BURNEY, Charles. An Account of the Musical Performances in Westminster-Abbey, and the Pantheon, 1784, in Commemoration of Handel.


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Dublin: Printed for Messrs. Moncrieffe,  Jenkin, White, Whitestone, Burton and Byrne, 1785. pp. vii, [1], xvi, 74, 24, [5], 28-145, [1].  Contemporary full tree calf. Spine professionally rebacked, title in gilt on purple morocco label. All edges green. A fine fresh copy. COPAC with 9 locations. ESTC T150538.
The Handel Commemoration Concerts of 1784, conceived the previous year by Viscount Fitzwilliam, Sir Watkins Williams Wynn and Joah Bates to celebrate the centenary of the birth of George Frederick Handel, were performances on a scale then unprecedented in England. On the morning of Wednesday 26 May, 1784 at Westminster Abbey (where Handel is buried), 525 musicians and singers performed the Dettingen Te Deum, one of the Coronation Anthems, one of the Chandos Anthems, part of the Funeral Anthem, and a few shorter pieces. The next evening at the Pantheon a smaller group performed various songs and choruses, sacred and secular, four concertos, and an overture, and on the Saturday morning the full company returned to the Abbey to perform ‘Messiah’. So successful were the concerts in the Abbey that they were repeated in full the next week. The event raised £6000 for the Royal Society of Musicians, and £1000 for the Westminster Hospital. Contents: Preface; Sketch of the Life of Handel; Character of Handel, as a Composer; Chronological List of Handel’s Compositions; Proposals for printing a complete Edition of his Works; Addenda to the Preface; Addenda to the Life of Handel; Commemoration of Handel; Lists of performers (but omitting the plan of the orchestra although it is listed on the contents page), etc.

[C148 Porch]


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