This site is designed so that its contents are accessible to every type of browser. You browser, however, may not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's design details. You are encouraged to upgrade to a more standards compliant browser.

Search: Advanced Search
HomeSearchGetRecordLondon Symphony Concerts (1889-97)

Collection Description

Collection Title
London Symphony Concerts (1889-97)
Unique Identifier
An miscellaneous collection of analytical programmes for the fourth to the eleventh seasons of the London Symphony Concerts, given at St. James Hall, London between 1889 and 1897 under the direction of Mr Henschel, held as three bound volumes and including a complete sequence of programmes for the fourth to seventh seasons, 1889-93.

These performances were renamed the Henschel Concerts for the eleventh season.

All concerts were in two parts with two or three pieces in each act. They began as purely orchestral performances but gradually came to allow vocal and instrumental solos before later including choral works, performed by Henschel’s choir. In all performances there is a strong representation of composers from nineteenth-century German, particularly Beethoven and Wagner, as well as a number of first English performances.

All programmes contain historical and analytical notes (with musical examples). Up to 1895, these were written by Joseph Bennett. Thereafter, no author is credited. Programmes also include the texts for vocal pieces and the majority contain an advertisement (with programme) for the next performance in the series.

Volume 1: season nos. 4-7 (1889-93)
Fourth series (six concerts): 14 and 28 November and 12 December 1889; 23 January and 6 and 20 February 1890. This season including the first English performances of Richard Strauss, ‘On the shore at Sorrento’, from Aus Italien, op.16 (28 November) and Mozart, Notturno-Serenade in D, for four small orchestras (12 December). The concert on 6 February combined orchestral extracts from Wagnerian operas with a performance of Beethoven, Symphony No.3, ‘Eroica’.

Fifth season (six concerts): 20 November and 4 December 1890; 15 and 29 January and 12 and 26 February 1891. This season included the first performance of E.M. Smyth, Suite in E for Strings (4 December), Edward German, Funeral March (15 January, conducted by the composer) and Percy Rideout, Symphonic Poem (29 January). The penultimate concert of the series again saw the combination of Wagnerian extracts with Beethoven, Symphony No.3. The programmes list the following soloists: Arthur Friedheim (piano) and Madame Nordica (vocal, both 15 January), Madame Albani (vocal, 29 January) and Mrs Henschel (12 February).

Sixth Season (six concerts): 29 October and 12 and 26 November 1891; 26 and 11 and 25 February 1892. This season saw the first concert performance of Henschel, Suite from the Music to Shakepeare’s Hamlet, op. 50 (26 January), whilst the penultimate concert again combined Wagner and Beethoven. The programmes list the following soloists: Paderewski (piano) and Mr and Mrs Henschel (vocal, all 29 October); Eugene Ysaye (violin, 12 November); Jean Gérardy (cello) and Mr John Probert and Mr Plunket Greene (vocal, all 26 November); Monsieur Gorski (violin) and Madame Hope Glenn (vocal, both 26 January); Madame Nordica (vocal, 11 February); and Hugo Becker (cello, 25 February).

Seventh Season (seven concerts): 3 and 17 November and 1 December 1892; 19, 2 and 16 February and 2 March 1893. The programmes list the following soloists: Mademoiselle Szumowska (piano) and Mrs Henschel (vocal, both 3 November); Hugo Herrmann (violin, 17 November); Monsieur Gorski (violin), Carl Fuchs (cello), and Miss Evangeline Florence (vocal, all 1 December); Monsieur Slivinski (piano) and Katharine Fisk (vocal, both 19 January); Mrs Henschel (vocal, 2 February). The final concert of the season was a performance of Beethoven, Symphony No.9 given by Miss Evangeline Florence, Miss Agnes Janson, Mr J. Henry McKinley, and Mr Dan Price (vocal) with Mr Henschel’s Choir.

Volume 2: season nos.8 and 9 (1893-1895).
Eighth season (nos.1-3): 8 and 22 November and 6 December 1893. A programme for the fourth concert, given on 11 January 1894 is included as an advertisement in the document for 6 December. These concerts included the first English performance of C.V. Stanford, Song ‘Prince Madoc’s Farewell’ (8 November) and Emanuel Moor, Concert Overture (22 November) and the first London performance of Paderewski, Polish Fantaisie for Pianoforte (also 22 November, with the composer at the piano). The programmes list the following soloists: Mademoiselle Frida Scotta (violin) and Mr Plunket Greene (vocal, both 8 November); Paderewski (piano, 22 November); and Mrs Elene B. Eaton (vocal) and Miss Beatrice Langley (violin, both 6 December).

Ninth seasons (8 concerts): 1, 15 and 29 November and 13 December 1894 and 17 and 31 January, 28 February and 14 March 1895. The programme for the seventh concert of the series (a Wagner/Beethoven performance given on 14 February) is included within the documentation relating to the sixth concert. The concerts of this season included the first performance of E. Humperdinck, Prelude to ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (1 November), the first English performance of Goldmark, Overture ‘Sappho’ (15 November) and first performance of two pieces by Emanuel Moor (a piano concerto 13 December and a Symphony ‘In Memoriam Ludwig Kossuth’ on 14 March). The programmes list the following soloists: Mrs Henschel (vocal) and Mr Frederick Dawson (piano, both 1 November); Monsieur Achille Rivarde (violin, 15 November); Miss Agnes Janson (vocal) and David Popper (cello, 29 November); Madame Medora Henson (vocal) and Mr Emanuel Moor (piano, 13 December); Monsieur Diemer (piano, 17 January); Maurice Sons (violin, 31 January); Madame Augarde (piano) and Mrs H (vocal, both 28 February); Willy Burmester (violin, first appearance in England), Esther Palliser and David Bispham (vocal, all 14 March). The programmes for this season also name the orchestral ensemble for the first time. The concerts on 1 and 29 November, 17 January and 14 March featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, led by Benoit Hollander whilst the remaining performances were given by the Scottish Orchestra, led by Maurice Sons. This volume concludes with a prospectus for the tenth season of concerts.

Volume 3: season nos.10 and 11 (1895-97)
With the exception of the concert on 7 November 1895 - featuring the London Festival Overture - all concerts were given by the London Symphony Orchestra, led by Benoit Hollander

Tenth season (five concerts): 7 November 1895 and 23 January, 6 and 20 February, and 5 March 1896 as the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth concerts of the series. Also held is a programme for an extra concert given on 13 February 1896 to mark the anniversary of the death of Richard Wagner.

The performances this season would appear to have been dedicated to Beethoven; his symphonies were performed in order (one at each concert), the choral fantasia is given a number of times and his music almost completely dominates the remainder of the programmes.

The programmes list the following soloists: Miss Fanny Davies (piano) and Herr von Dulong (vocal, both 7 November); Madame Marie Duma (vocal), Leonard Borwick (piano), Senor Arbos (violin) and Paul Ludwig (cello, all 23 January); Mrs Henschel, Miss Gwladys Wood, Miss de Dreux, Mr Karlyle, Mr Hayden Bailey and Mr Arthur Barlow (vocal) – with Mr Henschel’s Choir – and Leonard Borwick (piano, all 6 February); Maurice Sons (violin) and Mrs Henschel, Miss Margrethe Boye, Mr William Shakespeare and Mr George E. Holmes (vocal, all 20 February); Mrs Henschel, Gwladys Wood, Miss De Dreux, Mr Karlyle, My Hayden Bailey, Mr Arthur Barlow, Madame Clara Poole, Mr Hirwen Jones, Mr Arthur Walenn (vocal), with Leonard Borwick (piano, all 5 March).

Material relating to this season concludes with a ‘List of the Works performed at the London Symphony Concerts during the first ten seasons, with a list of the soloists who appeared in the course of the series’.

Eleventh series (nos.1-3, 7 and 9): 12 November and 3 December 1896, and 14 January, 11 March and 1 April 1897. The concerts of this series included the first English performances of: Smetana, Symphonic Poem ‘Richard III’ (12 November); Henschel, Morning Hymn and Dvorak, Te Deum (3 December); and B. Luard Selby, Idyl for Orchestra (11 March). The performance on 3 December, 4 February and 1 April involved Mr Henschel’s choir. The programmes list the following soloists: Mademoiselle Adele Aus Der Ohe (piano, first appearance in England), Mrs Henschel and Mr Ffrangcon-Davies (vocal, all 12 November); Madame Marie Roeger-Soldat (violin) and Miss Fillunger and Mr Daniel Price (vocal, all 3 December); Miss Gondar, Mr Walter Ford, and Mr George Holmes (vocal) with Miss Ilona Eibenschütz (piano, all 14 January); Miss Evangeline Florence and Mr George Holmes (vocal) and Miss Fanny Davies (piano, all 4 February); Monsieur Joseph Slivinski (piano) and Mr Henschel (vocal, both 11 March).

The final performance of the series consisted of J.S. Bach, St Matthew Passion, given by Miss Louise Dale, Miss Marian Mackenzie, Mr James Leyland, Mr Daniel Price and Mr Charles Clark (vocal), with Lady Hallé (violin), Mr Henry Bird and Mr J.M. Coward (organ) and Oliver King (keyboard).
Date range of collection
1889 - 1897
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
Reprographic services
See for further details
Collections Overview
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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