All festivals comprised three morning and three evening performances, given at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich, and conducted by Sir George Smart.
The morning performances were three-part performances of sacred music and consisted largely of extracts from oratorios, typically including a complete performance of Handel, The Messiah. The evening concerts were two-act miscellaneous performances, predominantly vocal in character but with an orchestral overture or symphony at the start of each act and including one other instrumental work per half.
The prospectus and programmes for all seasons offer a comprehensive record of the vocal soloists engaged (see below) and provide lists of the choral and orchestral ensembles. There are also lists of those responsible for the organization of the Festival.
Franz Cramer is listed as leader of the orchestra in all five seasons. He shared the tastk with Mr Kiesewetter (1824 and 1827), Mr Mori (1830) and Mr Blagrove (1836).
The programmes and word books contain annotations in Smart's hand which record the exact timings of the performances and mark those works which were encored. They also provide information about changes to the order or content of the printed programmes, the exact deployment of the vocal forces, and the extent of the rehearsal provision. Furthermore, Smart makes some comments relevant to performance practice, particularly as regards the accompaniments to the vocal pieces.
The programmes for the 1824 and 1827 season include handwritten notes by Smart detailing the number (and type) of tickets sold for each performance given during the festival.
Documentation relating to each season includes a printed copy of the Regulations for the festival as well as miscellaneous printed ephemera relating to the organization of the performances.
Volume 1: 21-24 September 1824
22 September: selections from Handel; Mozart, Grand Mass; and Haydn, The Seasons.
23 September: Handel, The Messiah.
24 September: selections from Handel; Haydn, The Creation; and Handel, Israel in Egypt.
21, 22 and 23 September: 'the selections for the evening concerts will be made from the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Webbe, Horsley, Bishop and other eminent composers'.
Vocal performers: Mrs Salmon, Miss Stephens, Miss Carew, Master Kempton, and Madame Ronzi De Begnis; Mr Vaughan, Mr Sapio, Signor De Begnis, Mr Terrail, Mr F. Novello, and Mr Bellamy.
- a printed announcement regarding the enforced withdrawal of Mr Sapio from the festival and subsequent statements outlining the alternative arrangements to be made, including the arrival of Signor Garcia as a replacement.
- a printed advertisement for the 'Historical and Critical Record of the Grand Musical Festival' to appear in The Norwich Mercury.
- a transcript of a poem by S. Lane, entitled 'The Norwich Festival'.
- a copy of a letter used by Sir George Smart in engaging players for the festival.
- a handwritten note detailing the numbers who attended the ball on 24 September.
Volume 2: 18-21 September 1827
19 September: Thomas Linley, Anthem plus selections from Handel; Haydn, Mass No. 2; and Mehul, Joseph.
20 September: Handel, The Messiah.
21 September: selections from Handel, Jephtha; Hummel, Grand Mass in E Flat and Haydn, The Creation; and Handel, Israel in Egypt.
18, 19 and 20 September: 'selected from the works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Weber, Callcott, Webbe, Horsley, Bishop and other eminent composers'.
Vocal: Madame Pasta, Miss Stephens, Miss Bacon, Miss H. Cawse, and Madame Caradori Allan; Mr Braham, Mr Vaughan, Mr Terrail, Mr Edward Taylor and Signor Zuchello
- a newspaper cutting from Norfolk Chronicle of 29 September 1827, regarding the success of the festival to date, and praising those responsible.
- a printed announcement regarding Mr Kiesewetter's enforced withdrawal from the festival and his replacement by Franz Cramer as leader and Master Blagrove as soloist.
- a printed advertisement for the Ball of 21 September, also at St Andrew's Hall.
- 3 wordbooks (with translations) for the Italian pieces to be sung during the festival.
Volume 3: 21-24 September (1830)
22 September: selections from Handel, Samson; Hummel, Grand Mass in E flat and Haydn, The Seasons; and Graun, The Crucifixion.
23 September: Handel, The Messiah.
24 September: scenes by Mozart and Handel and a selection from Haydn, The Creation; Spohr, The Last Judgement (act II; receiving its first performance in this country); and Handel, Israel in Egypt .
21, 22 and 23 September:
Vocal: Madame Malibran, Madame Stockhausen, Master Phillips, and Mrs W. Knyvett; Mr Braham, Mr Terrail, Mr Vaughan, Mr E. Taylor, and Signor DeBegnis.
The volume opens with a printed statement from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, requesting another festival for their benefit. Also:
- a copy of a letter, signed by Edward Taylor, used for engaging players for the festival.
- a printed notice regarding the ball, 23 September 1830
- a notice to performers regarding clearing their instruments.
Volume 4: 17-20 September 1833
18 September: including Sphor, The Last Judgement (act II).
19 September: Haydn, The Creation.
20 September: including the first English performance of Frederick Schneider, The Deluge and selections from Handel, Israel in Egypt.
Evening performances: 17, 18 and 19 September
Vocal: Madame Malibran, Miss H. Cawse, Miss Bruce, Master Howe and Madame De Meric; Signor Donzelli, Mr Horncastle, Mr Hobbs, Mr E. Taylor, and Mr H. Phillips
The volume begins with two printed statements from the Norfolk and Norwich hospital concerning the future of the Festival. Also,
- a copy of a letter, signed by Edward Taylor and sent to players
- a printed announcement that, 'by particular desire', Monsieur De Beriot will play a concerto at the final even concert.
- printed announcement regarding arrangements for the ball
Volume 5: 20-23 September 1836
21 September: selections from Mehul, Joseph. The third act of this performance was given over to the first English performance of an oratorio entitled Redemption. This work was 'founded upon the "Requiem" of Mozart' and 'adapted to English words for this Festival by Mr E. Taylor'.
22 September: Haydn, The Creation and H. Bishop, The Seventh Day.
23 September, Spohr, The Christian's Prayer and Handel's Israel in Egypt.
Evening performances: 20, 21 and 22 September
Principal vocal performers: Madame Caradori Allan, Miss Bruce, Miss Rainforth, Mrs A. Shaw, Miss Tipping, and Signora Assandri; Signor Ivanoff, Mr Hobbs, Mr Hawkins, Mr H. Phillips, Mr E. Taylor, and Signor Lablache.
- Spohr, Louis -
- Smart, George -
- Schneider, Frederick -
- Norwich Grand Musical Festival -
- Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus -
- Mori, Nicholas -
- Mehul, Etienne-Nicolas -
- Kiesewetter, Christoph Gottfried -
- Hummel, Johann Nepomuk -
- Haydn, Joseph -
- Handel, George Frideric -
- Cramer, Franz -
- Blagrove, Henry -
- Bishop, Henry -