A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/New Philharmonic Society, The

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1744016A Dictionary of Music and Musicians — New Philharmonic Society, TheGeorge Grove


NEW PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY, THE. The prospectus, dated from Cramer's, January 1852, states that the Society was founded to give more perfect performances of the great works than had hitherto been attained, and to afford to modern and native composers a favourable opportunity of coming before the public. Classical music was not to be exclusively adhered to; Exeter Hall was chosen as the locale; Mr. Berlioz was engaged as conductor for the first season; the band was magnificent (20 first violins, led by Sivori); the chorus was professional; and the subscription for stalls for 6 concerts was £2 2s., professional subscribers, £1 1s. The programme of the first season (1852) embraced—Symphonies: Mozart's Jupiter; Beethoven's Nos. 5 and 9 (twice); Mendelssohn's Italian; part of Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet (twice); Selections from Berlioz's Faust, Spontini's Vestale, H. Smart's Gnome of Hartzburg, Dr. Wylde's Prayer and Praise, etc., etc. The concerts of the second season were conducted, 4 by Lindpaintner, and 2 by Spohr, in combination with Dr. Henry Wylde. The orchestra was enlarged to 24 first violins, etc., and the programmes included, amongst other symphonies, the Ninth of Beethoven, Spohr's 'Irdisches und Göttliches,' and the Quartet with Orchestra, op. 121; Weber's Kampf und Sieg, Cherubini's Requiem, Lindpaintner's Widow of Nain, Mendelssohn's Finale to Loreley and Walpurgisnight, Dr. Wylde's music to Paradise Lost; Selections from Gluck's Iphigenie, Barnett's Fair Rosamond, and Silas's Mass; Overtures to Don Carlos (Macfarren), and Genoveva (C. E. Horsley). For the third season the concerts were removed to St. Martin's Hall, were conducted partly by Lindpaintner, partly by Dr. Wylde, and included the Overture to Tannhäuser, Cherubini's Mass in C, etc. For the fourth season they returned to Exeter Hall. For the fifth and sixth, 1856 and 57, Hanover-square Rooms was chosen. In 1858 Dr. Wylde assumed the entire responsibility of the undertaking, and the concerts were henceforward held in St. James's Hall season by season as the 'New Philharmonic Concerts,' until 1879, when Dr. Wylde retired in favour of Mr. William Ganz. The programmes have throughout maintained that preference for novelties which distinguished them at the outset. In 1859 the practice of making the rehearsals public was begun. [App. p.730 "Add that the society came to an end in 1879, the concert of June 21 being the last concert given under the above title. The scheme was carried on for three years more under the title of Ganz's Orchestral Concerts."]
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