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Collection Description

Collection name Arts Council of Great Britain (1951)
Unique identifier 7900.p.8.
Description A commemorative book of programmes, notes and texts for Eight Concerts of Henry Purcell’s Music given at various venues in London on 8, 15, 22 and 29 May and 5, 12, 19 and 26 June 1951, presented by the Purcell Society and the Arts Council of Great Britain as part of the London Season/Arts Festival of Britain.

In addition to a complete set of programmes and wordbooks (see below), this document includes a Foreword by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the following Essays: Denis Arundell, The Dramatic Element in Purcell; Arnold Goldsbrough, Purcell as an Instrumental Composer; Norman Platt, Purcell and the Singer’s Art; Michael Tippett, Purcell and the English Language; J.A. Westrup, Purcell’s Music in Contemporary Society; Percy M. Young, Purcell and the English Choral Tradition; and Watkins Shaw, The Restoration School of English Composers. These are predominantly historical but many include some analytical comments (with musical examples).

There is also a historical note on the Purcell Society (est. 1876) by John Denison (Music Director, Arts Council), an article entitled ‘The Contemporary Scene – 1660-1700’ (unattributed) and an Introductory Note by Anthony Lewis (artistic director).

All programmes provide a complete list of the vocal and instrumental soloists engaged; the principal ensembles are cited below. Many programmes also include some brief historical notes. There are a number of illustrations/plates, of which there is an index on page 9 of the brochure.

The majority of the concerts took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and consisted of selections of vocal and instrumental repertory for ensembles of varying sizes, concluding with an extended extract from a choral work. The concerts on 5 and 26 June were held at the Chapel of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Abbey respectively and consisted of sacred choral music.

8 May 1951: Covent Garden Opera Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Constant Lambert.
15 May 1951: London Chamber Singers and the London Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Bernard.
22 May 1951: Birmingham University Special Choir and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Lewis.
29 May 1951:
5 June 1951: Goldsbrough Orchestra, conducted by Arnold Goldsbrough.
12 June 1951: Oxford University Opera Club Chorus and the Boyd Neel Orchestral, conducted by J.A. Westrup.
19 June 1951: Morley College Recorder Ensemble, Morley College Choir, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tippett.
26 June 1951: William McKie (organ), the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Westminster Abbey Choir, Boyd Neel Orchestral, conducted by Boris Ord.
Date range 1951 - 1951
Associated People and Organisations Young, Percy M. - Westrup, Jack A. - Westminster Abbey Choir - Vaughan Williams, Ralph - Tippett, Michael - Shaw, Watkins - Purcell Society - Platt, Norman - Philharmonia Orchestra 1945 - Oxford University Opera Club - Ord, Boris - Morley College Recorder Ensemble - McKie, William - London Chamber Singers - London Chamber Orchestra - Lewis, Anthony - Lambert, Constant - King's College, Cambridge - Goldsbrough, Arnold - Goldsbrough Orchestra - Festival of Britain - Denison, John Law - Covent Garden Opera Chorus - Boyd Neel Orchestra - Birmingham University Special Choir - Bernard, Anthony - Arundell, Denis - Arts Council of Great Britain -
Associated Places Royal Hospital, Chelsea: Chapel
Associated Times 20th century - mid 1931-1970
Associated Content Brochures Analytical Notes Illustrations Musical Examples Word books Programme notes
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