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HomeSearchGetRecordRoyal Choral Society (1891-1986)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Royal Choral Society (1891-1986)
Unique Identifier
e.1399.b
Description
A miscellaneous collection of 59 programmes and wordbooks for concerts given by the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall, London between 1891 and 1922, held as five bound volumes.

Also, a programme book for a single performance given by the same organization at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 1986, held as a single item.

These were concerts of orchestrally-accompanied choral repertory, including a number of first performances.

As indicated below, a number of these documents include historical/analytical notes (many with musical examples) and some carry very brief handwritten annotations. All programmes include a number of musically-related advertisements.

From 1891 to 1899, the performances were accompanied by the Royal Choral Society's Professional Orchestra. They were conducted by Joseph Barnby (to 16 January 1896), Alexander Mackenzie (19 February, 12 March, 3 and 23 April 1896) and Frederick Bridge (from 29 October 1896).

Where this information is provided into the programme, the vocal soloists are listed below.

Volume 1: 1891-94 (14 performances)
The organist Mr W. Hodge is listed in respect of all these concerts. The programmes for 23 March, 2 November and 7 December 1892 and 12 April 1894 include analytical notes, with musical examples, by Joseph Bennett.
28 October 1891: Mendelssohn, Hymn of Praise and Beethoven, Ninth (Choral) Symphony, with Miss Anna Williams, Miss Margaret Hoare, Mr Iver McKay, Miss Hilda Wilson and Mr Watkin Mills. This document includes an advertisement for the next concert in the series, to be given on 18 November 1891 by Miss Macintyre, Mrs Brereton, Madame Hope Glenn, Mr Ben Davies, Mr John Probert, Mr Norman Salmond and Mr Henschel, including the first London performance of C.V. Stanford, Eden.
23 March 1892: Anton Dvorak, Requiem Mass, with Madame Nordica, Miss Hilda Wilson, Mr Iver McKay and Mr Watkin Mills (with a brief handwritten annotation).
4 May 1892: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Madame Albani, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Ben Davies and Mr Watkin Mills. Also, Miss Naomi Hardy, Miss Jeanie Rankin, Mr W. Green and Mr Stanley Smith.
2 November 1892: Anton Dvorak, Requiem Mass, with Madame Albani, Miss Hilda Wilson, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Watkin Mills. .
7 December 1892: Arthur Sullivan, The Golden Legend, with Madame Albani, Miss Clara Butt, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Edward Epstein and Mr Henschel.
18 January 1893: E.M. Smyth, Solemn Mass (first performance) and Haydn, The Creation, parts I/II, with Miss Esther Palliser, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Ben Davies and Mr Watkin Mills (with a single handwritten annotation).
19 April 1893: Mendelssohn, St. Paul, with Madame Clara Samuell, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Ben Davies, Mr John Woodley, Mr F. Stuart Hyatt and Mr Watkin Mills (with brief handwritten annotations commenting on the nature of the performance).
10 May 1893: C.V. Stanford, East to West/Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Miss Esther Palliser, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Andrew Black. Also, Miss Annie Swinfen, Madame Emlyn Jones, Mr Emlyn Jones and Mr John Woodley.
2 November 1893: Berlioz, Faust, with Madame Moran-Olden, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Robert Grice and Mr Henschel. Bound with this document is an insert stating that: ‘As a mark of respect to the memory of the late M. Ch. Gounod, the first Conductor of this Society, his “Marche Religieuse” will be performed before the commencement of the Second Part of the Concert’.
23 November 1893: Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Miss Anna Williams, Miss Margaret Hoare, Miss Clara Butt and Mr Edward Lloyd (with a single handwritten annotation, indicating the performance of an encore).
7 December 1893: Handel, Jephtha, with Mrs Henschel, Miss Margaret Hoare, Miss Agnes Janson, Miss Florence Oliver, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Norman Salmond (with a number of brief handwritten annotations commenting on the nature of the performance and indicating the inclusion of encores).
12 April 1894: A.C Mackenzie, Bethlehem (first performance), with Miss Ella Russell, Miss Marian McKenzie, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Arthur Barlow and Mr David Bispham, conducted by the composer (with some extended handwritten annotations, commenting on the work, its performance, and its reception).
26 April 1894: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Mrs Elene Eaton, Miss Clara Butt, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Andrew Black. Also, Miss Jessie Hudleston, Miss Edith Leslie, Mr Bates Maddison and Mr Charles Hinchliff.
22 November 1894: Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Miss Anna Williams, Miss Margaret Hoare, Miss Clara Butt and Mr Edward Lloyd (with handwritten annotations, indicating the performance of encores).


Volume 2: 1895–1898 (21 performances).
Programmes for the first three concerts list Mr W. Hodge as organist whilst those from 29 October 1896 list Mr H.L. Balfour in the same capacity. A number of performances of Gounod, The Redemption were given this season. The programmes for each of these begin with an introductory Commentary by the composer and carry analytical notes, with musical examples.
27 February 1895: Charles Gounod, The Redemption, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Margaret Hoare, Miss Sarah Berry, Mr Iver McKay, Mr Charles Copland and Mr Andrew Black.
21 March 1895: Henschel, Stabat Mater (first performance)/Mendelssohn, Hymn of Praise, with Mrs Henschel, Madame Albu, Miss Hilda Wilson, Miss Evelyn Ogle, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Henschel (with analytical notes, including musical examples).
12 April 1895: Handel, The Messiah, with Madame Albani, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Lloyd Chandos and Mr Santley.
31 October 1895: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Miss Macintyre, Miss Clara Butt, Mr Lloyd Chandos and Mr Santley. Also, Miss Maggie Purvis, Madame Emily Himing, Mr James A. Bovett and Mr R.E. Miles.
21 November 1895: C. Parry, Invocation to Music, An Ode in Honour of Purcell (first London performance, conducted by the composer). Also, Haydn, The Creation (Parts I and II), with Madame Albani, Mr Ben Davies and Mr Andrew Black (with a single handwritten annotation).
16 January 1896: Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Madame Henson, Miss Margaret Hoare, Miss Clara Butt and Mr Lloyd Chandos.
19 February 1896: Gounod, The Redemption, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Margaret Hoare, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Lloyd Chandos, Mr Charles Copland and Mr David Bispham. Bound with this document is an insert noting that ‘at the close of the First Part of the Concert this evening Sullivan’s Overture, “In Memoriam”, with be played in affectionate remembrance of the late Sir Joseph Barnby, the lamented conductor of this Society’.
12 March 1896: Berlioz, Faust, with Miss Ella Russell, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Douglas Powell and Mr Henschel (with handwritten annotations regarding the performance of encores).
3 April 1896: Handel, The Messiah, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Clara Butt, Mr Lloyd Chandos and Mr Santley.
23 April 1896: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Miss Ella Russell, Miss Dews, Mr Lloyd Chandos and Mr Andrew Black. Also, Miss Maggie Purvis, Miss Edmée de Dreux, Mr James A. Bovett and Mr R.E. Miles.
29 October 1896: Haydn, The Creation, with Madame Albani, Miss Maggie Purvis, Mr Iver McKay and Mr Andrew Black.
21 January 1897: Schubert, Song of Miriam/Handel, Israel in Egypt, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Maggie Purvis, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Andrew Black and Mr Watkin Mills.
3 March 1897: Gounod, The Redemption, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Maggie Purvis, Mrs Katharine Fisk, Mr Lloyd Chandos, Mr Norman Salmond and Mr Andrew Black.
25 March 1897: Spohr, The Last Judgement and C. Parry, Job (conducted by the composer), with Miss Anna Williams, Miss Ada Crossley, Mr Iver McKay, Mr Daniel Price and Mr Henschel.
6 May 1897: Grand Commemoration Concert in honour of H.M. the Queen’s Reign of 60 years, with Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Miss Muriel Foster, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Daniel Price. This concert consisted of a miscellaneous act followed by Mendelssohn, Lobgesang. The former included Eaton Faning, The Queen’s Song (conducted by the composer) and J.F. Bridge, The Flag of England (written for the occasion).
11 November 1897: Mendelssohn, Elijah, with Madame Albani, Mademoiselle Giulia Ravogli, Mr Edward Lloyd and Mr Santley. Also, Miss Teresa Blamy, Miss Muriel Foster, Mr William Fell and Mr Harry Dearth.
9 December 1897: Berlioz, Faust, with Miss Ella Russell, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Daniel Price and Mr Andrew Black.
27 January 1898: Haydn, The Creation, with Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Maggie Purvis, Mr Ben Davies and Mr Andrew Black.
23 February 1898: Gounod, The Redemption with Miss Ella Russell, Miss Maggie Purvis, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Brozel, Mr Daniel Price and Mr Watkin Mills.
16 March 1898: Beethoven, Ruins of Athens/Franco Leoni, The Gate of Life (first performance, conducted by the composer), with Miss Esther Palliser, Mr Ben Davies and Mr Andrew Black (with historical and analytical, including musical examples).
The volume concludes with an undated wordbook for Barnby, The Lord is King and Mancinelli, Isaias. This carries some handwritten indication of the performers, namely Madame Nordica, Lena Little, Lucas Williams, Barton McGuckin and Alec Marsh.


Volume 3: 1899–1900 (11 performances)
No information is provided regarding the conductor for the 1899 concerts.
2 January 1899: Handel, The Messiah. This document includes two copies of a set of historical notes entitled ‘Memorandum on the performance of this Work, by the Royal Choral Society, at the Royal Albert Hall, on 2nd January, 1899’.
9 March 1899: Wagner Concert, including ‘The Holy Supper of the Apostles’ (first London performance), Prelude and Part of Act I from Parisfal, and Act III of Tannhäuser, with Miss Helen Jaxon, Miss Ella Russell, Mr E. Branscombe, Mr Harry Dearth, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Daniel Price and Mr Alec Marsh (with brief historical notes on the opening piece).
9 November 1899: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
7 December 1899: J.F. Bridge, Ballad of the Clampherdown and A. Sullivan, The Golden Legend (with analytical notes, including musical examples, by Joseph Bennett).
1 January 1890: Handel, The Messiah.
25 January 1900: Mendelssohn, St. Paul (with handwritten annotations which would appear to concern the performers for the concert).
28 February 1900: Gounod, The Redemption (with an introductory Commentary by the composer and analytical notes, including musical examples).
22 March 1900: S. Coleridge-Taylor, Song of Hiawatha, of which the final song (Hiawatha’s Departure) was given for the first time (with analytical notes, including musical examples, by Joseph Bennett (songs 1 and 2) and A. E. Jaeger (song 3)).
13 April 1900: Handel, The Messiah.
3 May 1900: Wagner Concert, including the Prelude and Act I of Lohengrin and extended selections from The Flying Dutchman, with Mr Joseph O’Mara, Mr W. Llewellyn, Mr Andrew Black, Mr Dan Price, Miss Esther Palliser and Miss Sarah Berry (with brief notes on the operas from which these extracts are taken).
8 November 1900: Mendelssohn, Elijah. Bound with this document is a flier for a performance of Handel, Judas Maccabaeus, to be given on 6 December 1900 by Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Maggie Purvis, Madame Belle Cole, Mr Charles Saunders, Mr William Fell and Mr Watkin Mills (vocal), with H.L Balfour (organ).


Volume 4: 1901–1907 (10 performances)
1 January 1901: Handel, The Messiah.
20 February 1901: H.W. Parker, Hora Novissima and Beethoven, Ninth (Choral) Symphony.
26 February 1901: S. Coleridge-Taylor, Songs of Hiawatha (with analytical notes, including musical examples, by Joseph Bennett (songs 1 and 2) and A. E. Jaeger (song 3)).
14 March 1901: Handel, Israel in Egypt.
25 April 1901: Mendelssohn, First Walpurgis Night and Hymn of Praise (with a brief historical introduction to the first piece).
23 January 1902: S. Coleridge-Taylor, The Blind Girl of Castél Cuillé and Handel, L’Allegro (selections). Both of these pieces were receiving their first performance by the Royal Choral Society.
6 March 1902: Dvorak, The Spectre’s Bridge and Mendelssohn, The First Walpurgis Night (with historical and analytical notes, including musical examples).
30 April 1903: C. Parry, War and Peace, a symphonic ode composed for the Society and being performed for the first time, conducted by the composer. Also, Mendelssohn, Hymn of Praise (with historical and analytical notes, including musical examples).
28 January 1904: C. Parry, War and Peace (conducted by the composer) and Bridge, Callirhoë (with historical and analytical notes, including musical examples).
24 January 1907: Handel, Alexander’s Feast and Parry, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Both of these works were receiving their first performance by the Royal Choral Society.


Volume 5: 1912, 1918 and 1922 (3 performances)
Each of the documents in this volume includes a list of the orchestral ensemble, led by A.W. Payne with Mr H.L. Balfour (organ).
28 November 1912: Elgar, The Music Makers (first London performance) and Caractacus, with Miss Muriel Foster, Miss Alice Wilna, Mr Alfred Heather, Mr Graham Smart and Mr Julien Henry. The documentation for this concert also includes a handbill-type programme.
23 November 1918: A. Sullivan, The Golden Legend; Wood, Dirge for Two Veterans (conducted by the composer); and Parry, Blest Pair of Sirens, with Miss Carrie Tubb, Miss Olga Haley, Mr Alfred Heather, Mr Edward Halland and Mr Joseph Farrington.
4 March 1922: Miscellaneous concert, including Vaughan Williams, The Wasps – Orchestral Suite (conducted by the composer), with Miss Carrie Tubb, Mr Parry Jones and Mr Robert Radford.


Volume 6: 1986 (single performance)
A souvenir programme for a performance of Bruckner, Te Deum and Mendelssohn, Hymn of Praise, given at the Royal Festival Hall on 17 November 1986 by Gilah Yaron and Julie Kennard (soprano), Yvonne Howard (mezzo), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) and Matthew Best (bass), accompanied by John Birch (organ) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Laszlo Heltay. This document includes lists of the patrons of the Royal Choral Society, a historical note on the Society (by Michael Heyland), biographical notes on the performers (with photographs), and a complete list of the members of the Royal Choral Society. There are also historical and analytical programme notes by Felix Aprahamian.
Format
Date range of collection
1891 - 1986
Accumulation Dates
-
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library, Music Collections
96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
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Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
closed
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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