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BL A fascinating account of one of the world's oldest and most celebrated concert societies
Sir George Thomas Smart (1776-1867) was a significant musical animateur of the early nineteenth century, who earned his living primarily as a conductor but was also significant as an organist, composer and recorder of events. Smart established successful and pioneering London concert series, was a prime mover in the setting up of the Philharmonic Society and the Royal Academy of Music, and taught many of the leading singers of the day, being well versed in the Handelian concert tradition. He also conducted the opera at the Covent Garden Theatre and introduced significant new works to the public - he was most notably an early champion of the music of Beethoven. His journeys to Europe, and his contacts with the leading European musical figures of the day (including Weber, Meyerbeer, Spohr, and Mendelssohn), were crucial to the direction music was to take in nineteenth-century Britain. This detailed account of Smart's life and career presents him within the context of the vibrant concert life of London and wider European musical culture. It is the first full length, critical study of this influential musical figure. JOHN CARNELLEY is Deputy Director of Music and Head of Academic Music, Dulwich College, London. He holds a PhD in Historical Musicology from the University of London (Goldsmiths College) and has previously published research on the eighteenth-century organ manuscripts of John Reading, held in the Dulwich College Archive.
Introduces a Historic Brass Society (Bucina) series by recounting the history of an instrument that dominated English orchestral playing the 19th century and preserved tonal concepts of Baroque times nearly into the 20th century. The slide trumpet was conceived and developed to improve the intonatio
Among the major changes that swept through the music industry during the mid-nineteenth century, one that has received little attention is how musical performances were managed and directed. Yet this was arguably the most radical change of all: from a loose control shared between the violin-leader, musical director and maestro al cembalo to a system of tight and unified control under a professional conductor-manager. This process brought with it not only baton conducting in its modern form, but also higher standards of training and discipline, a new orchestral lay-out and a more focused rehearsal regime. The resulting rise in standards of performance was arguably the greatest achievement of English music in the otherwise rather barren mid-Victorian period. The key figure in this process was Michael Costa, who built for himself unprecedented contractual powers and used his awesome personal authority to impose reform on the three main institutions of mid-Victorian music: the opera houses, the Philharmonic and the Sacred Harmonic Society. He was a central figure in the battles between the two rival opera houses, between the Philharmonic and the New Philharmonic, and between the venerable Ancient Concerts and the mass festival events of the Sacred Harmonic Society. Costa’s uniquely powerful position in the operatic, symphonic and choral world and the rapidity with which he was forgotten after his death provide a fascinating insight into the politics and changing aesthetics of the Victorian musical world.
This guide to the orchestra and orchestral life is unique in its breadth of coverage. It combinesorchestral history and repertory with a practical bias offering critical thought about the past, present and future of the orchestra. Including topics such as the art of orchestration, scorereading, conducting, international orchestras, recording, as well as consideration of what it means to be an orchestral musician, an educator, or an informed listener, it will be of interest to a wideranging readership of music historians and professional or amateur performers.
Taylor questions the widely held belief that the turn of the nineteenth century marked a 'dark age' of musical performance.
'insights which a general history would never provide... likely to be a valuable source work for many years to come.' -BBC Music MagazineThis book shows how music was used and valued by different types of British people in the 19th century - from London composers, Manchester players, and Belfast concert managers to Welsh choral singers and Calcutta pianists. The essays are arranged chronologically, and demonstrate how particular geographic, social, economic, and political conditions in Britain affected the music that was heard and appreciated.

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