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Hans Richter as Conductor 1885 to 1909

 

Hans Richter conducted at nine of the festivals from 1885 to 1909. He is probably best known for conducting the first performance of Wagner's Ring at Bayreuth in 1876. He came to London with Wagner in 1877 and conducted at some of the Royal Albert Hall Wagner concerts. Subsequently he continued to promote the work of Wagner via his "Richter Concerts" in London.

 

In view of his experience it was a major coup for him to become conductor at the festivals. This doubtless enhanced the reputation of Birmingham as being at the forefront of music in England. During the period he was conductor the nature of the works performed changed quite significantly. Not surprisingly there were less Italian works performed and more German particularly Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner. Probably the most significant events during this period were the first performances of works by Elgar and in particular The Dream of Gerontius in 1900.

 

A list of works performed during the Richter years can be found by clicking here. Below are detailed lists of the nine festivals at which he conducted.

 

25-28 August 1885

 

Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Madame Patey, Madame Trebelli, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Joseph Maas, Mr Santley, Mr F. King and Signor Foli, Mrs Hutchinson, Mr C. Wade and Mr Watkin Mills.

 

Senor Sarasate (violin)


Morning:
25 August 1885: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
26 August 1885: Gounod, Mors et Vita.
27 August 1885: Handel, The Messiah.
28 August 1885: Stanford, The Three Holy Children; Beethoven, Symphony No.9.


Evening:
25 August 1885: Cowen, Sleeping Beauty.
26 August 1885: Anderton, Yule Tide. Also, Prout, Symphony No. 3 in F major (composed for the Festival).
27 August 1885: Dvorak, The Spectre’s Bride.
28 August 1885: Gounod, Mors et Vita.


28-31 August 1888

 

Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Santley, Mr Brereton, Miss Ambler, Madame Patey, Madame Trebelli, Mr Piercy, Mr Banks and Signor Foli.

 

Instrumental: Miss Fanny Davies (piano).


Morning:
28 August 1888: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
29 August 1888: Parry, Judith.
30 August 1888: Handel, The Messiah.
31 August 1888: J.S. Bach, Magnificat.


Evening:
The first three evening performances were described as Miscellaneous Concerts, including the following works:


28 August 1888: Dvorak, Stabat Mater.
29 August 1888: A. Sullivan, The Golden Legend.
30 August 1888: J.F. Bridge, New Cantata ‘Callirhöe’.
31 August 1888: Handel, Saul.

 

6-9 October 1891


Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Santley, Mr Brereton, Mrs Brereton, Miss Macintyre, Miss Hilda Wilson, Madame Hope Glenn, Mr Iver McKay, Mr Watkin Mills and Mr Henschel.

 

Note: Albani did not perform as a result of illness. Margaret MacIntyre took her place but was unable to sing in Messiah. Anna Williams took her place.

 

Instrumental: Dr Joachim (violin).

 

Morning:
6 October 1891: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
7 October 1891: J.S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion.
8 October 1891: Handel, Messiah.

9 October 1891: Dvorak, Requiem Mass (composed expressly for this Festival and conducted by the composer).

Evening:
6 October 1891: Miscellaneous, including A.C. Mackenzie, New Cantata, Veni Creator Spiritus (composed for this Festival).
7 October 1891: Stanford, New Dramatic Oratorio, Eden (first performance).
8 October 1891: Miscellaneous Concert.
9 October 1891: Berlioz, Faust.

 

2-5 October 1894

 

Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Miss Marie Brema, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Andrew Black, Mrs Henschel, Miss Hilda Wilson, Madame Marian McKenzie, Mr Iver McKay, Eugene Oudin, Mr Brereton and Mr Henschel.


Morning:
2 October 1894: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
3 October 1894: Parry, King Saul (composed expressly for this Festival).
4 October 1894: Handel, The Messiah.
5 October 1894: Cherubini, Mass in D minor; selections.

 

Evening:
2 October 1894: First Miscellaneous Concert, including Berlioz, Te Deum (first Birmingham performance).
3 October 1894: Goring Thomas, The Swain and the Skylark (first performance); Sullivan, Overture ‘In Memoriam’; Mendelssohn, Hymn of Praise.
4 October 1894: Miscellaneous Concert, including G. Henschel, Stabat Mater (first performance).
5 October 1894: Wagner, Overture ‘Tannhauser’; Schumann, Faust – Part III; Beethoven, Symphony No.9.

5-8 October 1897

 

Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Anna Williams, Miss Marie Brema, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Andrew Black, Miss Evangeline Florence, Miss Hilda Foster, Miss Ada Crossley, Mr George May, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Plunket Greene and Mr Bispham.


Morning:
5 October 1897: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
6 October 1897: C.V. Stanford, Requiem (first performance); Bach, O Light Everlasting.
7 October 1897: Handel, The Messiah.
8 October 1897: Schubert, Mass in E flat; C.H.H. Parry, Job.

Evening:
5 October 1897: Miscellaneous Concert, including E. German, Symphonic Poem ‘Hamlet’ (first performance).
6 October 1897: Purcell, King Arthur; selection.
7 October 1897: Miscellaneous Concert, including Arthur Somervell, An Ode to the Sea (composed expressly for the Festival).
8 October 1897: Berlioz, Faust.


2-5 October 1900


Vocal: Madame Albani, Madame Clara Butt, Mr William Green, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Andrew Black, Miss Evangeline Florence, Miss Esther Palliser, Miss Marie Brema, Miss Ada Crossley, Mr Edward Lloyd, Mr Plunket Green and Mr Bispham.

 

Morning:
2 October 1900: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
3 October 1900: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius (composed for the Festival); Schubert, Symphony ‘Unfinished’; Handel, Israel in Egypt (selections).
4 October 1900: Bach, St. Matthew Passion.
5 October 1900: Brahms, A German Requiem; selections.


Evening:
2 October 1900: Miscellaneous Concert.
3 October 1900: S. Coleridge-Taylor, Song of Hiawatha.
4 October 1900: Miscellaneous Concert, including Dvorak, The Spectre’s Bride.
5 October 1900: Handel, The Messiah.

13-16 October 1903

 

Vocal: Madame Albani, Madame Clara Butt, Mr William Green, Mr Ben Davies, Mr Andrew Black, Miss Agnes Nicholls, Miss Muriel Foster, Madame Kirkby Lunn, Mr John Coates, Mr Kennerley Rumford and Mr Ffrangcon-Davies.


Morning:
13 October 1903: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
14 October 1903: Elgar, The Apostles (first performance, conducted by the composer).
15 October 1903: Handel, The Messiah.
16 October 1903: Bach, Mass in B minor.


Evening:
All miscellaneous concerts, including:
13 October 1903: Stanford, Ballad for Solos, Chorus and Orchestra, ‘The Voyage of Maeldune.
14 October 1903: Sullivan, The Golden Legend.

15 October 1903: Berlioz, Harold in Italy, Strauss, Don Juan & Wagner, Meistersinger Overture.
16 October 1903: Bruckner, Te Deum (first performance in England), Beethoven's Choral Symphony.

 

2–5 October 1906


Vocal: Madame Albani, Miss Gleeson-White, Miss Agnes Nicholls, Madame Ada Crossley, Miss Muriel Foster, Mr John Coates, Mr John Harrison, Mr William Green, Mr Ffrangcon Davies, Mr William Higley, Mr Dalton Baker, Mr Charles Clark and Mr Robert Radford.


Instrumental: Mischa Elman (violin).


Morning:
2 October 1906: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
3 October 1906: Elgar, The Kingdom (first performance, conducted by the composer).
4 October 1906: Handel, The Messiah.
5 October 1906: Beethoven, Mass in D; selection including Christian Ritter, Alto Cantata, O amantissime sponse Jesu (first English performance).


Evening:

All except 2nd October were described as Miscellaneous Concerts, including the following works:
2 October 1906: Elgar, The Apostles (conducted by the composer).
3 October 1906: including the first performance of Josef Holbrooke, The Bells and Percy Pitt, Sinfonietta in G minor.
4 October 1906: Granville Bantock, Omar Khayyam.

5 October 1906: Mendelsson Lobgesang, Stanford The Revenge, Wagner Flying Dutchman Overture.

5–8 October 1909

 

Vocal: Miss Gleeson-White, Miss Agnes Nicholls, Perceval Allen, Madame Donalda, Madame Ada Crossley, Phyllis Lett, Madame Kirkby Lunn, Mr John Coates, Mr John Harrison, Mr Walter Hyde, George Henschel, Dalton Baker, Frederic Austin and Robert Radford.


Morning:
5 October 1909: Mendelssohn, Elijah.
6 October 1909: Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius; selection.

7 October 1909: Handel, Judas Maccabaeus.
8 October 1909: Miscellaneous including Cherubini, Mass in C.

Evening:

All except 8th October were described as Miscellaneous Concerts, including the following works:
5 October 1909: including Rutland Boughton, Midnight (first performance).
6 October 1909: including Dvorak, Stabat Mater.
7 October 1909: including Granville Bantock, Omar Khayyam.
8 October 1909: Berlioz, Faust.


 

Birmingham Triennial Music Festivals

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