The Poetry of various Glees, Songs, &c. as performed at the Harmonists. [and] The Poetry of various Glees, Songs, &c. as performed at the Harmonists.

London: Printed at the Philanthropic Reform, 1798 [and] 1813. 2 works in one, 8vo, pp. [4], viii, [5]–115, [1], with an engraved frontispiece by William Staden Blake (cut down and mounted); vii, [1], 64; a little spotting in the second work, with inkspots to p. 13; some light foxing, a couple of short tears to the first two leaves in the first work; early nineteenth-century black morocco, all edges gilt. Of interest for the frontispiece signed “Blake sc. Change Alley” by William Staden Blake who was one of a number of William Blakes working as an engraver in London c. 1800. “By the end of the eighteenth century, the fashionable nature of the glee ‘created a desire among amateurs to emulate more professionally constituted clubs. In London this led to the formation of the Harmonists Society. According to his own account, the principal mover behind the new club was R. J. S. Stevens [composer, and later Gresham Professor of Music], who at the start of 1794 was approached by “a few Musical Amateurs” who expressed to him a desire to have an occasional meeting at which they would “dine together and have vocal music afterwards” … Initially the society consisted of twenty-four members, the number increasing to thirty-two by April 1796 and forty by October 1798. Originally twelve meetings a year were held, but by 1798, in inverse proportion to the growth in membership, this had been reduced to six. Concerts were directed from the keyboard by Stevens, who was assisted by the young composer Thomas Attwood, best remembered today as a pupil and friend of Mozart’ (Robins, Catch and Glee Culture, p. 83).” (note by Simon Beattie) Keynes, Blake Studies (2nd. ed.) chapter V “Engravers Called Blake”, p. 46 et seq. Item #108075

Price: $575.00

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