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HomeSearchGetRecordGlasgow Choral Union (1877-1901)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Glasgow Choral Union (1877-1901)
Unique Identifier
An extensive collection of prospectuses, programme and wordbooks for the 4th to 27th seasons of Choral and Orchestral Concerts given by the Glasgow Choral Union between 1877 and 1901, held as 23 bound volumes: the material for the 1893–94 concerts is held as two volumes, with the remainder arranged with one volume per season.

The first six volumes of this collection are described in detail below as an illustrative example of the material.

An introductory note to the prospectus for the fourth season details the organization’s move to the New Public Halls in Granville Street. From the sixth season onwards, the venue is referred to as St. Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow.

All prospectuses carry a complete set of preliminary programmes for the series. They also list the principal performers engaged and include a brief introductory statement. Both the prospectuses and programmes carry detailed information regarding the patrons, guarantors and committee members for the concerts, as well as a list of the orchestral ensemble.

All programmes begin with a short literary/poetic quotation relevant to music/musical performance. They also carry historical and analytical notes, with musical examples. Many of these are noted to have been reproduced from programmes used at London concert series, including the Crystal Palace Saturday Concerts, the Richter Concerts and, in the final two seasons, the Philharmonic Society Concerts. The majority are by ‘G’ (George Grove), with other contributions by ‘A.M.’ (August Manns), ‘C.A.B.’ (Mr C.A. Berry), ‘E.D.’ (Edward Dannreuther) and Joseph Bennett.

The choral concerts were typically oratorio performances (see below), given by the Glasgow Choral Union. The orchestral concerts were usually two-part performances of nineteenth-century orchestral repertory with solo/concertante pieces for each of the soloists involved (generally one vocal and one instrumental per concert). There are a large number of first performances (see below).

Of the concerts listed in detail here, all performances featured Dr A.L. Peace (organ). From the seventh season onwards, they were conducted by August Manns.

Volume 1: 1877–80
Prospectuses for season nos. 4 and 5, held with two programmes from the fifth season and one from the sixth.

Fourth series: 1877–78
Vocal: Madame Lemmens-Sherrington, Madame Sinico, Madame Nouver, Madame Marie Roze and Miss Mary Davies; Madame Patey, Madame Enriquez, Mademoiselle Helene Armin, Miss Helen D’Alton and Miss Ellen A. Orridge; Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr J. H. Pearson, Mr William Shakespeare and Mr Barton McGuckin; Signor Foli, Mr J.L. Wadmore, Mr Robert Hilton and Mr Santley.
The orchestral ensemble – ‘selected from the bands of the Royal Italian Opera, Her Majesty’s Opera and the Philharmonic Society of London’ – was led by J.T. Carrodus. The concerts were conducted by Mr H.A. Lambeth (choral) and Dr Hans von Bulow (orchestral), the latter also appearing as a piano soloist.

15 November 1877: G.A. Macfarren, The Lady of the Lake (the first performance of a cantata composed especially for the concerts).
4 December 1887: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
1 January 1878: Handel, The Messiah.
These concerts were prefaced by an additional performance of Handel, The Messiah, given on 13 November 1877 as a ‘Grand Inaugural Concert’ to mark the opening of the New Public Hall.

Orchestral: 16, 20 and 27 November and 4, 11, 18 and 26 December 1877. The first of these was a ‘Beethoven Night’, the fourth a ‘Historical Symphony Concert’ and the sixth an ‘International’ performance. The remainder were described simply as ‘Miscellaneous’.

Fifth series: 1878–79
Vocal: Madame Edith Wynne, Mrs Osgood, Mrs Davison, Miss Robertson, Miss Fanny Robertson and Miss Mary Davies; Madame Patey, Miss E. de Fonblanque and Miss Helen D’Alton; Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Henry Guy, Mr William Shakespeare and Mr Barton McGuckin; Mr J.L. Wadmore, Mr John Bridson, Mr Robert Hilton, Mr Thurley Beale and Signor Giorgio Valcheri.
Instrumental: Herr Julius Tausch (piano) and Madame Norman Neruda (violin), led by A. Burnett and conducted by H.A. Lambeth, A. Randegger and Julius Tausch.

12 November 1878: A. Randegger. Cantata, Fridolin (conducted by the composer). Also, Beethoven, Choral Fantasia (Tausch, piano) and Tausch, Grand Overture (first performance, composed for the concerts).
28 November 1878: Beethoven, Engedi; Mendelssohn, Hear My Prayer; and H.A. Lambeth, By the Waters of Babylon.
12 December 1878: Handel, Judas Maccabaeus.
1 January 1879: Handel, The Messiah (annual performance).

Orchestral: 19 and 26 November, and 3, 10, 17 and 24 December 1878

As noted above, this volume contains separate programmes for the concerts held on 12 and 26 November 1878 (5th season) and 13 January 1880 (6th season, Orchestral Concert no.1). The programme for 26 November 1878 includes a historical article entitled ‘Entr’acte: The Birthplace of Mozart’, taken from Joseph Bennett, Letters from Bayreuth.

Volume 2: 1880-81
The prospectus for the seventh series, held with a complete set of analytical programmes and wordbooks for the same.

The prospectus carries a resume of the principal musical works to be included during the season, as well as brief biographies of the leading performers. The programme notes for the first choral concert are provided by Ebenezer Prout.

Vocal: Madame Albani, Mrs Osgood, Mademoiselle Louise Pyk, Mademoiselle Friedlander, Miss Marian Williams, Miss Annie Marriott and Miss J. Kemlo Stephen; Madame Trebelli, Miss E.A. Orridge, Madame Bolingbroke and Miss Hope Glenn; Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Barton McGuckin, Mr Harper Kearton, Mr Henry Guy and Mr Frank Boyle; Mr Thurley Beale, Mr Frederic King, Mr W. Ludwig, Mr A. McCall and Signor Foli.
Instrumental: Monsieur E. Sauret (violin) and Herr E. Pauer (piano), led by Hermann Franke.

7 December 1880: Haydn, The Creation.
1 January 1880: Handel, The Messiah.
13 January 1881: Rossini, Moses in Egypt.
25 January 1881: Schumann, Paradise and the Peri

Orchestral: 14, 21 and 28 December 1880 and 4, 11 and 18 January 1881.

Volume 3: 1881–82
The prospectus for the eighth series, held with an incomplete set of analytical programmes and wordbooks for the same (missing those for the first, fourth and final concerts).

Vocal: Madame Marie Roze, Miss Mary Davies, Miss Robertson, Miss Anna Williams, Miss Carlotta Elliot, Miss Annie Marriott and Miss Isabella Stone; Miss Hope Glenn, Miss Grace Damian and Madame Trebelli; Mr Barton McGuckin, Mr Harper Kearton, Mr Joseph Maas and Mr Frank Boyle; Mr Frederick King, Mr W.H. Burgon and Signor Foli.
Instrumental: M. Marsick and M. Victor Buziau (violin) and Miss Marie Krebs and Mr Oscar Beringer (piano), led by Victor Buziau.

14 December 1881: Mendelssohn, Elijah
2 January 1882: Handel, The Messiah.
19 January 1882: Sphor, The Last Judgement and Beethoven, ‘Choral’ Symphony.
31 January 1882: Berlioz, Faust (first Scottish performance).

Orchestral: 20 and 27 December 1881 and 5, 10, 17 and 24 January 1882, including the first Scottish performances of Gounod, Airs de Ballet from ‘Le Tribut de Zamora (20 December 1881) and F.H. Cowen, Suite ‘The Language of the Flowers’ (27 December 1881).

Volume 4: 1882–83
An incomplete set of analytical programmes and wordbooks for the ninth season (missing no.4), led by Victor Buziau.

19 December 1882: Berlioz, Faust, with Miss Mary Davies, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Frederic King and Mr J. Fleming (vocal) (with a biographical sketch on Berlioz and some extensive notes taken from articles by W.A. Barrett previously published in the Musical Record).
23 January 1883: Gounod, The Redemption, with Miss Hutchinson, Miss Hilda Wilson, Mr Joseph Maas and Mr Santley (vocal).
13 February 1884: Handel, Samson, with Miss Anna Williams, Madame Bolingbroke, Mr Joseph Maas, Mr Henry Blower and Signor Foli (vocal) (with a biographical note on Handel).

12 December 1882: Madame Albani (vocal).
26 December 1882: Herr Joachim (violin).
4 January 1883: Miss Carlotta Elliot (vocal) and Victor Buziau (violin).
9 January 1883: Madame Sophie Menter (piano).
16 January 1883: Mademoiselle Elly Warnots (vocal) and Master Alfred Hollins (piano).
30 January 1883: Miss Eleanor Farnol (vocal) and Victor Buziau (violin) (with extensive and detailed handwritten corrections to the notes for this programme).
6 February 1883: Madame Julia Gaylord (vocal) and Louis Breitner (piano), with F.H Cowen (additional conductor).

Volume 5: 1883-84
The prospectus for the tenth series, held with a complete set of analytical programmes and wordbooks for the same.

Vocal: Miss Mary Davies, Miss Robertson, Mrs Hutchinson, Miss Hilda Coward, Mademoiselle Elly Warnots, Miss Thudichum, Miss Clara Samuell, Miss Carlotta Elliot, Miss Helen D’Alton, Madame Patey, Miss Marian McKenzie, Miss Grace Damian, Mr Barton McGuckin, Mr Charles Chilley, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Joseph Maas, Mr John Bridson, Mr Frederic King and Mr Santley.
Instrumental: Hugo Heermann and Signor Papini (violin), Signor Piatti (cello) and Monsieur Vladimir de Pachmann, Mademoiselle Janotha and Madame Montigny-Rémaury (piano), led by Victor Buziau.

12 December 1883: Mendelssohn, First Walpurgis Night; Handel, Acis and Galatea.
1 January 1884: Handel, The Messiah.
17 January 1884: Gounod, The Redemption.
31 January 1884: Berlioz, Messe des Morts.

Orchestral: 4, 18 and 27 December 1883 and 10, 15, 22 and 29 January and 5 February 1884, including the first performance of Schubert, Symphony No.7 (10 January 1884), this work having been completed from the composer’s outline by John Francis Barnett.

The fifth orchestral concert of this season (15 January) was described as ‘Choro-Orchestral’ and included a performance of Félicien David, Symphonic Ode, 'The Desert', given by Edward Lloyd (tenor) and a quartet drawn from the Glasgow Choral Union

Volume 6: 1884-85
An incomplete set of programmes for the performances given during the eleventh season (missing nos. 5 and 9), led by Robert Heckmann.

This volume includes a list of the most popular works performed, based on votes taken at two different concerts during the season, excluding certain forms such as the concerto. The tables provide detailed information regarding the number of votes received for each work.

16 December 1884: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Madame Valleria, Miss Alexandra Ehrenberg, Mr Charles Chilley and Mr W. Ludwig (vocal).
10 February 1885: Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Miss Annie Marriott, Madame Patey and Mr Edward Lloyd (vocal).
The programme for 16 December 1884 includes an article entitled ‘Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”’, taken from the Musical World of 29 August 1846.

9 December 1884: Madame Minnie Hauk (vocal) and Robert Heckmann (violin).
23 December 1884: Franz Rummel (piano) and the Cologne String Quartet (R. Heckmann, O. Forberg, T. Allekotte, and R. Bellmann).
30 December 1884: Hugo Heermann (violin) and Miss Thudichum (vocal).
6 January 1885: Mr Joseph Maas (vocal) and Miss Agnes Zimmermann (piano).
13 January 1885: Bi-centenary Commemoration of the Birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, featuring Madame Clara Samuell (vocal) and Robert Heckmann and Otto Forberg (violin).
20 January 1885: Miss Hilda Coward (vocal) and Professor Heinrich Barth (piano).
27 January 1885: In Commemoration of Mozart’s Birthday, with Mrs Hutchinson (vocal) and Mr J.T. Carrodus (violin).
3 February 1885: Mademoiselle Anna Soubre (vocal) and Madame Essipoff (piano).

The thirteenth and final concert of the series, given on 12 February 1885, was described as ‘Choro-Orchestral’. It comprised selections from Handel’s works, given by Madame Patey and Mr Edward Lloyd (vocal).
Date range of collection
1877 - 1901
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific

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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Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council