The collection contains a complete set of programmes from the first to eleventh series of concerts, 1929-1940. There were six concerts in each season, lasting from October to April. The exception to this was the third season, which had nine concerts. The majority of seasons contained a repeat of each concert on the subsequent day. The exceptions to these were the first and eleventh seasons, which consisted of each concert only once; in addition, the fourth season experimented with having each concert three times, with a repeat on the subsequent day and a second repeat a few days later. The majority of concerts occurred in Monday/Tuesday formations, with exceptions being the first, second and eleventh seasons.
The venue for the concerts was the Queen’s Hall, London. The majority of concerts were orchestral. However, from the third season onwards, the organisers experimented with making at least one of the concerts in the season instrumental, chamber or choral. The most common pattern was a season of five orchestral concerts with one chamber concert. The London Symphony Orchestra performed during the first three seasons; subsequent seasons featured the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Though a variety of conductors were engaged for various concerts in the series, a substantial amount of concerts were conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Orchestral concerts featured large-scale orchestral works, including a number of symphonies. The concerts also featured an amount of world and British premieres, examples including the British premiere of Bruckner’s Symphony no. 8 and the world premiere of Bax’s Symphony no. 5.
The programmes contain analytical programme notes and some musical examples. From season two onwards, the programme notes were written by Edwin Evans.
There is an alphabetical index of concerts from 1929 to 1940. This contains an alphabetical listing of composers and performers: each entry contains the season and date of the concert, the work performed, performers and conductor. In addition, the alphabetical index is preceded by a cumulative list of performers and conductors for the eleven seasons, separated into respective instruments.
The collection is arranged chronologically.