - Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH

 

 
You are here:  Places    The old Gewandhaus concert hall
 

The old Gewandhaus concert hall

The young Richard Wagner - Leipzig 1813–1834

 
 
 
 
Drawing for the wall design by Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe, around 1780; this is how the original hall architecture has to be imagined as having been during Richard Wagner’s lifetime.
In the years 1780/81, at the suggestion of the art-loving Mayor Müller, a concert hall was built by the architect Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe into the second floor of the armoury wing of the Gewandhaus in the street known today as Universitätstrasse. The Leipziger Gewandhausorchester still bears the name of the concert hall today. The hall was famous for its excellent acoustics. It stood until 1894 and was torn down between 1893 and1901 due to the construction of the “Städtischen Kaufhaus”, the first dedicated sample fair in Europe. A large number of Wagner’s compositions were performed in the Gewandhaus concert hall. This started on 23rd February 1832 when his Overture in D minor was included on the programme of the 16th subscription concert. A report on the concert was included in the 18th edition of the “Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung” from 2nd May 1832. On 10th January 1833, another of Richard Wagner’s pieces was on the Gewandhausorchester’s programme: it was Wagner’s first, and only completed, Symphony in C major. Incidentally, the pianist, Clara Wieck, then only 13-years -old, also performed at the end of the first part of the concert evening.
 
 
“We greatly enjoyed a new Overture by a still very young composer, Mr Richard Wagner. The piece received fully welcome appreciation, and in fact, the young man has a lot of promise: the work is not just sonorous, it makes sense, and has been produced with diligence and skill, with apparent and joyful striving towards the most worthy”.
 
 
“My Overture (in D minor) was performed in the theatre last Christmas, and even at a large concert last week; - You must be aware that the latter is no small thing; for before anything by a young composer is accepted for a concert, the work has to be considered worthy by all the music connoisseurs of the concert management; that my overture was accepted should prove to you that there is something behind it”. “Großes Konzert” (large concert) was the original name of the concerts at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. The performance referred to took place on 23rd February 1832.

Letter to Ottilie Wagner, temporarily in Copenhagen 03.03.1832. In: Richard Wagner. Sämtliche Briefe. Produced on behalf of the Richard- Wagner-Stiftung Bayreuth by Gertrud Strobel and Werner Wolf, Band I, Briefe der Jahre 1830-1842, VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig, 1979, p. 126
 
The Gewandhaus on Universitätsstraße. Photo by Hugo Richter, around 1885 (Museum of City History). The hall was situated on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The entrance, which is located to the right of the baroque city library on the right-hand side of the pictu
The Gewandhaus on Universitätsstraße. Photo by Hugo Richter, around 1885 (Museum of City History). The hall was situated on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The entrance, which is located to the right of the baroque city library on the right-hand side of the
 
The old Gewandhaus concert hall stood until 1894. In the 1840s the building was extended by a floor, creating the gallery level with the windows. Historic photo by Herrmann Walter (Museum of City History).
The old Gewandhaus concert hall stood until 1894. In the 1840s the building was extended by a floor, creating the gallery level with the windows. Historic photo by Herrmann Walter (Museum of City History).
 
 
 
Source: Ein Leipziger (Leipzig Cultural Foundation)