Sources

Below, I reproduce some primary sources of information I’ve discovered since the completion of Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst: Virtuoso Violinist (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008) (hereafter HWE) in 2007. The extracts follow roughly the chronological order of Ernst’s life (rather than the order of their publication date); where longer extracts range over the violinist’s whole career, I have placed them nearest to the period on which they shed most new light. Information for this section – where appropriate with English translation and elucidatory material – should be sent to the editor at mark.rowe@uea.ac.uk

On tour with Ernst

With some misgivings (see HWE:181-2), Ernst undertook a 31-concert tour of the British Isles lasting from 28th January until the middle of March 1851. One of the supporting artistes, who is not mentioned in the main press reports, was the young singer Mathilde Marchesi. The account she gives in her memoirs confirms the quality of… Read more »

A note from the Morning Post

It is generally thought the Ernst’s first Parisian appearance was in a concert with Madame Schroeder-Devrient at the Théâtre des Italiens (HWE:49), but the following note from the Morning Post, if not entirely reliable, may indicate another early concert: It was at the Salle Laffitte at Profeti’s concert in the French capital that Ernst first… Read more »

A party for Berlioz

From a Morning Post correspondent who attended a party for Berlioz, held in the Vienna Casino, where he was given a golden baton. More than 100 musicians were present. Berlioz in Vienna The health of foreign artists was proposed by Ernst, to which Mr Ella returned an answer, on behalf of England. Morning Post, 31/12/1845,… Read more »

La Romanesca

There is no account of Ernst playing his own arrangement of La Romanesca in public before 1849, but the following account of a performance on the cello – by a Herr Kellerman – indicates the Ernst must have given at least one public performance before this: We have heard Baillot, Ernst, and other celebrities interpret… Read more »

A brief report of Ernst appearing at a concert

The Morning Post, 5/6/1849, p.6, contains a brief report of Ernst appearing at a concert with the Viennese Jetty Treffz [1818-78] who had come to England with Johann Strauss I in that year, and would later marry Johann Strauss II. Ernst’s m/s song, Die Schönste Sprache is subtitled Lied für Fraüein Jetty Treffz In Ihren… Read more »

An announcement for Ernst’s concert at the Exeter Hall

An announcement (Morning Post, 26/11/1849, p.6) for Ernst’s concert at the Exeter Hall on Wednesday 28/11/1849 shows he will perform ‘1) Noturno and Rondo Papageno’ as one item. This is an interesting example of Ernst mixing and matching his own compositions. The version of the Noctune Op.8 No.1 which precedes the published version of the… Read more »

Ernst and staff on English census

It is fortunate that Ernst – together with his secretary and servant – was in England on the night of 30th March 1851, because this meant he and his staff had to appear on an English census return. This is often quite difficult to read, but the essential information – under the headings: Address, Name, Relation… Read more »

The conversion of Madame Ernst to Christianity

An Irish newspaper provides an account of the conversion of the [Amélie-]Siona Lévy – the later Madame Ernst – to Christianity; as a famous, young, attractive Jewish actress, she was clearly a valuable catch. Some words, at the very edge of the original page, are hard to read, so I have placed semi-conjectures in square… Read more »

George Haddock on how Ernst got his Stradivarius

The next passage, from George Haddock’s recollections, outlines how Ernst acquired the Stradivarius which is still named after him. I’d previous thought that Andrew Fountaine bought the instrument specially for him, but Haddock makes clear that Fountaine gave Ernst one of the two Strads he already had in his collection. There are hints (HWE:64) that… Read more »