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BL A fascinating account of one of the world's oldest and most celebrated concert societies
The Philharmonic Society ('Royal' from 1912) is one of the oldest music societies in the world. Founded in 1813 to provide regular concerts of new music in London, it is famous for its commission of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This detailed account by George Hogarth, music journalist and Secretary to the Society between 1850 and 1864, takes us from the inaugural concert in March 1813 including works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to plans for the golden jubilee concert. Noteworthy performances in these first fifty years included the UK premiere of Beethoven's Ninth in 1825, Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony in 1833 and a cornucopia of works by composers such as Wagner, Berlioz and Weber whose music now forms the core repertoire of the nineteenth century. Appendices provide extracts of letters from Mendelssohn, details of works by English composers performed at Society concerts, and lists of performers, Society members, Honorary Members and Patrons.
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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.
'Jeremy Dibble has written a book which adds substantially to Stanford's reputation and which greatly enriches both British and Irish musical scholarship. It is brilliantly done.' -Irish TimesJeremy Dibble presents the first authoritative, comprehensive study of the life and works of Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), one of the most gifted and influential composers. Dibble reveals how, although perhaps best known for his church music, Stanford was also an eminent symphonist, songwriter, and author of many fine choral works. Cosmopolitan, ambitious, and pragmatic, he was untiring in his efforts to advance the cause of British music during its renaissance at the end of the nineteenth century, promoting the music of his contemporaries, and the many pupils he taught at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, including Vaughan Williams, Ireland, Howells, Bliss, Holst, and Gurney.

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