‘A Period of Orchestral Destitution’?: Symphonic Performance in London, 1795–1813
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2011
The founding of the Philharmonic Society in 1813 has traditionally been seen to represent a significant milestone in the development of English concert life, standard musicology holding that the Society emerged from a period of orchestral inactivity in London stretching back to the departure of Haydn from the city some eighteen years earlier. Tracing the origins of these claims to the writings of the Society's founders and early historians, this article will attempt to reassess the validity of this ‘myth’ surrounding the Philharmonic. Offering a detailed examination of certain previously under-explored elements of turn-of-the-century London concert culture it will illustrate that, although the Philharmonic clearly did provide a prominent new institutional focus for the performance of symphonic repertory after 1813, concert series prior to that point can no longer be assumed to have been entirely devoid of orchestral music.
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1 The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review (QMMR) notes that ‘Messrs. J. Cramer, Corri and Dance, met at the house of the latter, and agreed to invite, at a subsequent meeting, the attention of the profession to so excellent a purpose’ ( ‘The Philharmonic Society’, QMMR, i, 342)Google Scholar . Later historians have claimed that Franz Cramer and Charles Neate were also present. See Foster, Myles Birket, The History of the Philharmonic Society of London: 1813–1912 (London, 1912), 4Google Scholar . In the most recent study of the Philharmonic, Cyril Ehrlich augments the list still further with the suggestion that William Ayrton may even have been involved . Ehrlich, , First Philharmonic: A History of the Royal Philharmonic Society (Oxford, 1995), 3Google Scholar.
2 Ehrlich notes that this second meeting ‘resulted in thirty signatures to a manifesto which proclaimed the “title of the Philharmonic Society”, and declared strict obedience to its laws’. Ibid., 3. A record of those in attendance is preserved in the Foundation Book of the Society as the list of the thirty original ‘members’ of the Philharmonic. See London, British Library [LbI] RPS MS 272.
3 ‘First Prospectus of the Philharmonic Society’, reproduced in Foster, History of the Philharmonic, 4.
4 Ibid., 4. The Philharmonic Society in fact had strict guidelines as to what constituted ‘approved instrumental music’, claiming that this repertory consisted of ‘Full Pieces, Concertantes for not less than three principal instruments, Sestetts, Quintetts and Trios; excluding Concertos, Solos and Duets’. Furthermore, the ‘First Prospectus’ concludes with the instruction that ‘vocal music, when introduced, shall have full orchestral accompaniments, and shall be subjected to the same restrictions’.
5 For a full explanation of the ranks of ‘member’, ‘associate’, and ‘subscriber’ see Ehrlich, , First Philharmonic, 8–14Google Scholar . On Clementi’s involvement with the Philharmonic see McVeigh, Simon, ‘Clementi, Viotti and the London Philharmonic Society’in Muzio Clementi: Studies and Prospectus, ed. Illiano, R., Sala, L. and Sala, M. (Bologna, 2002), 67–80Google Scholar.
6 On the Philharmonic Society see Hogarth, George, The Philharmonic Society of London: from its foundation, 1813, to its fiftieth year, 1862 (London, 1862)Google Scholar and Foster, The History of the Philharmonic. For more recent studies see Elkin, Robert, Royal Philharmonic: The Annals of the Royal Philharmonic Society (London, 1946)Google Scholar and Ehrlich, First Philharmonic. The largest collection of primary source material relating to the Society is that recently purchased by the British Library, London and now held at LbI RPS MS 272–471.
7 This would appear to be a misprint, the intended reference presumably being to a performance of the ‘Chaconne’ by Jommelli and a ‘March’ by Haydn.
8 ‘Programme for the Inaugural Concert of the Philharmonic Society’, Lbl K.6.d.3.
12 ‘The Philharmonic Society’, 342.
15 Ehrlich, , First Philharmonic, 1–2Google Scholar . McVeigh's work on the benefit concert also begins to highlight the importance of the more individually organized musical performances, stressing the need for a move away from the current methodological focus on musical institutions. McVeigh, ‘The Benefit Concert in Nineteenth-century London: From “tax on the nobility” to “monstrous nuisance”’, in Nineteenth-Century British Music Studies, 1, ed. Zon, Bennett (Aldershot, 1999): 242–66Google Scholar.
16 Although little work has yet been done on the general principles of programme construction during this period, or on the study of programmes as complete units, it would seem that, by the final decades of the eighteenth century, a fairly standard pattern had emerged for the arrangement of so-called ‘miscellaneous’ performances. To be found at many of the major public concert institutions of the period, including the Bach-Abel, the Professional, and the Haydn-Salomon series, this involved a strict alternation of vocal and instrumental works within the main body of the performance structure, the beginning and end of each act being marked by a ‘full piece’ generally referred to as an ‘overture’ or a ‘symphony’. For the encouragement to consider such issues the present author is grateful to Professor William Weber, some of whose own ideas on the topic are included in ‘Miscellany vs. Homogeneity: Concert Programmes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in the 1880s’, Music and British Culture, 1785–1914: Essays in Honour of Cyril Ehrlich, ed. Bashford, C. and Langley, L. (Oxford, 2000), 299–320Google Scholar.
17 It is important to establish at this stage the sorts of pieces to be considered to represent ‘symphonic’ or ‘orchestral’ works in this context, noting in particular the interchangeability of the terms ‘overture’, ‘symphony’ and ‘finale’ in the musical vocabulary of this period. Although the first of these labels was frequently used (as is currently the case) to refer to single-movement instrumental pieces, often derived from operatic or theatrical entertainments, the term ‘overture’ also appeared with some regularity as a description of works that would now be referred to as symphonies. The term ‘finale’ was also widely used to describe purely instrumental compositions, usually denoting items similar to the single-movement overture but renaming them to reflect their position in the complete concert programme.
19 ‘Memoirs of the Metropolitan Concerts III’, Harmonicon, xiv (1831), 186–7Google Scholar . For a summary of the events at the King's Theatre opera house during these years see Price, Curtis, Milhous, Judith and Hume, Robert D., ‘Fire and Rebuilding, 1789–1791’, in Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778–91 (Oxford, 1995), 540–74Google Scholar.
20 ‘Memoirs of the Metropolitan Concerts’, 186.
21 The Harmonicon notes that during the earliest seasons of the Vocal Concerts, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, and Bartleman were the solo singers, assisted in the glees, of which the principal part of the concert consisted, by Mr. Knyvett, junior, Master W. Knyvett and a few others’. Ibid., 187. Although examples of the inclusion of Italian operatic repertory can be found (and attempts to ensure the continued ‘exclusivity’ of this particular series traced) it might be suggested that the Vocal Concerts – founded and run almost entirely by native professional musicians – formed an early manifestation of the increasingly vehement reaction by English composers and performers to the dangerously oppressive dominance of Italian musical culture in this country. Such a scenario remains in need of rather more detailed consideration than can be given here, but it is interesting to note that a similar reaction to the culture of the King's Theatre can be seen in both the growing emphasis on English vocal music within networks of benefit concerts (to be discussed in more detail below), and in the insistence on Austro-Germanic instrumental repertory displayed at the Philharmonic.
23 Ibid., 187. On the Leander brothers see Highfill, Philip, Burnim, Kalman A. and Langhans, Edward A., A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Taylor: ‘A Period of Orchestral Destitution’? Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660–1800 (Carbondale, 1973–1993), ix, 181–2Google Scholar.
25 ‘Memoirs of the Metropolitan Concerts’, 187. This claim is actually slightly problematic in that the Harmonicon article from which it is taken claims that the Vocal Concerts came to an end at the close of the 1794 season. Newspaper reports in the Morning Chronicle, however, provide a clear indication that they in fact persisted for one further year. See Morning Chronicle, 2, 11, 18 and 24 Feb.; 4, 12 and 19 Mar.; and 15 and 22 Apr. 1795.
26 Morning Chronicle, 7 Feb. 1801.
27 Concerts were generally given on Friday evenings throughout this period, the series typically beginning early in February and coming to a close towards the end of April.
28 After increasingly frequent interruptions, the final series of these concerts was given in 1821.
29 Morning Chronicle, 25 Feb. 1801.
30 Morning Chronicle, 7 Feb. 1801, from which the remaining quotations in this and the next paragraph are also taken.
31 On the Cramer family see New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd rev. edn (London, 2001), vi, 640–45Google Scholar.
33 Smart also became leader of the orchestra at the Lyceum theatre in 1809 and at Drury Lane from its re-opening in 1812.
34 Shield was initially employed at the King's Theatre in 1772 as a rank-and-file second violinist but was promoted to principal viola only one season later. He held that position for eighteen years, remaining even after having replaced Michael Arne as house composer at Covent Garden late in 1784. Lindley replaced John Sperati as principal cellist at the King's Theatre in 1794, simultaneously acquiring a similar position at all the major London concert series. On Shield and Lindley see New Grove, xxiii, 262–5 and xiv, 718.
35 Basic biographical information on Bridgetower can be found in New Grove, iv, 350–51. More detailed studies of his intriguing professional career include Edwards, F.G., ‘George P. Bridgetower and the Kreutzer Sonata’, Musical Times, xlix (1908): 302–8Google Scholar ; Matthews, Betty, ‘George Polgreen Bridgtower’, Music Review, xxix (1968): 22–6Google Scholar ; and Wright, Josephine R.B., ‘George Polgreen Bridgetower: An African Prodigy in England, 1789–99’, Musical Quarterly, lxvi (1980): 65–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
36 Although Charles Lindley would in fact appear to have been known primarily as a viola player the programme for the first Vocal Concert of the 1803 season lists him clearly as a cellist. This programme will be discussed in more detail below. On C. Lindley see Highfill, , Biographical Dictionary, ix, 299–300Google Scholar.
38 New Grove (xv, 124) describes this series of performances as constituting ‘a pivotal event in London's musical life, which celebrated Handel's supposed centenary through an elaborate festival at Westminster Abbey and the Pantheon’. On these, and the subsequent Handel Commemoration series of 1785–87 and 1790–91 see McVeigh, , Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn (Cambridge, 1993), 24–7Google Scholar.
39 On James Holmes and William Lyon see Highfill, , Biographical Dictionary, vii, 394 and ix, 391–2Google Scholar.
40 On Griesbach see Ibid., vi, 359–60. On Foster see Matthews, Betty, The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain: Lists of Members 1783–1984 (London, 1983), 55Google Scholar and Highfill, , Biographical Dictionary, v, 371–2Google Scholar . Highfill actually refers to a William Forster but this would appear to be the musician in question here.
41 It should be noted that Mr Saust, about whom little biographical information has so far been uncovered, was listed alongside Mr Foster, who apparently performed on both the oboe and the flute. On John Mahon and James Oliver see Ibid., x, 56–7 and xi, 112.
42 ‘Harrison, Bartleman and Greatorex's Vocal Concert, Friday February 18, 1803’. This programme is now held at Lbl 7900. ff.40.
45 Works by Handel were given at the first (‘Overture to Ariadne’, 27 February) and third (‘Overture and Chorus “O the Pleasures of the Plains”’, 13 March) concerts of 1801, the first concert of 1802 (‘Overture and Chorus “O the Pleasures of the Plain”’, 19 February) and the first concert of 1803 (‘Overture to the Occasional Oratorio’, 18 February). Two works by this composer were also included in the first performance of 1804 (‘Overture to the Occasional Oratorio’ and ‘Overture and Chorus “O the pleasures of the plains”’, 17 February).
46 This piece, largely referred to as the ‘Overture to Zauberfloote’, was included at the second concert of 1801 (6 March) as well as at the first performances of both the 1802 (19 February) and 1803 (18 February) seasons.
47 Described simply as a ‘Grand Symphony’, this piece appeared at the first concert of the 1805 season (15 February). The information in this section is based on extan programmes for the first three concerts of the 1801 season (27 February, 6 and 13 March) as well as for the first concert of each of the next five seasons. These performances were given on 19 February 1802, 18 February 1803, 17 February 1804, 15 February 1805, and 14 February 1806.
48 The retention of terms such as ‘overture’ and ‘finale’ for these pieces is of course not coincidental, such constructional principles being derived from the standard divisions of opera performance.
49 ‘Memoirs of the Metropolitan Concerts’, 186.
50 New Grove, xv, 124. On the origins and organizational structure of the Ancient Concerts see McVeigh, , Concert Life, 22–4Google Scholar . For a fuller discussion of the more fundamental social and ideological concerns underpinning the founding of this institution, and for a re-evaluation of the claim that the repertory at the Ancient Concerts was essentially regressive, see Weber, William, The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England: a Study in Canon, Ritual and Ideology (Oxford, 1992)Google Scholar.
51 Robert Elkin has suggested that this ‘New Grand Sinfonie’ may have been the Eroica symphony. He offers little evidence in support of his claim, however, and, with that work not having been given its first continental performance until 7 April 1805 and not being published in London until October 1806, this suggestion remains decidedly problematic. Elkin, Robert, The Old Concert Rooms of London (London, 1955), 99Google Scholar.
52 The Times, 12 Feb. 1806.
53 The Times, 3 Feb. 1806. Although this same advertisement does actually contain a more detailed reference to the ensemble for the 1806 season, the fact that only the principal string players are listed makes it largely impossible to comment on the exact extent of the promised expansion. Particularly significant, however, is the inclusion of Domenico Dragonetti as ‘principal double bass’. The make-up of the remainder of the orchestra would appear to have been altered only by the introduction of the flautist Mr Weidner and by the fact that Foster was thus left free to perform solely on the oboe.
54 See Temperley, Nicholas, ‘Beethoven in London Concert Life, 1800–1850’, Music Review, xxi (1960), 207–14Google Scholar . Although this article remains invaluable in establishing that a ‘New Grand Sinfonie for Full Band’ by Beethoven was performed at the Vocal Concert series as early 1806, it is important to note that there appears to be an error in the exact date given for this performance. Temperley in fact identifies two appearances of Beethoven works of this title during the 1806 season, claiming the first of these to have occurred on 14 February as part of Mr Harrison's benefit performance and the second to have taken place on 2 May at the start of the second act of a Vocal Concert. Re-examination of the newspaper sources reveals that these concerts actually took place the other way around, the Vocal performance being given on 14 February (as stated in the body of the text above) and Mr Harrison's benefit night taking place on 2 May.
55 Numerous scholars have in fact noted the essentially miscellaneous nature of the Vocal Concerts but have failed to uncover the materials necessary for any detailed examination of the actual make-up of the performances given there. David Warren Hadley, for example, has noted that ‘the extant material for a study of the Vocal Concerts appears to be rather limited’, claiming that he ‘possesses no more than two programmes for any one season, no list of subscribers, and very little manuscript material bearing on their history’. Hadley, David Warren, ‘The Growth of London Musical Society in the Early Nineteenth Century: Studies in the History of a Profession, 1800–1824’, Ph.D. diss. (Harvard University, 1972), 329Google Scholar.
56 Although many newspapers do provide reminders about the time and place of these Vocal Concerts it would appear that the large number of relatively short pieces used to make up the body of these performances resulted in programmes that were simply too long to reproduce in standard front-page advertisement form. The lack of media attention may also be aligned with the previously cited attempts to distance these concerts from the fashionable nature of much musical activity in the city, particularly that associated with the King's Theatre. Such a claim is supported by extant subscription lists for the Vocal Concerts which reveal that existence of a notably less aristocratic clientele for these performances. See Oxford, Bodleian Library [Ob] 17405 d.7 (16 and 39), 17405 d. 8 (19 and 57) and 17405 d.9 (13 and 33) for information concerning the 1807 and 1809–13 seasons.
57 The relevant volumes of this collection are held at Ob 17405 d.6–9. Having made his first appearance in a concerto of his own composition at the second concert of the 1792 Haydn–Salomon series (24 February), Ashe quickly established himself as the reigning first flute in London, appearing at the King's Theatre and, later, at the Philharmonic Society. See New Grove, ii, 105 and Highfill, , Biographical Dictionary, i, 134–6Google Scholar.
58 Numerous examples of this sort of vocal connection can be witnessed in the programmes inserted throughout this article. These include particularly popular works such as the ‘Overture and Chorus “O the Pleasures of the Plains”’ and the ‘Overture and Dead March in Saul’.
59 Martini's ‘Grand Overture and March (7th)’ was performed at the ninth concert of the 1809 season (28 April) whilst his ‘Grand Overture to Henry the Fourth’ was included in the second concert of 1810 (2 March), the ninth of 1811 (3 May) and the eighth of 1812 (24 April).
60 The ‘Overture, Chaconne, and Requiem’ by Jommelli appeared at the eighth concert of 1810 (13 April), the first concert of 1811 (22 February) and the eighth performance of 1813 (30 April).
61 A ‘New Grand Overture’ by Cherubini was performed at the third concert of 1807 (27 February) whilst the ‘New Grand Overture to Faniska’ was given at the eighth performance of the same season (17 April).
62 The ‘Grand Overture to Zaira’ by Winter was included at the seventh concert of the 1810 season (6 April) whilst a ‘New Grand Sinfonie’ by Woelfl was given at the eighth performance of the following year (26 April 1811). Prior to this, a ‘New Grand Sinfonie’ by Bianchi had been included at the final concert of the 1809 season (28 April).
63 A ‘New Grand Overture (MS.)’ by Bishop was given at the ninth concert of 1810 (27 April) and a ‘New Overture (never performed)’ by Burrowes at the third concert of 1811 (8 March).
64 Ob 17405 d.8 (14).
65 Works by Haydn appeared at the second (‘Grand Sinfonie’, 20 February), fourth (‘Grand Sinfonie (Roxolana)’, 6 March) and ninth (‘Grand Overture’, 24 April) concerts of 1807. The composer was also featured at the second (‘Favorite Grand Sinfonie’, 24 February), fifth (‘Grand Sinfonie’, 17 March) and eighth (‘Favourite Overture in D’, 21 April) concerts of 1809, and at the second and fourth performances of 1810 (2 and 16 March, both ‘Grand Sinfonie’).
66 A ‘Grand Sinfonie’ was performed at the sixth concert of the 1811 season, given on the 29 March.
67 See in particular Cowgill, Rachel, ‘“Wise Men from the East”: Mozart's Operas and their Advocates in Early Nineteenth-Century London’, Music and British Culture, ed. Bashford, and Langley, , 39–64Google Scholar.
68 The work was performed at the sixth concert of 1807 (20 March), the fourth of 1809 (10 March) and at the sixth performance of 1810 (30 March). It was also given at the opening concerts of both the 1812 (21 February) and 1813 (26 February) seasons.
69 The unidentified ‘overture’ was given at the seventh concert of 1809 (14 April) whilst that to ‘Figaro’ was given at the third performance of 1813 (12 March).
70 Works of this description appeared at the first concert of 1810 (23 February), the fifth concert of 1812 (20 March) and the ninth concert of 1813 (7 May).
71 13 February and 13 March 1807.
72 17 February and 3 March 1809.
73 9 March 1810 and 19 March 1813.
74 Ob 17405 d.7 (23).
75 Extremely popular at the Vocal Concerts during this period, this piece may have been based on Handel's G minor Suite HWV 452, published in London in 1770 as ‘A Favourite Lesson’. Apart from a few glees, Greatorex published little original music. He was highly esteemed for his arrangements, however, and for his additional accompaniments to a number of pieces performed at both the Ancient and the Vocal Concerts.
76 Ob 17405 d.8 (42). This piece, the op. 80 ‘Choral Fantasy’, was actually to have been performed at the first concert of the series but was ‘postponed to Friday next, Mr. Bomtempo being indisposed’. See Ob 17405 d.8 (40). On Bomtempo, see New Grove, iii, 844–5.
77 Morning Chronicle, 6 Feb. 1811.
79 Cramer was replaced as leader by Charles Weichsel at the start of the 1806 season. See Morning Chronicle, 5 Feb. 1806.
80 Indeed, as noted above, Cramer is consistently cited as being among those thought to have attended the initial meeting of 24 January 1813.
81 15 March and 31 May 1813.
82 Cramer played first violin in string quartets by Mozart during the concerts of 8 March and 31 May, and second violin in a quintet by Beethoven on 3 May of the same year.
83 15 March 1813.
84 29 April 1816.
85 13 April 1818.
86 30 April 1821, 25 February and 15 April 1822, and 17 March and 2 June 1823.
87 Lindley played in a quartet by Mozart and a quintet by Boccherini at the first concert (8 March), a quartet by Haydn and a ‘Concertante for Violin, Tenor, Oboe and Violoncello’ by Bach at the second (15 March) and in the Beethoven Septet at the third performance of the 1813 season (19 April). During the fourth concert (3 May) he took part in both a Beethoven quintet and a ‘Concertante for Violin, Violoncello, Oboe and Bassoon’ by Haydn. Lindley's name is also included among those performing quartets by Mozart and Haydn at the sixth concert (31 May), by Beethoven at the seventh (14 June) and by Romberg and Haydn at the eighth performances of the same year (21 June).
88 This claim has been carefully worded to reflect the nature of both the source material being used here and the conclusions that it is possible to draw from it. It should be remembered throughout the ensuing discussion that, although the Account Book of the Philharmonic Society (Lbl RPS MS 299) has been used as a means by which to balance the rather limited nature of the evidence provided by the programmes themselves (these listing only the solo or chamber-music players in each concert and not the rank-and-file orchestral members) neither of these documents provides an entirely comprehensive list of those involved in the Philharmonic performances during any one season. Whilst it is possible to make positive connections with some certainty, therefore, the inability to do so should not necessarily be taken as indication that the performer in question was entirely uninvolved.
89 Bridgetower played first violin in a string quintet by Beethoven at the fourth concert (3 May) of 1813 as well as second violin in a Mozart string quartet at the sixth performance of the same season (31 May). Griesbach appeared in the ‘Notturno for Wind Instruments’ by Mozart and the ‘Concertante for Violin, Tenor, Oboe and Violoncello’ by Bach included in the second concert (15 March) of 1813, and in the ‘Concertante for Violin, Violoncello, Oboe and Bassoon’ by Haydn and the ‘Full Piece for Pianoforte, Wood Wind and Horns’ attributed to Cramer–Mozart, included in the fourth (3 May) and sixth (31 May) concerts of the same year. Holmes, meanwhile, played in a performance of the Beethoven Septet given at the third concert (19 April) and in the ‘Concertante for Violin, Violoncello, Oboe and Bassoon’ by Haydn given at the fourth performance (3 May) of the 1813 season.
90 Reeve played second violin in a string quartet by Haydn at the concert given on 24 February 1817, appearing in the same capacity at the concert of 25 May 1818. Lyon's name first appears in connection with a performance of the Beethoven Septet given on 11 March 1816. He then appeared frequently as a chamber-music performer throughout the remainder of the first decade of the Society's existence.
91 In fact, the Account Book lists both of the Leander brothers for the 1815 season only. An entry for ‘Leander’ can be found for the years 1813–14 and 1819–22, however, whilst it would appear that one of the pair also performed in a ‘Septett (MS) for Clarinet, Strings and 2 horns’ by M.J. Baermann given on 26 April 1819, the other horn part for which was taken by ‘C. Tully’.
92 Charles Lindley is listed in the Account Book for the seasons 1819–22, having become an associate of the Society by at least the previous year.
93 The only reference to Mr Ling (flute) is in George Smart's list of ‘Orchestral Performers, 1813–60’. As a result it is impossible to ascertain the exact dates of his appearances at the Philharmonic. See The Philharmonic Society: Lists of the Subscribers, Members and Associates, with remarks on the Concerts etc etc.. (Lbl Add MS 41779).
94 Weidner's name appears only in connection with the 1805 series of Vocal Concerts. Although there would appear to be very little biographical information with which to support the claim that his presence in London was only fleeting, it is surely significant that his name is not to be found in the listings for this, or any other major concert series, during the subsequent seasons.
95 Such a suggestion is considerably strengthened by the realization that the Phil-harmonic's Account Book, the most useful source in tracing the rank-and-file players at the Society's concerts, is left mysteriously blank for the seasons 1816–18.
96 On Weichsel see New Grove, xxvii and Highfill, , Biographical Dictionary, xv, 332–4Google Scholar.
97 Weichsel is listed as leader for the concerts of 26 February, 29 April and 10 June of the 1816 season, during the second of which he also appeared as the first violinist in a Haydn string quartet. Other chamber music appearances of this season include the concerts of 11 March (first violin in a string quartet by Haydn and in the Beethoven Septet) and 13 May (violin in an ‘Octett for Pianoforte, Strings, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn’ by F. Ries). Weichsel continued to appear in both of these capacities throughout the remainder of the first decade of Philharmonic performances.
98 See Morning Chronicle, 29 Jan. 1805.
100 Moralt appeared as a violinist in a Mozart string quartet during the first concert of the season (8 March). He also performed on the viola in string quartets by Mozart (31 May), Beethoven (14 June) and Romberg (21 June) as well as in a string quintet by Beethoven (3 May).
101 Robert Lindley remained principal cellist at the Vocal Concerts across the period currently under discussion.
102 First appearing at the Vocal Concerts in 1807, Mountain is listed by Foster as being one of the orchestral players at the Philharmonic for the 1813 season, as well as by the programme for the concert of 19 April of that year as taking the viola part in a string quintet by Romberg. Dragonetti, meanwhile, made a much-heralded first appearance at the Society during the 1816 season, ten years after his initial citation at the Vocal series. During this year he took part in a ‘Quintett (MS.) for Pfte., Vln., Viola, ‘Cello and Double Bass’ by Klengel (26 February) and in a performance of the Beethoven Septet (11 March). At the sixth concert of the same season (13 May) he appeared in both an ‘Octett (MS.) for Pianoforte, Strings, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn’ by Ferdinand Ries and a ‘Quintett for ‘Cello, two Violins, Viola and Double Bass’ by Baudiot.
103 Noted by Foster as an orchestral player for the 1813 season, Ashe also appeared in a ‘Full Piece for Pianoforte, Wood Wind and Horns’ attributed to ‘Cramer–Mozart’ given at the concert given on 31 May of that year.
104 Already noted to have been one of the orchestral members when the Vocal Concerts were re-founded in 1801, Griesbach was replaced at some point between the end of the 1803 season and the beginning of the 1806 performances. Sharp meanwhile is first cited in the list of orchestral members for the 1812 season.
105 Details have already been given of Griesbach's involvement with the Philharmonic (n.89). Sharp is listed by Foster as an orchestral player in 1813, and by the society's Accounts Book as such for the seasons 1814–15 and 1819–22. During the 1813 season he also performed in the ‘Notturno for Wind Instruments’ by Mozart (15 March) and ‘Full Piece for Pianoforte, Wood Wind and Horns’ by Mozart–Cramer (31 May).
106 During the 1813 season Mahon performed in a ‘Serenade for Wind Instruments’ by Mozart (8 March), a ‘Notturno for Wind Instruments’ by the same composer (15 March) and a ‘Full Piece for Pianoforte, Wood Wind and Horns’ by Cramer–Mozart (31 May). His companion at the Vocal Concerts, James Oliver, also appeared frequently at the Philharmonic concerts, being recorded in the Account Book for seasons 1813–15 and being listed as performing in all of the chamber works cited in connection with Mahon.
107 First employed by the Vocal Concerts in 1812, Tully performed in precisely those works involving the clarinettists Mahon and Oliver during the 1813 season at the Philharmonic.
108 None of the last three named performers is listed as a soloist or chamber-music performer at the Philharmonic. Their attendance is attested to, therefore, by their continued appearance in the Society's Account Book.
109 Of these, it is significant to note the prominent role played by the Petrides brothers. Whilst both of these performers appeared in the ‘Serenade’ (8 March) and ‘Notturno’ (15 March) for wind instruments by Mozart, as well as in the ‘Full Piece for Pianoforte, Wood Wind and Horns’ attributed to Cramer–Mozart (31 May) during the 1813 season, one of the pair also played in the performance of the Beethoven Septet given on 19 April of the same year.
110 Harrison did in fact offer benefit concerts prior to 1801, many of which strongly resemble the early nineteenth-century performances to be discussed here. Nonetheless, this study will restrict its detailed examination to those concerts given during the years in which Harrison was also involved in the running of the Vocal series.
111 Handel's ‘Overture to Saul, with the Organ Movement’ was given at the concert on 7 May 1802 whilst the ‘Overture and Chorus “O the Pleasures of the Plains”’ was included at the performances of 6 May 1803, 11 May 1804 and 2 May 1806. The ‘First Movement of the Overture to Saul’ appeared again on 3 May 1805 whilst the ‘Overture to Berenice’ was given on 1 May 1807 and the ‘First Movement of the Overture to Atalanta’ on 4 May 1810.
112 8 May 1801, 7 May 1802 and 6 May 1803.
113 This piece was included at the concerts of 1 May 1807 (‘Grand Overture to the Opera of Don Juan (never performed in this kingdom) – Mozart’) and 8 May 1812 (‘Grand Overture to Don Juan’). To judge from the programme held at Ob 17405 d. 9 (15.), however, the second of these performances may have been subject to a last-minute alteration, the work being replaced by the rather more popular ‘Grand Overture to Zauberflöte’.
114 11 May 1804 (New Grand Sinfonia), 2 May 1806 (New Grand Sinfonie for Full Band), and 5 May 1809 (Grand Overture (MS)).
115 Temperley, ‘Beethoven in London Concert Life’, 208. With this performance coming even earlier than the previously cited 1806 Beethoven performance at the Vocal Concerts it is interesting to speculate as to whether Harrison used his benefit concerts as test-ground for pieces, prior to introducing them in more mainstream ‘public’ concerts.
116 The Times, 8 May 1804.
117 6 May 1808.
118 4 May 1810.
119 Programmes have so far been found for the years 1802–04, 1806–07, 1809–11 and 1813.
120 21 May 1802 (‘Overture and Chorus “O the Pleasures of the Plains”’), 23 May 1803 (‘Overture to Hercules’) and 24 May 1811 (‘Overture and Chorus “O come let us sing unto the Lord”’).
121 The ‘Grand Overture to Iphigenia’ was given on both 1 June 1804 and 14 May 1813.
122 The ‘Overture, Chaconne and Requiem’ by Jommelli was performed at the concert on 24 May 1811.
123 21 May 1802 (‘Grand Overture (MS.), composed for the Professional Concert’).
124 1 June 1804 (‘Grand Overture’).
125 A ‘Celebrated Grand Sinfonie’ by Beethoven was included on 20 May 1807 whilst the ‘Grand Overture to Zauberflöte’ by Mozart appeared on 18 May 1810.
126 The ‘Selection from Milton's Morning Hymn, the Music by Galliard, with an Overture and Accompaniments by Dr. Cooke’ appeared at the concert of 14 May 1813.
127 A ‘New Grand Symphony – Woelfl’ was promised in the advertisement for Bartleman's benefit attached to the programme of that of Mr Harrison's concert of the same year (2 May 1806, Ob 17405 d.6 (40.)). A slightly later advertisement in the Morning Chronicle of 14 May, however, reveals that this piece may in fact have been replaced with the ‘First Movement of Grand Te Deum – Graun’ by the time the concert was actually given on 16 May 1806. A ‘New Grand Sinfonie (MS.)’ by Bianchi was performed on 26 May 1809.
128 Programmes have so far been found for the years 1803–11 and 1813.
129 10 May 1805 and 13 May 1808.
130 30 April 1804.
131 Ob 17405 d. 7 (45.). This concert was held at the New Rooms, Hanover Square.
132 17 May 1811. The intervening Beethoven performance (Grand Symphony) was given on 12 May 1809.
133 9 May 1806.
134 12 May 1809 and 21 May 1813.
135 9 May 1803 and 30 April 1804. The information regarding the 1803 performance of the ‘Surprise’ symphony is taken from the programme held at Ob. 17405 d. 6 (4.). This document also contains a hand-written annotation offering an explanation of the origin of the symphony's nickname. This reads: ‘I christened it the Surprise when I announced it for my Benefit Concert at the Opera Room, the year it was composed for Salomon's Concerts at Hanover Square and my valued friend Haydn thank’d me for giving it such an appropriate name. A. Ashe’.
136 9 May 1803 and 11 May 1810.
137 Ob 17405 d. 6 (24.).
138 13 May 1808.
139 This specific wording is taken from the programme for Bartleman's concert of 1813 (Ob 17405 d. 9 (36.)) but similar sentiments are expressed throughout the programmes referred to here.
140 Morning Chronicle, 30 Apr. 1801. This advertisement fails to note only the second oboe and bassoon players as recorded in the announcement of the Vocal Concert series given in this same newspaper on 7 February 1801. It does, however, include the trumpeter Mr Cantelo and the percussionist Mr Jenkinson, performers who have not yet been definitely connected with the Vocal Concerts until 1803. It is interesting to speculate as to whether their presence here may be taken as an indication of their inclusion at the subscription series from this earlier date.
141 Morning Chronicle, 18 May 1803.
142 Compare the Morning Chronicle of 27 Apr. 1804 with the same newspaper on 6 May 1806.