Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/223

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY.

led to changes which had an important influence on the fortunes of the Society. A committee, appointed to investigate the conduct of Joseph Surman, both in respect of his dealings with the Society and his execution of the office of con- ductor, having unanimously reported adversely to him, he was removed from his office Feb. 15, 1848. [SoRMAN.] Pending a regular appointment the remaining concerts of the season were con- ducted by the leader of the band, George Perry. Mr. (now Sir Michael) Costa was elected con- ductor, Sept. 22, 1848. Very beneficial results followed this appointment : both band and chorus were strengthened and improved, and the number of performers was augmented to nearly 700. The performances of the season consisted principally of more effective renderings of the stock pieces, but Mendelssohn's music for ' Athalie' was intro- duced with great success. In 1850 nothing new was given but Mendelssohn's 'Lauda Sion* in an English dress. 1851 was chiefly remarkable for the number of concerts given 31 ; ' Messiah,* ' Elijah,' and the ' Creation ' having been per- formed alternately, one in each week, from May to September for the gratification of visitors to the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Later in the year Haydn's 'Seasons' was introduced for the first time. In 1852 Spohr's 'Calvary' and the fragments of Mendelssohn's ' Christus ' were introduced. In 1853 some changes took place in the officers of the Society, R. K. Bowley be- coming treasurer, and W. H. Husk succeeding him as librarian : Mozart's ' Requiem ' was first brought forward this year. 1854 was distin- tinguished by two performances of Beethoven's Mass in D. Griesbach's ' Daniel ' was also brought forward, and the Society undertook the performance of the music at the opening of the Crystal Palace on May 10. In 1856 Costa's ' Eli ' was performed for the first time in London with marked success. In 1857 Rossini's ' Stabat Mater' was introduced, and the Society under- took the musical arrangements for the first Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace. [ HANDEL FESTIVAL.] In 1862 Beethoven's 'Mount of Olives' was given with its proper libretto. Costa's 'Naaman' was introduced to a London audience in 1865. In 1867 Benedict's

Legend of St. Cecilia ' was given for the first time in London. In 1870 Beethoven's Mass in D was again performed. The Society sustained the loss, by death, of three of its principal officers, J. N. Harrison, president, R. K. Bowley, treasurer, and T. Brewer, secretary and, for a few weeks, president. They were replaced by D. Hill, president, W. H. Withall, treasurer, and J. F. Puttick, secretary. In 1873 the last-named died, and E. H. Mannering was appointed in his stead. Bach's St. Matthew 'Passion' was given for the first time. In 1874 Dr. Crotch's

  • Palestine ' was introduced, and Macfarren's

' St. John the Baptist ' given for the first time in London. Mozart's Litany in Bb, in an English dress, was introduced in 1877. In 1878 Rossini's ' Moses in Egypt ' was restored to its original position as an oratorio. Nothing new was

��SAGGIO DI CONTRAPPUNTO. 211

brought forward in the season of 1879-80, which ended on April 30, 1880, with 'Israel in Egypt.* Owing to a change in the proprietorship of Exeter Hall the Society had to quit that building, and the concerts of the season 1 880-81 were given in St. James's Hall, the number of performers being reduced, on account of the limited space of the orchestra, to about 300. The first concert was on Dec. 3. Sullivan's ' Martyr of Antioch ' (first time in London) and Cherubini's Requiem in C minor were brought out during the season.

The Society's library, in the 44 years which have elapsed since its formation, has become the largest collection of music and musical literature ever gathered together by a musical body in England. Space does not allow here of even ft brief list of its principal contents, and the reader is therefore referred to the last edition of its printed catalogue, issued in 1872. [See also MUSICAL LIBRARIES, vol. ii. p. 420 a.] The Society also possesses some interesting original portraits, statuary, and autograph letters. It is in constitution an essentially amateur body, none but amateurs being eligible for member- ship, and the governing committee being chosen by and from the members. Every member is required to take some part in the orchestra, and a strict examination as to his qualification for so doing is made prior to his admission. The most eminent professors are engaged as principal vocalists and instrumentalists, the rest of the band and the whole of the chorus being amateurs. The members are comparatively few in number, the majority of the amateurs being assistants, who give their gratuitous services, but pay no subscription. The subscription of members, ori- ginally i, is now 2 28. od. per annum. Sub- scribers to the concerts pay 3 33. od., 21 2s.6d., or 2 2s. od. per annum, according to the posi- tion of their seats. [W.H.H.]

SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY, THB BENEVOLENT FUND OF THE, was instituted March 14, 1855, for the aid of necessitous persons who had at any time been connected with the Sacred Harmonic Society. It differs from i benefit society in the fact that relief is not restricted to sub- scribers to the Fund, and that none are entitled to the receipt of stated sums upon the happening of stated events. Each applicant's case is con- sidered on its merits, and either a temporary grant or a small continuous pension awarded as circumstances may require. The management of the Fund is entrusted to an independent committee, chosen by the Governors of the Fund from the members of the Sacred Harmonic Society. An annual subscription of los. 6d. constitutes a Governor, and a donation of 5 5*. at one time a Life Governor. The claims upon the Fund have been so numerous and urgent that it has been impossible to increase its capital to the desired extent. [W.H.H.]

SAGGIO DI CONTRAPPUNTO (Pattern of Counterpoint). A very important work, pub- lished, at Bologna, in 1774-5, by the Padre Giambattista Martini, in two large 4to volumes, dedicated to Cardinal Vincenzo Malvezzi, and P2

�� �