January 1, 1852: The Netherlands issues its first postage stamps, featuring the image of King Willem III.
January 3, 1852: James Paton Clarke (44) is “advised of his deficiencies” as organist at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic cathedral in Toronto. He is dismissed as of the end of the month.
January 6, 1852: Louis Braille dies in Paris at the age of 43.
January 9, 1852: Incidental music to Molière’s play Le bourgeois gentilhomme by Charles Gounod (33) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre-Français, Paris.
January 10, 1852: Windsor-Klänge op.104, a waltz by Johann Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in the Palais Coburg, Vienna.
January 14, 1852: The new French constitution promulgated today grants the president monarchical powers.
January 17, 1852: The Sand River Convention establishes a South African Republic as Great Britain recognizes Boer independence in the Transvaal.
January 23, 1852: The Orléans family, the former ruling house, is banned from France by President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte.
January 25, 1852: Giacomo Meyerbeer (60), in Berlin, receives a letter from Caroline von Weber, widow of Carl Maria von Weber (†25), threatening court action if he does not pay the 2,000 thalers indemnity he owes her. He has not completed Weber’s Die drei Pintos by the agreed deadline. He resolves to travel to Dresden to settle the matter personally.
January 25, 1852: Austin, a grosse romantische Oper by Heinrich August Marschner (56) to words of Wohlbrück-Marschner, is performed for the first time, in Hannover.
January 27, 1852: Christian Albrecht Bluhme replaces Adam Wilhelm von Moltke as Prime Minister of Denmark.
January 27, 1852: Giacomo Meyerbeer (60) travels to Dresden and meets with Max von Weber, son of Carl Maria von Weber (†25), to settle the Die drei Pintos dispute. He ends up paying them 4,000 thalers for the indemnity and lost royalties, and returns the unfinished opera to them. They part on friendly terms.
January 27, 1852: Mehmed Emin Rauf Pasha replaces Mustafa Resid Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
February 1, 1852: Great Britain creates the Bight of Benin Protectorate.
February 2, 1852: Queen Isabella of Spain is stabbed twice in the chest by a republican priest, Father Martin Merino y Gomez, in the Royal Palace, Madrid. She will live. Within the month, Merino will be executed.
February 2, 1852: Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux camélias is produced in Paris. During the play’s run this month, it will be witnessed by an interested opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi (38).
February 3, 1852: Queen Victoria opens Parliament, thus officially inaugurating the completed houses at Westminster designed by Charles Barry.
February 3, 1852: The Battle of Caseros leads to the overthrow of Juan de Rosas in Argentina. He is defeated by insurgents supported by Brazil and Uruguay.
February 3, 1852: Fünf Paragraphe aus dem Walzer-Codex op.105 by Johann Strauss (25) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 4, 1852: Harmonie-Polka op.106 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna. Also premiered is Strauss’ Tête-à-tête-Quadrille op.109.
February 5, 1852: Der Rose Pilgerfahrt for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Robert Schumann (41) to words of Horn is performed publicly for the first time, in Düsseldorf. See 6 July 1851.
February 7, 1852: Johann Strauss (26) makes his first appearance as director of Imperial Court Balls. His Hofball-Quadrille op.116 is performed for the first time.
February 11, 1852: Electro-magnetische-Polka op.110 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 16, 1852: Die Unzertrennlichen op.108, a waltz by Johann Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna.
February 17, 1852: The French government institutes several repressive measures including press censorship.
February 20, 1852: “Sic transit” by Emily Dickinson appears in the Springfield Republican.
February 20, 1852: Stephen Foster (25) and his wife Jane depart Pittsburgh aboard the steamboat James Millingar for a vacation down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It is the only time Foster will ever visit the South.
February 21, 1852: La poupée de Nuremberg, an opera by Adolphe Adam (48) to words of Leuven and Beauplan after Hoffmann, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-National, Paris.
February 23, 1852: Edward Geoffrey Stanley, Earl of Derby replaces John Russell, Lord Russell as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
February 26, 1852: The steamer troop transport HMS Birkenhead strikes ground and goes down off Gansbaai, South Africa. About 450 are lost while 193 survive.
February 26, 1852: Hélène Jégado is executed by guillotine in Rennes. She was found guilty of three murders but is suspected in the poisoning deaths of 20 others.
February 28, 1852: Giuseppe Verdi (38) signs a contract with the Paris Opéra to write an opera of four or five acts on a libretto by Eugène Scribe to be produced no later than December 1854. It will be Les Vépres siciliennes.
March 4, 1852: Hector Berlioz (48) and Marie Recio arrive in London for his third trip to England. He will conduct orchestral concerts there.
March 4, 1852: Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol dies in Moscow at the age of 42.
March 7, 1852: Mustafa Resid Pasha replaces Mehmed Emin Rauf Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
March 8, 1852: Stanislaw Moniuszko’s (32) cantata Nijola after Kraszewski is performed for the first time, in Vilnius.
March 13, 1852: Montenegro is made a secular, hereditary principality under Prince Danilo I Petrovic-Njegos.
March 14, 1852: A second round of voting takes place for the French legislature. Supporters of President Louis Napoléon Bonaparte lose only ten of 263 seats.
March 14, 1852: Robert Schumann’s (41) overture Manfred is performed for the first time, in Weimar. See 13 June 1852.
March 17, 1852: Giacomo Meyerbeer (60) receives a visit at his Berlin home from a friend who recently spent time in Weimar, “where Liszt (40) is gathering many musicians around him who subscribe to a new direction in music, which defines itself as freedom of musical thought, independent of any specific form: Richard Wagner (38) is their ideal.”
March 18, 1852: Several investors create a new shipping company in New York. It is named after the leaders of the group, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo.
March 19, 1852: Le farfadet, an opera by Adolphe Adam (48) to words of Planard, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris.
March 20, 1852: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published in Boston. It will be the first novel to sell one million copies.
March 20, 1852: Great Britain proclaims the Colony of the Bay Islands over six islands off the coast of Honduras.
March 21, 1852: Großfürsten-Marsch op.107 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Esterhazy Palace.
March 24, 1852: The first performance of the New Philharmonic Society takes place in Exeter Hall, London under the direction of Hector Berlioz (48). It is seen by all critics as a new era in English music making.
April 1, 1852: After a British ultimatum for compensation for certain offenses is ignored by Burma, the second war between the two countries begins.
April 5, 1852: Felix, Count Schwarzenberg, Prime Minister of Austria, dies suddenly in Vienna.
April 11, 1852: Karl Ferdinand, Count Buol-Schauenstein replaces Felix, Count Schwarzenberg as Prime Minister of Austria.
April 12, 1852: Second Anglo-Burmese War: British forces capture Rangoon (Yangon).
April 20, 1852: Charles Gounod (33) marries Anna Zimmerman, daughter of Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman, a retired professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire, at a church in Auteuil.
April 21, 1852: Incidental music to Murger’s comédie Le Bonhomme Jadis by Jacques Offenbach (32) is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Française, Paris.
April 23, 1852: Le juif errant, an opéra by Fromental Halévy (52) to words of Scribe and Saint-Georges after Sue, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
April 24, 1852: Grand Duke Leopold of Baden dies in Karlsruhe and is succeeded by his son, Ludwig II under the regency of his brother Friedrich.
April 29, 1852: Peter Mark Roget publishes in London the first edition of his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition.
April 30, 1852: The Webster-Crampton Agreement between Great Britain and the United States is agreed to, with the participation of Costa Rica but not Nicaragua. It is an attempt to settle the border dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It recognizes an independent Miskito Kingdom in one-third of Nicaraguan territory and also requires Nicaragua to hand over land to Costa Rica. The Costa Rican representative refuses to sign, but his country will ratify the document. Nicaragua never will.
April 30, 1852: The Battle of Kulikovo, an opera by Anton Rubinstein (22) to words of Sollogub and Zotov after Ozerov, is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, St. Petersburg.
May 6, 1852: Grand Duke Leopoldo II of Tuscany abolishes the constitution.
May 8, 1852: The London Protocol, designed to diffuse the Schleswig-Holstein question, is signed by representatives of Great Britain, Russia, France, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and Prussia. It determines the succession to the Danish throne and places Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg in personal union with the Danish crown.
May 12, 1852: Hector Berlioz (48) conducts his fourth performance of the New Philharmonic Society in Exeter Hall, London. His interpretation of Beethoven’s (†25) Ninth Symphony clinches his reputation in England as the greatest living conductor.
May 14, 1852: Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio is chartered today as the first nonsectarian college to grant equal rights to women and men.
May 14, 1852: Lumenfest-Polka op.111 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
May 20, 1852: Two stage works by Stanislaw Moniuszko (33) are performed for the first time, in Vilnius: the comic opera Bettly to words of Scribe and Mélesville, and The Gypsies, an operetta to words of Kniaznin.
May 20, 1852: Spanisches Liederspiel op.74, a song cycle by Robert Schumann (41), is performed for the first time, in Düsseldorf.
May 25, 1852: Stephen Foster (25) writes to EP Christy asking to buy back the authorship of his song Old Folks at Home. Foster had allowed Christy to claim authorship in return for $500. Christy will refuse Foster’s request.
May 26, 1852: Maria und ihr Genius, a cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus, and orchestra by Giacomo Meyerbeer (60) to words of Goldtammer, is performed for the first time, in Schloss Wannsee, Berlin to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of Prince Karl of Prussia.
May 29, 1852: Encouraged by his friend, Franz Liszt (40), Hans Christian Andersen sees a performance of Wagner’s (39) Tannhäuser in Weimar. “The text, good; the performance on the whole better than expected. The music competent with regard to idea, but lacking in melody. What Carl Maria Weber (†25) or Mozart (†60) couldn’t have done with it!”
May 30, 1852: Charles Gounod (33) is appointed director general of vocal instruction for the Paris public schools. He is also named director of Orphéon, an organization of choral societies intended for the middle and lower classes.
June 8, 1852: On his 42nd birthday, Robert Schumann suffers a fit of convulsive coughing, in Düsseldorf.
June 9, 1852: Hector Berlioz (48) conducts his sixth and last concert with the New Philharmonic Society in London. This concert and the entire series are a resounding success.
June 13, 1852: Two new works by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) are performed for the first time, in the Teatro del Principe, Madrid, by the composer: El Sitio de Zaragoza, a symphony for ten pianos, and Souvenirs de Bellini for solo piano. The audience responds with unrestrained accolades.
June 18, 1852: Liebes-Lieder op.114, a waltz by Johann Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
June 18, 1852: Incidental music to Ponsard’s play Ulysse by Charles Gounod is performed for the first time, at the Comédie-Française, Paris, on the composer’s 34th birthday.
June 26, 1852: Robert Schumann (42) goes to Godesberg for a cure of his affliction which manifests itself in slow speech and movement.
June 29, 1852: Henry Clay dies in Washington at the age of 75.
June 30, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives in Strasbourg having traveled up the Rhine from Cologne.
June 30, 1852: A new constitution calling for representative government in New Zealand is passed by the British Parliament.
July 5, 1852: The Additional Act increases the franchise in Portugal.
July 5, 1852: Lockvögel op.118, a waltz by Johann Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in Bierhalle Fünfhaus, Vienna.
July 6, 1852: Robert Schumann (42) returns from the “cure” at Godesberg to Düsseldorf feeling worse than when he left.
July 8, 1852: One-quarter of Montreal is destroyed by fire. 10,000 people are left homeless.
July 16, 1852: Melodien-Quadrille op.112 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
July 17, 1852: Salvatore Cammarano dies in Naples, about a week after substantially completing the libretto to Il Trovatore. Although the outline is complete, part of the third act and all of the fourth are not written. Verdi (38) hires the Neapolitan poet Leone Emanuele Bardare to finish the work.
July 18, 1852: Giacomo Meyerbeer (60) is appointed as an honorary member of the Akademie der Tonkunst in Vienna.
July 24, 1852: Annen-Polka op.117 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in “Zum wilden Mann”, Vienna.
July 26, 1852: In Avignon, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) receives homeopathic treatment for his “nervous condition.”
July 26, 1852: Sachsen-Kürassier-March op.113 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in Bierhalle Fünfhaus, Vienna.
July 28, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives in Toulouse. While here, Glinka’s “daily suffering” causes him to abandon his intention to make a second trip to Spain.
July 31, 1852: Over three weeks of voting comes to an end in the British general election. Although the Whigs win almost 60% of the vote and increase their numbers by 32, the Conservatives win a small majority.
August 3, 1852: Robert Schumann’s (42) overture Julius Cäser is performed for the first time, in Düsseldorf.
August 3, 1852: After a tumultuous nine months of music making, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) departs Madrid.
August 3, 1852: In the first Harvard-Yale regatta, Harvard’s eight-oared shell defeats Yale’s on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. The trophy is awarded by General Franklin Pierce.
August 7, 1852: Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha replaces Mustafa Resid Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
August 10, 1852: French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte confers on Giuseppe Verdi (38) the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He dispatches the publisher Leon Escudier to present the honor to Verdi who is now in Italy.
August 10, 1852: After two weeks of “daily suffering” in Toulouse, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) abandons his intention to make a second trip to Spain and boards a coach for Paris.
August 10, 1852: Hommage à Lesueur, a cantata by Ambroise Thomas (41) to words of Praron, is performed for the first time, in Abbeville.
August 12, 1852: Robert (42) and Clara (32) Schumann depart Düsseldorf for the spa of Scheveningen in the Netherlands. He has been suffering from an ongoing nervous condition and daily bathing in the Rhine has not helped.
August 14, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives back in Paris after a four-day trip from Toulouse.
August 14, 1852: Wiener Jubel-Gruß-Marsch op.115 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Stephansplatz, Vienna.
August 15, 1852: A setting of the Mass for male chorus and organ by Franz Liszt (40) is performed for the first time, in Weimar, conducted by the composer.
August 15, 1852: A setting of the Magnificat for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Anton Bruckner (27) is performed for the first time, at St. Florian, on the first anniversary of his close friend, Franz Sailer.
August 20, 1852: The steamer Atlantic collides with the Ogdensburg on Lake Erie. About 300, mostly Norwegian immigrants, go down with the ship. 200 survive.
August 30, 1852: Volkssänger op.119, a waltz by Johann Strauss (26), is performed for the first time, in Ungers Casino, Vienna.
August 31, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) writes to his sister that his increasing distaste for traveling is causing him to remain in Paris. His hypochondria is causing him to think that everyone traveling with him is going to infect him with dread disease.
September 1, 1852: Heinrich August Marschner’s (57) Natur und Kunst, allegorisches Festspiel zur Einweihung des neuen hannoverschen Hoftheaters 1852 to words of Waterford-Perglass is performed for the first time, in Hannover. It is staged as an intermezzo with Goethe’s Tasso.
September 4, 1852: Tsar Nikolay I commissions Yevfimy Vasilyevich Putyatin to carry a letter to the Emperor of Japan proposing the establishment of trade between the two countries.
September 4, 1852: Si j’étais roi, an opera by Adolphe Adam (49) to words of d’Ennery and Brésil, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris.
September 7, 1852: Whites attack the Modoc capital at Natural Bridge, California, killing the chief and 40 others.
September 8, 1852: Loreley, an unfinished opera by Felix Mendelssohn (†4) to words of Geibel, is performed for the first time, in Birmingham.
September 9, 1852: At Scheveningen, a spa near The Hague, Clara Schumann (32) suffers a miscarriage.
September 11, 1852: Rejecting the new constitution, the city of Buenos Aires secedes from Argentina.
September 13, 1852: Modest Musorgsky (13) is enrolled in the Company of the Guards Sub-Ensigns, otherwise known as the Cadet School.
September 14, 1852: Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington dies at Walmer Castle at the age of 83.
September 24, 1852: Henri Giffard pilots a controllable steam-engine powered balloon (dirigible) from Paris to Trappes, a distance of 24 km, the first such flight. The balloon is 44 meters long, twelve meters in diameter with 2,500 cubic meters of coal gas.
September 24, 1852: Nocturne-Quadrille op.120 by Johann Strauss (26) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
September 28, 1852: Heil Vater! Dir zum hohen Feste, a cantata by Anton Bruckner (28) to words of Marinelli, is performed for the first time, at St. Florian.
September 30, 1852: Charles Villiers Stanford is born at 2 Herbert Street in Dublin, United Kingdom, the only child of John James Stanford, a lawyer, and Mary Henn, daughter of a lawyer.
October 4, 1852: Damad Mehmed Ali Pasha replaces Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
October 16, 1852: President Louis Napoléon Bonaparte releases Algerian Arab leader Abdelkader (Abd al-Qādir ibn Muḥyiddīn) with a pension of FF100,000 on condition he never take up arms against France again.
October 24, 1852: US Secretary of State Daniel Webster dies in Marshfield, Massachusetts at the age of 70.
October 27, 1852: Anton Rubinstein (22) suggests a reorganization of the Imperial Academy of Arts to include a music section, as has been done in Berlin. It would allow musicians to attain respectability in Russian society, as has been afforded painters and sculptors.
October 28, 1852: Robert Schumann (42) misses the first concert of his third year in Düsseldorf with a “nervous disorder.” His place is taken by his young deputy, Julius Tausch.
October 31, 1852: Henri Ghislain de Brouckère replaces Charles Latour Rogier as head of government for Belgium.
November 2, 1852: Voting in the United States presidential election ensures the victory of former Senator Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire over General Winfield Scott of New Jersey.
November 3, 1852: Charles Villiers Stanford (0) is christened in St. Stephen’s parish church, Dublin.
November 4, 1852: Camillo, Count Benso di Cavour becomes Prime Minister of Sardinia.
November 13, 1852: The Consistory of Mohilow overturns a previous judgment and declares the marriage of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein to be void. This will not be upheld by the Archbishop of St. Petersburg.
November 16, 1852: La fête des arts, a cantata by Adolphe Adam (49) to words of Mery, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris.
November 18, 1852: The Crédit mobilier is created in France by the Pereire brothers to finance the railroads and related industries.
November 19, 1852: Le Carnaval de Venise for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) is performed for the first time, in the Royal Palace, Madrid by the composer.
November 20, 1852: After a successful performance of his music in Weimar, in which several movements were repeated, Hector Berlioz (48) is granted the order of the White Falcon of Saxe-Weimar.
November 21, 1852: A plebiscite held today in France is reported to favor the establishment of the Second Empire by 96.9% of the electorate.
November 21, 1852: Robert Schumann (42), in Düsseldorf, reports new symptoms which he calls “unusual aural disturbances.”
November 21, 1852: After dining with Grand Duke Carl Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar, Hector Berlioz (48) witnesses a second performance of his Benvenuto Cellini.
November 22, 1852: On his last night in Weimar, Hector Berlioz (48) is feted with a glittering dinner and ball in the town hall.
November 24, 1852: Zehner-Polka op.121 by Johann Strauss (27) is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
November 29, 1852: After an extremely successful tour of Spain over the last year-and-a-half, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) boards ship in Cadiz and sails to Marseille via Gibraltar.
December 1, 1852: The United States informs Great Britain and France that it will not join in an agreement to preserve the status quo in Cuba.
December 2, 1852: Prime Minister Juan Bravo Murillo of Spain announces his plan to virtually end democracy in his country, making the Senate a hereditary body and severely limiting suffrage.
December 2, 1852: Franz Liszt (41) writes, “Beethoven’s work is like the pillar of cloud and fire that guided the Israelites through the desert—a pillar of cloud to guide us by day, a pillar of fire to guide us by night…His darkness and his light trace for us the path we have to follow; they are a perpetual commandment, an infallible revelation.” (Quinn, 154)
December 2, 1852: On the 48th anniversary of the coronation of Napoléon I, the 47th anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz, and the first anniversary of his coup d’etat, French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte proclaims himself Emperor Napoléon III.
December 3, 1852: Vom Pagen und der Königstöchter for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Robert Schumann (42) to words of Geibel is performed for the first time, in Düsseldorf, directed by the composer. Since his doctor ordered him to avoid exertion, this is his first conducting since August.
December 4, 1852: After a siege of two weeks, French forces storm and capture Laghouat, Algeria.
December 10, 1852: The death penalty is abolished in Portugal for political crimes.
December 11, 1852: The Cirque Napoléon (Cirque d’Hiver) is opened in Paris by Emperor Napoléon III. It will be an important venue for music for years to come.