In the first half of the 19th century, before public parks were common, entrepreneurs would open pleasure gardens where visitors could stroll among the trees and flowers, enjoy various entertainments, have refreshments, and listen to music.
In the spirit of those days, from 6:30 to 7:30 the Musicians of Ma’alwyck will set up under the tent and present a concert of music from the early 1800s, a time when Scotia was still a small rural community and the Flint House, then the Reese homestead, was new.
You can sit and enjoy the music, enjoy your picnic or a beverage while you listen, or even stroll around during the show. There are lively antics to go along with the tunes, and kids are very welcome! Bring a chair or blanket if you can, as we have a limited number of seats.
There will be a performance of an 1817 vaudeville by Carl Blum called The Ship’s Captain, arranged for these instruments by J.H.C. Bornhardt. A vaudeville is a one-act musical—the story is told with a series of songs. The lyrics were set to familiar tunes that the Germans of 1817 would certainly have recognized! You might also recognize a few yourself. The Musicians recently found the lyrics to the songs in the Sibley Library at Eastman School of Music and translated them just in time for this performance.
The Pic-Nic Quadrilles by Philip Ernst (1792-1868), is a set of short instrumental pieces that were published in New York in 1843. Ernst was born in Mainz and immigrated to America during the 1830s. He played first flute in the New York Philharmonic when it was founded in 1842. A quadrille is a European dance for four couples, popular in the 1800s both there and in America– and who could resist this title for an outdoor show!
There are also two Civil War period songs (“If I Only Had a Moustache” is one of them); “Coming Through the Rye,” which Jenny Lind sang on tour in Albany in 1851; and an opera aria from Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers.
The Musicians of Ma’alwyck, founded in 1999, are in residence at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany (the home of General Philip Schuyler, Revolutionary War leader and father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton) and Schenectady County Community College. Violinist and Director Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz is joined by guitarist Sten Isachsen, flutist Norman Thibodeau, soprano Tess McCarthy and baritone Charles Schwartz.