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HomeSearchGetRecordBeecham Sunday Concerts (1936-39)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Beecham Sunday Concerts (1936-39)
Unique Identifier
A largely complete collection of analytical programmes for the Beecham Sunday Concerts season nos. 4 to 6, given at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden between 1936 and 1939, held as three bound volumes (one per season).

Unless otherwise stated below, these were two-part performances of late eighteenth and nineteenth-century orchestral repertory, given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted principally by Thomas Beecham. The majority of the concerts also featured one solo/concertante piece (see below).

With the exception of the wordbooks provided for the 2 performances of Handel, The Messiah (20 December 1836 and 19 December 1837), all programmes carry historical and analytical notes (by Edwin Evans) and provide a full list of the orchestral ensemble. The majority include a photograph of the conductor and many provide the same for the soloist.

All programmes carry a large number of both musical and non-musical advertisements, the former providing information regarding the ensembles and soloists at a variety of other orchestral concerts in London.

Volumes 1 and 2 of the collection include copies of the London Orchestral Concerts Guide for the months of November to March. These documents were issued jointly by the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Courtauld-Sargent Concerts, Harold Holt, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Robert Mayer Concerts for Children and the Royal Philharmonic Society and they include provisional programmes for a range of orchestral performances

Volume 1: October 1936–March 1937
4 October 1936: Richard Tauber (vocal).
11 October 1936: Leon Goossens (oboe), including Francesco Ticciati, Concerto in G for Oboe and Strings (first London performance).
8 November 1936: Grisha Goluboff (violin).
29 November 1936: David McCallum (violin).
13 December 1936: Brahms Concert, including Tragic Overture, Violin Concerto (Cecilia Hansen) and Requiem, with Elsie Suddaby and Roy Henderson (vocal) and the Royal Opera Choir.
20 December 1936: Handel, The Messiah with Ria Ginster, Muriel Brunskill, Heddle Nash and Robert Easton (vocal) and the Royal Opera Chorus.
24 January 1937: Edward Kilenyi (piano).
31 January 1937:
7 February 1937: including Debussy, Three Nocturnes, performed with the female members of the Royal Opera Choir.
14 February 1937: Guila Bustabo (violin), conducted by Fritz Zweig, including Janacek, Suite from the Opera 'A House of the Dead', arranged by Zweig (first English performance).
21 February 1937: Vera de Villiers (vocal), conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
28 February 1937: Mozart Concert featuring Geoffrey Gilbert (flute) and Louis Kentner (piano).
7 March 1937: Maggie Teyte (vocal), including Hermann Hans Wetzler, Symphonic Dance in Basque Style from the Opera 'The Basque Venus', op. 14 (conducted by the composer).
21 March 1937: Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) and the Royal Opera Choir.

Volume 2: October 1937–April 1938
17 October 1937:
24 October 1937: Guila Bustabo (violin).
31 October 1937:
7 November 1937: Wagner Concert with Herbert Janssen (baritone), conducted by Henry J. Wood.
14 November 1937: Julian Karolyi (piano), conducted by Albert Coates.
21 November 1937: Leon Goossens (oboe).
28 November 1937: Edward Kilenyi (piano).
12 December 1937: Elena Glazounow (piano).
19 December 1937: Handel, The Messiah, with Isobel Baillie, Catherine Stewart, Walter Widdop and Keith Falkner (vocal) and the Royal Opera Chorus.
30 January 1938: David McCallum (violin).
6 February 1938:
13 February 1938: Anatole Kitain (piano), conducted by Georg Schneevoight.
20 February 1938: Iso Elinson (piano), conducted by Georg Schneevoight.
27 February 1938: Eva Turner (vocal), conducted by Sidney Beer.
20 March 1938: Lili Kraus (piano) (with a handwritten annotation suggesting that, due to illness, Beecham did not conduct).
3 April 1938: Anthony Pini (violin).
No photos are included in the programmes for the concerts conducted by Georg Schneevoigt or Sidney Beer.

Volume 3: October 1938– March 1939 (missing nos. 1, 2, 7 and 8)
There is some uncertainty over the sequence of these performances: the programmes for the third to sixth concerts are bound after those for nos. 9 to 15, and the programmes for the concerts on 5 and 12 February both claim to be the tenth performance of the season.
30 October 1938: Charles Gregory (horn).
20 November 1938: Samuel Dushkin (violin).
27 November 1938:
4 December 1938: Raya Garbousova (cello).
22 January 1939:
5 February 1939:
12 February 1939: Huberman (violin), conducted by Felix Weingartner.
19 February 1939: Edna Iles (piano).
26 February 1939:
5 March 1939: Claudio Arrau (piano). An insert to this programme suggests that Mozart, Concerto No. 4 in E flat for Horn and Orchestra was performed, with Charles Gregory (horn) and conducted by H. Wynne Reeves.
12 March 1939: Ida Haendel (violin).
19 March 1939: René Le Roy (flute).
Date range of collection
1936 - 1939
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Places
Associated Times

Location Details

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

Accrual Status
Related Publications
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