Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/289

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BRISTOL MADRIGAL SOCIETY.
277
BROADWOOD.

1837:—'I will arise' (Creighton); 'Cynthia, thy song and chanting' (G. Croce); 'Flora gave me' (Wilbye); 'To shorten Winter's sadness' (Weelkes); 'In pride of May' (Morley); '0 that the learned poets' (0. Gibbons); 'All creatures now' (Benet); 'Hosanna' (Gibbons); 'April is in my Mistress' face' (Morley); 'So saith my fair' (L. Marenzio); 'Down in a flow'ry vale' (Festa); 'Soon as I careless stray'd' (Festa); 'The Waits' (Saville). In subsequent programmes we find the names of the great madrigal writers of England and Italy. A sacred work occasionally finds a place in the programmes, and the last number is always 'The Waits.'

[ C. M. ]

BRITISH CONCERTS. When the Vocal Concerts were discontinued at the close of the year 1822 a the British Concerts were established to supply their place, and, according to the prospectus, 'to meet the wishes of a numerous class of persons who are anxious to see native talent encouraged.' The programmes were to consist 'entirely of works of British composers, or of foreigners who have been naturalised and resident in these realms for at least ten years.' The managers of the concerts were the following members of the Concentores Society:—Messrs. Attwood, Bishop, Elliot, Goss, Hawes, Horsley, Jolly, Linley and Walmisley, and Sir G. Smart. Three concerts were given in 1823, under the immediate patronage of the King, including instrumental chamber music, vocal solos and glees. Among the new works given were string quartets by J. Calkin and G. Griffin, a quartet for piano and strings by Griffin, Horsley's 'Address to Hope' for double choir, and his glee 'The Crier,' Linley's glee 'Now the blue-fly's gone to bed,' Elliott's 'A choir of bright beauties,' Hawes's 'Love, like a bird,' Attwood's 'In this fair vale.' The instrumental performers were Mori, W. Griesbach, H. Smart, and Linley, and the chief vocalists Mrs. Salmon, Miss Stephens, and Messrs Vaughan, Sale, and Bellamy. The concerts took place in the ball-room of the Argyll Rooms, and a list of 200 subscribers was published, but the support accorded to the scheme was insufficient for the continuance of the concerts, and the season of 1823 was the first and last.

[ C. M. ]

BRITISH ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY. This society was established in 1872 for the purpose of giving an annual series of concerts by British artists, the soloists, vocal and instrumental, together with the band of seventy-five performers, being drawn from the ranks of native musicians. The scheme of each concert includes a symphony, a concerto, two overtures, and vocal music; the programme being gone through without any break. Mr. George Mount is the conductor, and the band includes Messrs. Carrodus, Zerbini, Doyle, E. Howell, J. Howell, sen., as the leaders of the string department. While the performers have been exclusively English, the music has been drawn from composers of all nations, but several new works by native writers have been given for the first time, including Macfarren's overture to 'St. John the Baptist' (1873); J. F. Barnett's overture to Shakspere's 'Winter's Tale' (1873), written for the society; J. Hamilton Clarke's 'Saltarello' (1874); Alfred Holmes' overture to 'Inez de Castro' (1874); Gadsby's overture 'The Witches' Frolic' (1874); Wingham's Symphony in B flat (1875). The soloists at the concerts include the names of the most eminent English artists. The concerts are given at St. James's Hall, and Mr. Stanley Lucas is the secretary (1876). [App. p.565 "the Society ceased to exist in 1875, its last concert taking place on June 1 of that year."]

[ C. M. ]

BRITO, Estéban de, lived about 1625, musical director at the cathedrals of Badajos and Malaga, and composer of motets, etc. preserved in the King of Portugal's library.

BRITTON, Thomas, called the 'Musical Small-Coal Man,' was born at or near Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, about the year 1651. He was apprenticed in London to a coal-dealer, and afterwards commenced business in Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell, as a dealer in 'small-coal' (charcoal ?), which he carried through the streets on his back. He obtained an extensive knowledge of chemistry, of old books, chiefly on the occult sciences, and of both the theoretical and practical part of music. He established weekly concerts [App. p.565 "in 1678"], and formed a sort of club for the practice of music. These concerts were held in a long narrow room over his shop, the entrance to which is described as being by a stair outside the house. Notwithstanding the humbleness of the attempt these gatherings are said to have been attractive and very genteel. The performers were Handel (who presided at the harpsichord), Pepusch, John Banister, Henry Needler, John Hughes (the poet), Philip Hart, Henry Symonds, Abel Whichello, Obadiah Shuttleworth, Woollaston (the painter), and many other professors and amateurs. The concerts were at first free to all comers; subsequently the visitors paid ten shillings a year each. Britton provided his guests with coffee at a penny a dish. The small-coal man was acknowledged by the Earls of Oxford, Pembroke, Sunderland, and Winchelsea (the great bookcollectors of the day), who appreciated his conversation and book-learning. He had a hand in the formation of the celebrated Harleian Library; and the Somers tracts were entirely his collecting. His reception by these noblemen led many persons to imagine that Britton was not the character he seemed to be, and that his musical assemblies were only a cover for seditious purposes. Indeed he was severally suspected of being a magician, an atheist, a presbyterian, and a Jesuit. These conjectures were all ill-grounded. Britton was a plain, simple, honest man, perfectly inoffensive, and with tastes above his condition in life. His death was brought about by a ventriloquist, who so frightened him that he never recovered. He died Sept. 27, 1714, and was buried in St. James' Churchyard, Clerkenwell, his funeral being attended by the members of his musical club. [App. p.565 "Refer to article Concert; and for further information to the Dictionary of National Biography."]

[ E. F. R. ]

BROADWOOD (John Broadwood and Sons). The house which has borne this name and been identified with pianoforte-making in London from