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HomeSearchGetRecordNewcastle-upon-Tyne Musical Festival (1909)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Musical Festival (1909)
Unique Identifier
A complete set of analytical programmes and wordbooks for the three morning and three evening performances given between 20 and 22 October 1909 (venue unspecified) as the first Newcastle-upon-Tyne Musical Festival.

Each programme begins with a brief introductory statement regarding the establishment of the Festival and includes a list of the committee members and guarantors for the event. There are also lists of the choral and orchestral ensembles and the following information regarding the vocal and instrumental performers:
Vocal: Agnes Nicholls, Miss Esta D’Argo, Edith Evans, Clara Butt, Phyllis Lett, Maria Yelland, John Coates, Henry Brearley, Walter Hyde, Frederic Austin, Herbert Brown and Kennerley Rumford.
Instrumental: Signor Busoni and Egon Petri (piano) and J.E. Jeffries (organ), with the London Symphony Orchestra, led by A.W. Payne and conducted by Wassili Safonoff and Henry Coward, with Henry Coward (chorus master) and Thomas Wilkinson (chorus accompanist).

The following composers are listed as being engaged to conductor their own works: Edward Elgar, Granville Bantock, Signor Busoni, Rutland Boughton and Adam von Ahn Carse.

All programmes incorporate both wordbooks and programme notes. The notes accompanying the performances of Mendelssohn, Elijah and Haydn, The Return of Tobias are largely historical and written by Joseph Bennett. The remainder are more analytical and include musical examples: the authors are listed in parenthesis below.

20 October 1909
Morning: Mendelssohn, Elijah, conducted by Henry Coward with J.E. Jeffries (organ).
Evening: choral-orchestral concert, conducted by Wassili Safonoff with Signor Busoni (piano) and Messrs Henry Brearley and Kennerley Rumford (vocal), including Edgar L. Bainton, Overture Phantasy, ‘Prometheus’ (composed for the Festival) and the first English performance of Rimsky-Korsakov, Cantata, ‘Ballad of the Doom of Oleg’, op. 58 (notes by F. Gilbert Webb, ‘C.F.L’, and Rosa Newmarch).

21 October 1909
Morning: Elgar concert with Agnes Nicholls, Phyllis Lett, John Coates and Herbert Brown (vocal), conducted by the composer, comprising The Kingdom and the Symphony in A flat, op.55 (notes by A.J. Jaeger and Rosa Newmarch).
Evening: orchestral concert with Clara Butt (vocal), conducted by Wassili Safonoff, including Elgar, Sea Pictures, the first performance of Rutland Boughton, Symphonic Poem for Chorus and Orchestra, ‘The Invincible Armada’, op.12 (conducted by the composer) and the first English performance of H. Hadley, Tone Poem ‘Salome’ (with notes by Rosa Newmarch, F. Gilbert Webb and Herbert Thompson).

22 October 1909
Morning: Haydn, Oratorio, ‘The Return of Tobias’ (first English performance, given in commemoration of the centenary of the composer’s death), with Miss Esta D’Argo, Mr Walter Hyde, Mr Herbert Brown, Miss Maria Yelland and Miss Edith Evans (vocal), conducted by Henry Coward. Also, the first English performance of Busoni, Concerto for Piano, Orchestra and Male Chorus, op.39, given by Egon Petri (piano) and conducted by the composer (notes by the Busoni by Egon Petri).
Evening: choral-orchestral concert, Granville Bantock, Cantata, Omar Khayyám, with Phyllis Lett, John Coates and Frederic Austin and the first public performance of Adam von Ahn Carse, Symphony in G minor (notes by Ernest Newman and F. Gilbert Webb). Both of the works cited here were conducted by their composers.

An incomplete set of programmes for this event is also held at British Library shelfmark X.431/434. See this collection for handwritten annotations to the programme for the evening of 21 October 1909.
Date range of collection
1909 - 1909
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Places

Location Details

British Library
The British Library St Pancras ,96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
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Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council