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HomeSearchGetRecordNovello's Oratorio Concerts (1885-89)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Novello's Oratorio Concerts (1885-89)
Unique Identifier
Handbills for four seasons of Novello Oratorio Concerts, given at St. James’s Hall, London between 1885 and 1889. Also, analytical programmes and wordbooks for those performances in this series given on 2 March, 23 November and 14 December 1886, 1 March and 15 December 1887, 22 February and 6 December 1888 and 26 February and 19 March 1889.

The complete sequence of handbills is bound first, followed by the programmes/wordbooks. The handbills are bound in reverse chronological order within each season, with the seasons bound sequentially. For clarity, all documents are list chronologically below.

Each season consisted of six choral performances (with some purely orchestral music), including a large number of first London performances. Unless otherwise stated below, the concerts were led by J. T. Carrodus and conducted by A. C. Mackenzie. Any soloists listed are vocal performers.

With the exception of those for the first and last concerts of each season, handbills were usually double sided and provided information regarding two concerts. The spacing below reflects the grouping of the concerts across the handbills.

All programmes/wordbooks carry historical and analytical notes, with musical examples. Those for the concerts on 14 December 1886 and ??? are signed by Joseph Bennett and those for 15 December 1887 by 'C.A.B.' [Charles Ainslie Barry]. The remainder are unsigned.

Bound with each programme/wordbook is a further flyer for the concert. That for the performance of Dvorak, Stabat Mater given on 2 March 1886 includes extracts from press reviews of this work. The programme/wordbook for the concerts on 23 November 1886 and 1 March 1887 includes a complete list of the orchestral ensemble.

Information provided in square brackets below indicates additional information provided only in the programme/wordbook.

1885-6 season (3 handbills/1 wordbook)
No information is available regarding the performers at the final concert of this season. All other performances featured Madame Albani and Mr Santley.

10 November: Mackenzie, The Rose of Sharon, with Madame Trebelli and Mr Lloyd. This document includes a very brief note stating that ‘these performances will be, to some extent, a revival of the "Oratorio Concerts" given by Messrs Novello from 1869 to 1875’.

1 December: Gounod, Mors et Vita, with Madame Trebelli and Mr Lloyd.
22 December: Gounod, The Redemption, with Madame Trebelli and Mr Maas.
2 February: Mackenzie, La Belle Dame sans Merci, and Dvorak, Patriotic Hymn. Also, the first London performance of Dvorak, The Spectre’s Bride, with Mr Maas.
2 March: Dvorak, Stabat Mater. Also, the first London performances of Hermann Goetz, The Water Lily and Wagner, The Holy Supper of the Apostles. [the second part of this performance (Goetz and Wagner) was actually substituted for a miscellaneous selection. Madame Patey and Mr Lloyd.]

6 April: Liszt, St Elizabeth, with Mr Oliver King (organ). Bound with this is another handbill noting that Liszt himself had accepted an invitation to attend the performance.

1886-7 season (three handbills, missing sixth concert/3 wordbooks)
29 October: first London performance of Dvorak, Saint Ludmila, with Madame Albani, Miss Hope Glenn, Mr Lloyd and Mr Santley.

23 November: Sullivan, The Golden Legend (conducted by the composer) and the first London performance of Gounod, Messe Solennelle. Madame Albani, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd and Mr F. King.
14 December: Mackenzie, The Story of Sayid; Stanford, The Revenge (conducted by the composer); and Liszt, 13th Psalm, ‘Lord, for how long’. Madame Albani, Mr Barton McGuckin and Mr Watkin Mills [Mr Vaughan Edwardes].

1 February: Louis Spohr, Calvary, being performed in London for the first time since 1852.
1 March: F. H. Cowen, The Sleeping Beauty (conducted by the composer) and Beethoven, Choral Symphony [Mrs Hutchinson, Miss Annie Marriott, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd and Mr Watkin Mills]

1887-8 season (4 handbills/2 wordbooks)
10 November: Mackenzie, Jubilee Ode and Dvorak, The Spectre’s Bride, with Madame Albani, Mr Harper Kearton and Mr Santley, conducted by Mr Randegger.

1 December: the first London performance of Frederic H. Cowen, Ruth, with Madame Albani, Miss Hope Glenn, Mr Lloyd and Mr Watkin Mills (vocal), conducted by the composer.
15 December: John Francis Barnett, The Ancient Mariner; Stanford, Symphony in F minor (‘The Irish’); and Mendelssohn, 114th Psalm, ‘When Israel out of Egypt came’, conducted by Mr John F. Barnett, Stanford and Mr Randegger. [Miss Anna Williams, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd and Mr Santley].

22 February: Arthur Sullivan, The Golden Legend [preceded by a Concert Overtures by Oliver King, performed for the first time and conducted by the composer. Madame Nordica, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd, Mr Franklin Clive and Mr Watkin Mills].
13 March: Mackenzie, The Rose of Sharon

30 March: Gounod, Mors et Vita. This document includes a note that ‘the Chorus will consist of nearly Three Hundred carefully selected Voices, and the Orchestra will include the best Instrumentalists available’. There is also some information regarding tickets.

1888-9 season (5 handbills/3 wordbooks)
6 December: first London performance of Parry, Judith, with Miss Anna Williams, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd and Mr Plunket Greene.

18 December: Handel, Messiah, with Mrs Hutchinson, Madame Antoinette Sterling, Mr Lloyd and Mr Santley.
23 January: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Madame Nordica, Madame Patey and Mr Lloyd.

26 February: first London performances of Mackenzie, The Dream of Jubal, and Weber, ‘In Constant Order’. Also, Saint-Saens, the 19th Psalm. [Miss MacIntyre, Miss Liza Lehmann, Miss Monteith, Miss Lizzie Neal, Mr Lloyd, Mr A. Black, Mr D. Hughes, Mr L. Williams, Mr L. Huxtable and Mr Charles Fry].
19 March: first London performance of Dudley Buck, The Light of Asia, with Madame Nordica, Mr Lloyd and Mr Santley [Santley replaced by Andrew Black].

28 March: Gounod, The Redemption

9 April: Handel, Saul, with Miss Anna Williams, Madame Patey, Mr Lloyd and Mr Santley

NB: Relationship term not added: Miss Montieth (vocal)
Date range of collection
1885 - 1889
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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+44 (0)870 444
Visiting Information
Internet 24/7
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