Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN

Price: $650.00

NEAR MINT CONDITION

Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD
BENJAMIN BRITTEN & PETER PEARS
Text Box: COMPOSER AUTOGRAPHS

Phone: 212-860-5541

 

Historic autographed 8.25” x 10.25” souvenir program for the grand opening of Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, March 2, 1967.  Both Britten and Pears have signed as conductor/composer and tenor in the program next to their photographs.  The program is 18 pages excluding cover and a ticket which states, “The First Public Concert” is stapled to the inside of the final page.

Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room were designed as the chamber concert answer to the large Royal Festival Hall which was completed in 1965.  Queen Elizabeth Hall seats 900 concertgoers, whilst The Purcell Room seats 360.  For the opening, in the presence of the Queen, Britten and The Master of the Queen’s Musik, Sir Arthur Bliss were chosen to lead an all-British composer program of music by, Arne, Britten, Bliss, Bridge, Delius, Grainger, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Williamson and The English Chamber Orchestra closely associated with Britten and his Aldeburgh Festival and he was their first patron after they changed their name from the Goldsbrough Orchestra to the English Chamber Orchestra.  Britten conducted them regularly and they received the benefit of performing a number of premiers of his works.  For this performance, Bliss conducted a new arrangement of “God Bless the Queen” by Britten, other Britten works in order of performance and led by Britten included Choral Dances from Gloriana for tenor, harp and chorus led by Britten and featuring Pears.  Also his arrangement of “Hankin Booby” which was commissioned for the opening.  The program contains a welcome message from Sir William Fiske, the Leader of the Greater London Council responsible for the project, photographs of the hall, listing of the architects, surveyors and engineers, as well as artists listings and photographs of composer/conductor Sir Arthur Bliss, harpsichordist George Malcolm, Britten as shown above, singers Heather Harper, Josephine Veasey, John Shirley-Quirk, James Bowman, harpist Osian Ellis, organist Ralph Downes, Pears as show above, as well as the libretti to all of the songs and choral pieces.  Additionally, the personnel lists for The English Chamber Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers, the day’s chorus are included.

This is the first example we have seen of this program signed by Britten and Pears!  A most historic occasion and The English National Orchestra considers it the the most important performance of their first decade under their new name.