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date: 14 November 2019


  • Betty Matthews,
  • Ian Stephens,
  • Jill Tucker
  •  and John Snelson


City and seaport. It is located on the west coast of England, near the junction of the River Avon and River Frome. It was at the height of its prosperity, which was reflected in its musical life, in the mid-18th century. A festival of St Cecilia on 22 November 1727 included possibly the first performance of Handel’s music outside London. The ‘Utrecht’ Te Deum and Jubilate were performed in the cathedral, and a concert at St Augustine’s Back Theatre featured a number of other works by Handel. Simultaneously the ‘Gentlemen of the Musick Society’ assisted at a concert in Merchants’ Hall. After festivals in 1728 and 1730 the celebrations were replaced by annual benefit concerts, which ran until about 1760. The 1758 event included the first performance in England of Handel’s Messiah in any church apart from the chapel of the Foundling Hospital.

After the opening in 1756 of the Princes Street Rooms the popularity of the St Augustine’s Back Assembly waned. Among visiting musicians at the New Rooms were Charles and Samuel Wesley in the 1770s and the nine-year-old William Crotch in ...

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Galpin Society Journal