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HomeSearchGetRecordCrosby Hall Concerts (1838-56)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Crosby Hall Concerts (1838-56)
Unique Identifier
A largely complete collection of prospectuses, programmes and wordbooks for the first six seasons of the Sacred Concerts given at Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street Within, London between 1843 and 1848, held in a bound volume with the programmes and wordbooks for two of Mr Dando’s Quartett Concerts, given in the Throne Room of the same venue on 12 June 1843 and 25 February 1856.

Also, programmes and wordbooks for performances of vocal music given at Crosby Hall on 12 July and 21 August 1838, 24 June 1839 and 20 August 1840, held as a second volume.

Volume One
1. Sacred Concerts (1843–48)
These concerts were presented by the Crosby Hall Scientific and Literary Institution and given under the direction of Miss Ann Mounsey. Until the number was reduced to four for the final season, each series consisted of 6 two-act performances of solo and ensemble sacred vocal music. On most occasions an organ solo, typically played by Miss Mounsey, appeared at the start of the second act.

A number of these programmes carry handwritten annotations which serve to provide either corrections or additions to the printed programmes. There are also a number of first performances of pieces by Mendelssohn, with whom Mounsey would appear to have had an association.

First season: 1843
A set of programmes and wordbooks for four of the concerts, given on 1, 6, 14 and 22 March 1843 by Misses Birch, Dolby, Rainforth and Steele and Messrs Frances and Novello (vocal).

Second series: 1843-44
The prospectus and a complete set of programmes and wordbooks for the concerts given on 22 November and 13 December 1843 and 3 and 17 January and 7 and 28 February 1844 by Misses Dolby, Rainforth and Steele and Messrs Francis, Hobbs, Machin and Novello (vocal). Additional material for this season includes two printed announcements from the Crosby Hall Literary and Scientific Institution and a handwritten letter regarding proposals for a third series of concerts.

Third series: 1844–45
Programmes for five of the concerts, given on 28 November and 18 December 1844 and 29 January, 19 February and 12 March 1845 by Misses Dolby, Rainforth and Steele, Madame Caradori Allan and Messrs Francis, Hobbs, Machin, Novello and Walker (vocal) (missing no.3, given on 8 January 1845), held with a programme and wordbook for an additional concert, given on 10 May 1845. The opening concert of this series included the first English performance of two choruses by Mendelssohn. Additional material for this season includes two newspaper reviews of performances (the first unattributed and the second from the Morning Herald) and an announcement regarding the fourth series.

Fourth series: 1845–46
Programmes and wordbooks for five of the concerts, given on 28 November and 17 December 1845 and 7 and 28 January and 13 March 1846 by Misses Cubitt, Dolby, Rainforth, Savilla Novello and Steele and Messrs Buckland, Francis, Lockey, Machin and Novello (vocal) (missing no.5, given on 18 February 1846).

Fifth series: 1846–47
Programmes and wordbooks for five of the concerts, given on 30 November and 21 December 1846 and 5 and 19 February and 5 March 1847 by Misses Bassano, Birch, Cubitt and Steele and Messrs Francis, Lockey, Machin and Novello (vocal) (missing no.4, held on 27 January 1847), including the first performance of Mendelssohn, Te Deum (30 November 1846). Additional material for this season includes concert reviews from the Morning Chronicle, Daily Mail, Morning Post and Morning Herald (all dated December 1846) and an announcement that only four concerts will be given as a sixth season.

Sixth series: 1848
A complete set of programmes for the concerts given on 6 and 21 March and 7 and 28 April 1848 by Misses Birch, Cubitt, Poole, Rainforth and Steele, Messrs Francis, Kench Lockey and Machin and Herr Brandt (vocal).

2. Mr Dando’s Quartett Concerts
These were two-part concerts, both including string music by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
12 June 1843: Messrs Dando, Gattie, J. Loder and Lucas (string quartet) with Miss Sara Flower (vocal, accompanied by Miss Mounsey), including a string quartet by Andreas Romberg and operatic excerpts by Mozart and Beethoven.
25 February 1856: Messrs Dando, A. Mellon, Hill and Lucas (string quartet), Miss H. Binfield Williams (piano) and Mr Benson (vocal), including the first performances of Onslow, Piano Trio op.27 and Beethoven, Serenade Trio, op.8 and vocal music by Macfarren and J.L. Hatton.

Volume Two
12 July and 21 August 1838, 24 June 1839 and 20 August 1840: in each case, the concert was in two parts, the second consisting of madrigals and glees and the first including a performance of the Gresham Prize Composition. Also, during the course of these concerts, a Prize Essay was read. The programme for 12 July 1838 is handwritten. Later programmes carry both explanations of the various prizes being awarded (including rules/regulations for those wishing to enter in the future) and some brief historical notes on the works being performed.
Date range of collection
1843 - 1856
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
Visiting Information
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Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
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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