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HomeSearchGetRecordAyrton Papers (1832-46)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Ayrton Papers (1832-46)
Unique Identifier
Add. 52347, vol. XIV
A bound volume containing programmes and other materials relating to three concert series given in London between 1832 and 1846.

1. Queen Square Concerts: 1832/1834
2. Queen Square Select Society: 1844-1845
3. Beethoven Quartett Society: 1845-1846

1. Queen Square Concerts
Handbills for the first performances of Beethoven, Mass in D, op. 123 (conducted by M. Moscheles) and Cherubini, Requiem (conducted by H. R. Bishop), given on 24 December 1832 and 28 March 1834 [at the house of T. M. Alsager, 26 Queen Square].

Both documents include lists of the vocal and instrumental/ orchestral performers. The handbill for the first performance is handwritten and claims to be a 'Copy of the original in possession of J. A. Novello sent from Geneva'.

Bound with these documents is a handwritten letter to Ayrton regarding the Beethoven performance.

2. Queen Square Select Society (1845)
Handbills for four performances given by the Queen Square Select Society on 9, 16 and 30 March and 6 April 1845 [at the house of T. M. Alsager, 26 Queen Square].

The first and last of these were directed as an Offering to Beethoven (with M. Moscheles as 'high priest') and the second and third went under the title of 'Beethoven Illustrative Party'.

All of these documents carry brief historical/descriptive notes and, with the exception of that for 30 March, provide musical incipits. Only that for 16 March is printed.

3. Beethoven Quartet Society
A complete set of programmes for the five meetings held by the Beethoven Quartet Society during the 1845 season with programmes for the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th performances of 1846.

All meetings took place at 76 Harley Street, London, and were given under the title 'Honour to Beethoven'. Unless otherwise stated below, each performance consisted of a quartet from Beethoven's early, middle and late period. All programmes including historical and descriptive notes, with those for 1845 incorporating musical examples.

1845 season (complete): 21 April, 5 and 19 May and 2 and 16 June 1845. Two programmes are held for each meeting, the first handwritten and the second printed.

1846 season (nos. 3, 5, 6 and 8): 6 April, 11 and 25 May and 22 June. The programmes given at the 6th and 8th concerts consisted of music by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

In addition to these programmes, this follow includes the following related material.
Tracts 5-7: three copies of the Prospectus for the Beethoven Quartet Society, entitled 'Honour to Beethoven: Preliminary Ideal' and signed by Thomas M. Alsager.

Tract 14 and 15: The Beethoven Quartet Society: Address to the Members, Season 1845, signed Henry Robertson (Hon. Sec.)

Tract 36: The Five Programmes of the Beethoven Quartett Society, prepared and illustrated by Henry Hill, Esq, to which is prefixed a short account of that society (London: published for the Beethoven Quartett Society by R. Cocks and Co, 1846).
Date range of collection
1832 - 1846
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Places

Location Details

British Library, Music Collections
96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Open Map
020 7412 7772
020 7412 7751 
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Additional Collection Information

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Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council