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Historical: 1890's Repertory

Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 08:02:20 -0500 (EST)
From: John & Beth Pineo
Subject: Garden Party Repertoire Compilation (LONG)


A month ago, I posted a request for SATB a capella repertoire suitable for a
garden party circa 1897. Below you'll find the responses I received.

Our quartet, The St. Mary's Singer's, wishes to thank all of you who took
the time to respond. Your help is invaluable to us!

Beth Pineo
Bridgetown, Nova Scotia


Check out the recording by the Gregg Smith Singers entitled "The Great
Sentimental Age" (I think). Some good ideas there. A few Stephen Foster songs
would be appropriate ("Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming" was written for
quartet) as would Victor Herbert.

Doug Bachorik, Jr.
Fergus Falls Community College


There are a number of British "glees" written at the end of the
nineteenth century. Many were written for the festivities at
Vauxhall Garden in London. They are light and secular in nature.
Composers are not coming to mind right now, and I
know that publications of these pieces are scarce. (Perhaps this is
because many of them are trite!)

Bob Prowse
Director of Choral Activities
University of North Alabama


There is a wonderful album entitled, "Songs of the Gilden Age". Get it!
"She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage", "Elsie from Chelsea", "She is More to
be Pitied than Censored", "With All Her Faults, I Love Her Still", "The
Bowery", "Give My Regards to Broadway", and lots more. Sorry. I typed the
title wrong. That's "Songs of the Gilded Age".

Also: Stephen Foster was very, very popular at that time in history. (Or
is it Forster?) Anyway, songs like "I Dreamed of Jeannie with the Light
Brown Hair", "Gentle Annie", and "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming" were
very popular.

Temperance songs were also really big.


Marjorie Drysdale
Director, Sounding Joy!


Oxford University Press publishes several collections, one of which is part
songs. You might want to check their catalogue.

David D. Brensinger
Organist/choirmaster, Holy Innocents', Atlanta
Artistic director/conductor, The Atlanta Singers


If the party were to be in the U.S. you could sing some of the Temperance
Songs from the early part of the century. They are easy, fun--things like
The Prodigal Girl (can't remember other titles, but look for any old book
of temperance songs during Prohibition.) - HS

Harriet R. Simons
Director of Choruses
University at Buffalo
Baird Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260


Have you thought about Sir Arthur Sullivan? He wrote a number of wonderful
part-songs ("The Long Day Closes" is a personal favorite), as well as all
those G & S numbers. Maybe the "Madrigal" from "Mikado" ("Brightly dawns
our wedding day") or "Hail, poetry" from "Pirates" would work as well.
Let's see, there's also "Sweet and Low" by Barnby (?), which is a classic.
There is a little collection called "300 Years of English Partsong" which
contains many of these.

Hope this helps -- good luck in your search!

Ann Foster


Might I suggest a few madrigals for your garden party? Selections such as
"This Sweet and Merry Month of May," "Fair Phyllis I Saw Sitting All
Alone," "April is in My Mistress' Face," "Fyer, Fyer," "My Bonny Lass She
Smileth," "Now is the Month of Maying,""Hark All Ye Lovely Saints," "Sing
We at Pleasure," and "Flora Gave Me Fairest Flowers" would all be
appropriate and light for the occasion and are all found in the Oxford Book
of English Madrigals as well as other sources.

Oops. I forgot to qualify my answer, knowing that you were looking for a
particular time period, but if you are looking for appropriate mood-type
selections, the Madrigals are great. If time-period is the most important,
you might try looking at Finzi's "My Spirit Sang All Day" or selections by
Vaughan Williams.

Dr. Lori Wiest
Director of Choral Activities
School of Music and Theatre Arts
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-5300


Do you know the wonderful book of English Romantic Partsongs, edited by Paul
Hillier and published by Oxford? That and the compaion volume, English
Pastoral Partsongs, are great places to start. I'm pretty sure the Hilliard
boys recorded one or both of the collections a few years back.

Sounds like fun. Good luck.

--Jonathan Miller
Chicago a cappella


The Oxford Book and 19th and 20th century partsongs will have a rgeat many
appropriate pieces.
Jeffrey Jones
Austin TX


Have you looked at the 'Romantic Part Songs' collection published by Oxford
University Press? It has many Victorian parlour favourites.

// Joanna Holland
/ Collegium Records


Consider the pieces of the King's Singers 'Victorian Collection'!

Great Music, great fun, however, in case you are a *mixed* quartet (what I
suppose), you may have to transpose them up...

Best regards from Austria,

Monika Fahrnberger (cat(a)


Madrigals would be perfect and fun. Some of the simplest variations
show skill and are enjoyed by the audience. Try looking those up on CRS.



I have a book called 300 Years of English Partsongs, ed. Paul Hillier (Faber
Music) that has a number of pieces that would be appropriate, I think
(songs by Arthur Sullivan, Stainer etc., all a cappella). Also, I would
consider some Stephen Foster tunes, if I were you. If you can't get a hold
of the book, maybe I can send you some excerpts until you do...

Best regards,

Pat A.


OUP publishes several anthologies of Romantic Partsong
(English & German at least); Stainer & Bell/Galaxy/ECS has an *Invitation to
Partsong* series that is four slender but valuable volumes, and
Novello/Shawnee publishes a number of partsong sets by Elgar and (I think)
Holst that might be useful for the era you're looking for. Also, ECS may have
a few of Charles Villiers Stanford's partsongs available individually.

Robert Ross, Artistic Director
Voces Novae et Antiquae
Philadelphia, PA USA


If you want to be TRULY unique, you could do Dan Pinkham's "Garden Party"
or "Goings on in the garden of Eden". It's a wonderful campy retelling
that is probably completely inappropriate for your gig.


I would look for music from the "Silver Age" of English madrigal (ca mid 18th
to late 19th c). See...

"Invitation to the Partsong" - ed Bush and Hurd (Stainer & Bell)
Vol I: Sorry, I don't own this
Vol II: Partsongs for SATB
Vol III: Shakespeare Settings
Vol IV: Glees and Madrigals

"Invitation to Rounds and Catches" - ed Bush & Hurd (Galaxy Music)
latest example by Horsley (d. 1858)

Someone (Boosey?) did an entire series of individual pieces from the Silver
Age - start your search with Robert Pearsall.

Also look at....

"English Romantic Partsongs" - ed Paul Hillier (Oxford)
great collection; I particularly like the Macfarren selections (d. 1887),
Bishop's "Home Sweet Home" (yep, "Be it ever so humble..."), Stanford's "Blue
Bird", and Sterndale-Bennet's "Come Live With Me."

"Folk Songs for Choir" Vol I & II - ed John Rutter (Oxford)
Although mostly mid to late 20th century arrangements, there are many
well-known English language folk-tunes here that would have been sung (albeit
in other, doubtlessly simpler, arrangements) at the turn of the century.

"Charm Me Asleep" - Henry Leslie
A very well known Victorian tune. I know it is available in its
"original" version (don't know the publisher) and also arranged by the King's
Singers published by Hal Leonard. Also see "The King's Singers Choral
Library" - Vol I (Hal Leonard) which has this arrangement and two others -
"The Long Day Closes" (Sir Arthur Sullivan) and "Phillis My Only Joy" - which
appeared, it says, on their "Victorian Collection" album on EMI Records.

I would also look up the Dover reprint of music by Stephen Foster. Though a
bit dated by the end of the century, I would think many tunes (more the
ballads than the minstrel material) were still popular, and some have SATB
refrains. Also see the Norton Anthology "Choral Music" which includes
Foster's only SATB a capella quartet "Come Where My Love lies Dreaming"
(which I've done repeatedly to the delight of audiences) and a piece by

Also, there are a number of Dover reprints of collections solo songs from the
turn of the century (e.g. "After the Ball is Over").

Some early Gilbert and Sullivan would be appropriate.

As something totally anachronistic (but perhaps "just the thing"), there are
a couple of "madrigals" which George Gershwin wrote for the movie "The Gay
Divorcee" which I believe are available in print.

If you can find an arrangement of "Have Some Madeira, My Dear" by Flanders
and Swann - GET IT (and tell me where you found it).

Best of luck. Please send me a list of your final program.

Alexander Ruggieri
The Cambridge Singers


Greetings from Ohio, USA!

I have a volume of 1890's *songs*, called "Favorite Songs of the Nineties",
ed. Robert A. Fremont (NY: Dover Publications, 1973). Granted, these are
not choral arrangements, but some of the titles may give you something to go on.

The cover highlights: "After the Ball" (Charles Harris, NY, 1892)
"The Band Played On" (Palmer & Ward, New York Music Co., 1895) --
"Casey would waltz..."
"Daisy Bell" (Harry Dacre; Francis, Day & Hunter, London, 1982) --
the "bicycle built for two"
"Kentucky Babe" (Buck & Geibel; White-Smith Music Pub. Co., Boston,
"Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!"(Henry J. Sayers, 1891- pub?)

Other titles I recognize which are pre-1898:
"Asleep in the Deep" ('for baritone or alto') (Lamb & Petrie; F.A.
Mills, NY, 1897)
"The Cat Came Back" (Miller; Will Rossiter, Chicago, 1893)
"Love's Old Sweet Song" (Bingham & Malloy; composed 1894) "Just a
song at twilight..."
"Sidewalks of New York" (Lawlor & Blake; NY, 1894) "East side, west
side, all around the town..."
"The Fountain in the Park" (Ed. Haley, NY, 1884) "While strolling
through the park one day..."
and finally...
"Who Threw the Overalls in Mistress Murphy's Chowder" (George
Geifer, Mullen Music Co., NY, 1898)

Hope you can locate the volume, if you need to, to track down some titles
and/or the music... Sounds like fun!


Mary Buch


One suggestion: Stephen Foster's "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming."

A more general suggestion: one or two spirited Temperance songs. There
are a couple of examples in my _New Liberty Bell_, but I don't know of
this anthology is still available from Mark Foster. There is also in
this anthology, a lovely little piece by Bradbury titled "Sleep Well."

A German partsong or two would also be appropriate (since German
partsongs were fashionable not only in Germany, but in England and,
especially, America as well. (My company--muSic eSpreSS--has available
a lovely short partsong by Carl Loewe titled "In der Marienkirche.")

I hope this helps a little.

Jim Smith
muSic eSpreSS inc,