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HomeSearchGetRecordDarnton Collection (1934-76)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Darnton Collection (1934-76)
Unique Identifier
Add. 62773 B, vol. LVII
A collection of prospectuses for the first three series of the Adolph Hallis Chamber Music Concerts, given at the Wigmore Hall (series 1 and 2) and at the Aeolian Hall, London (series 3) between 1936 and 1939, held with various other materials relating to this series as part of the collection of the English composer Christian Darnton (1905–81).

The collection also includes a miscellaneous selection of handbills and programmes for performances of Darnton's music given at various London venues between 1934 and 1953 and in the Chaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow in 1953. In addition to these concert programmes – listed chronologically in section 2 below – the collection includes loose pages from The Listener (20 November 1935) and the Radio Times (various) regarding broadcast performances of works by Darnton.

1. Adolph Hallis Chamber Music Concerts
In addition to the prospectuses – the details of which are provided below – the collection includes individual programmes with words for the concert nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the third season. There are also copies of the Balance Sheet and Statement of Accounts for the second and third series and two undated handbills providing a list of 'The Orchestra', conducted by Reginald Goodall.

Season 1
15 December 1936 and 15 February, 15 March and 15 April 1937
Betty Bannerman (mezzo-contralto), Natalie Caine (oboe), Alice Ehlers (harpsichord), Colette Wyss (mezzo-soprano), Sophie Wyss (soprano), Adolph Hallis (piano), Sasha Parnes (violin), the Philharmonic String Trio, Franz Reizenstein (piano) and the Shadwick String Quartet, conducted by Reginald Goodall.
Each concert of this series finished with a 'world premiere', including pieces by Benjamin Britten, Arnold Cooke, Christian Darnton and Alan Rawsthorne respectively. The concerts also included the first English performances of pieces by Palestrina, Pierre Maurice and Hindemith (December), Palestrina and Alban Berg (March) and F. Couperin (April). There are brief programme notes on certain works.

Season 2
15 January, 15 February and 15 March 1938
Mildred Watson, Parry Jones and Ian Glennie (vocal), Adolph Hallis (piano), Frederick Riddle (viola), the Philharmonic String Trio and the Laurance Turner String Quartet.
This series included the first performances of: Elizabeth Lutyens, Four Songs (January); Elizabeth Maconchy, Sonata for Viola and Piano (February); and Victor Yates, Clarinet Quartet and John Ireland, Pianoforte Trio (March). The concert in March also included the first English performance of Webern, String Trio, op.20.

Season 3
14 November and 14 December 1938 and 14 January, 14 February and 14 March 1939
Blech String Quartet and the Washbourne Trio, Adolph Hallis and Max Pirani (piano), Nina Nuesch, Sophie Wyss and Steuart Wilson (vocal), the Arnold Goldsbrough Choir and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Iris Lemare.
The series included the first performances of: Hindemith, Vier Chorlieder (November); Elisabeth Lutyens, String Quartet No. 1 and Elizabeth Maconchy, The Garland (February); and Alan Rawsthorne, Concerto for Piano, String Orchestra and Percussion (March). The series also included the first English performances of Webern, String Trio, op.21 (December) and Szarzynski, Concerto a 3 de Deo (January).

2. Miscellaneous concerts
27 February [1932], Crystal Palace: Saturday Popular Symphony Concerts no.3, given by William Busch (piano) and Marguerite Pitcher (soprano) with the London Concert Orchestra, conducted by Angel Grande, including the first performances of E.M. Monica Smith, On the Hilltop and Christian Darnton, Lento, from 1st Symphony (with historical and biographical notes).

22 February [1934], Wigmore Hall: Recital on Two Pianofortes by Max Pirani and Eric Grant, including the first performance of Darnton, Duo Concertante (1933) (double sided handbill).

26 February 1934, Ballet Club Theatre: Macnaghten-Lemare Concert, including the first performances of: Dorothy A. Gow, Prelude and Fugue for Chamber Orchestra; Gordon Jacob, Concerto for Oboe and Strings; John Locke, Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin and Cello; and Christian Darnton, Sinfonietta for Chamber Orchestra (with a list of the orchestral ensemble).

1 October [1935], Cowdray Hall, 1a Henrietta Street: London Contemporary Music Centre and given by May Blyth (soprano), John Francis (flute), Helen Gaskell (oboe), Marie Korchinska (harp), Jean Pougnet (violin), William Primrose (viola) and Bernard Richards (cello). The concert included the first performances of: Alan Rawsthorne, Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello; Christian Darnton, Suite for Flute, Violin, Viola and Harp; and Kenneth White, Sonatina for Harp and Viola. Also, the first English performance of Alexander Jemnitz, Sonata for Harp in One Movement, op.34 (double-sided handbill).

9 December 1935 and 27 January and 6 February 1936, Mercury Theatre: Three Chamber Music Concerts (of 'new works by young British composers') given during the fifth series of the Lemare Concerts (single document). These performances were given by the Brosa Quartet with Steuart Wilson, Andre Mangeot, Beatrice Huckell, Olive Richards, Reginald Goodall, Bernard Shore, Jan van der Gucht, Norman Franklin, Edgar Glasspool and Iris Lemare with the choir and St. Alban’s, Holborn and the Carlyle Singers. Also held is a separate programme for the last of these concerts (6 February 1936), which included the first performances of: Gerald Finzi, Four Songs; Alan Rawsthorne, Overture for Chamber Orchestra; and Christian Darnton, Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra.

20 May 1944, Chaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow: Concert of English and Soviet Music, presented by the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and the Moscow State Philharmonic, including the first USSR performances of: Elgar, Overture Cockaigne; Darnton, Overture Stalingrad; and Ralph Vaughan Williams, English Folksong Suite. The Russian portion of the performance included Shostakovich, Piano Concerto and Prokofieff, Russian Overture and two choruses from Alexander Nevsky, performed/conducted by the respective composers. The programme is provided in Russian and in English

23 June [1953], St. Pancras Town Hall: Programme of Works by Christian Darton, presented by the Institute of Contemporary Arts and given by the Catford Co-operative Choir and the Boyd Neel Orchestra, with Mary and Geraldine Peppin (piano), Ruth Packer, Parry Jones and Ian Glennie (vocal), and Randall Swingler (narrator), conducted by Edric Cundell. The concert included the first performances of: Jet Pilot, cantata for baritone, chorus and string orchestra; and Fantasy Fair: Opera in Three Acts (3 copies of a handbill plus two copies of the Notes on the Works to be Performed).

19 and 20 October [no year] Cambridge Theatre: Initial Production given by the Camargo Society for the Production of Ballet, including a Dance-Suite by Darnton, conducted by Constant Lambert.
Date range of collection
1934 - 1976
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

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

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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