1897–1901 Collection of German and Austrian Belle Époque Musical Concert Programs; with related Ephemera

Classical music and opera concerts and popular musical and singing performances were favorite leisure pursuits in Belle Époque Germany and Austria. These 61 almost all German-language concert programs plus related periodicals and ephemera were printed throughout Germany and Austria for a number of different concert venues. Their designs, illustrations, and advertisements incorporate Art Nouveau motifs and employ a number of different printing techniques including letterpress, chromolithography, wood engraving, and half-tone.

Over a dozen German, Austrian, or German-speaking cities are represented here: Berlin, Dresden, Elberfeld, Barmen, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt am Main, Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Bayreuth, Germany; Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland); and Salzburg and Wien (Vienna), Austria. Included in the program count are three programs in other languages, for concert venues in Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Rome.


Over a dozen German and Austrian theaters or concert venues are represented including Kurhaus [Spa] des 1. Salzburger Gebirgs-Vereines, K. K. [Imperial] Hof-Operntheater (Vienna), Konigl. [Royal] Musikalischen Kapelle (Dresden), Kgl. Opernhaus (Berlin), Kappelle des Palmengartens (Frankfurt am Main), “Im Salamander” Hotel und Restaurant (Elberfeld), Stettiner Centralhallen-Theater (Stettin; now Szczecin, Poland), Mannheimer Stadtparkes (Mannheim), Barmer Luftkurhaus am Toellethurm (Barmen), Stadtgarten Stuttgart (Stuttgart), Reformierten Kirche (Dresden), Gewerbehaus (Dresden), and Grossherzogliches Hof-und Nationaltheater in Mannheim (Mannheim).

The musical programs include works by such composers as Beethoven, R. Strauss, Wagner, Mozart, C. M. von Weber, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Bach, Dvorak, Liszt, Hayden, Tschaikowsky [sic], Brahams, A. Rubinstein, Bizet, and Chopin. Italian composers here include Verdi, Rossini, and Donizetti.

Examining the musical selections, it appears that German audiences were more adventurous and were also entertained by a number of lesser known composers. These composers, German unless otherwise noted, include: Robert Volkmann, Josef Bayer, Felix Draseke, C. Goldmark (Hungary), Richard Eilenberg, C. H. Graun, August Klughardt, Cesar Cui (Russia), Joseph Hollmann (Netherlands), Edmund Schuecker, Heinrich Marschner, Johan Svendsen (Norway), Émile Waldteufel (France), Daniel Auber (France), G. Meyerbeer, Karel Komzak II (Austria), Albert Lortzing, and August Conradi.

In order to publicize musical events, plays, and other public entertainments and news of high society doings, newspapers were published. In the present collection, four of these newspapers are represented: Belvedere Anzeiger, Dresdener Concert-Anzeiger (Dresden), Wiesbadener Bade-Blatt. Cur-& Fremdenliste; (Wiesbaden), Heidelberger Fremdenblatt ind Fremden-Anzeiger (Heidelberg), and Dresdner Kunst-und Theaterzeitung (Dresden). These newspapers sometimes contain program notes, but are mostly vehicles for advertising hotels, restaurants, luxury goods, etc.

Among the miscellaneous ephemera are a railroad dining car menu printed in Berlin; a German-language book prospectus for a biography of composer Richard Wagner; a prospectus for Dr. Heinrich Reimann’s series of musical biographies, Berühmte Musiker;  and two theater tickets.

Good collection of Belle Époque German and Austrian musical concert programs and related ephemera offering insights into musical tastes and leisure-class society.


Free shipping to lower 48 USA states. Insured, tracked. Return an item for any reason within 12 days of receipt. Call or email in advance.