August Manns in 1898
August Friedrich Manns
March 12, 1825
|Died||March 1, 1907 81) (aged|
Norwood, London, England
|Nationality||German, later British|
Sir August Friedrich Manns (12 March 1825 – 1 March 1907) was a German-born British conductor who made his career in England. After serving as a military bandmaster in Germany, he moved to England and soon became director of music at London's Crystal Palace. He increased the resident band to full symphonic strength and for more than forty years conducted concerts at popular prices. He introduced a wide range of music to London, including many works by young British composers, as well as works by German masters hitherto neglected in England. Among his British protégés were Arthur Sullivan, Charles Villiers Stanford, Hubert Parry, Hamish MacCunn, Edward Elgar and Edward German.
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass structure originally built in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition took place from 1 May until 15 October 1851, and more than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in its 990,000 square feet (92,000 m2) exhibition space to display examples of technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. Designed by Joseph Paxton, the Great Exhibition building was 1,851 feet (564 m) long, with an interior height of 128 feet (39 m). It was three times the size of St Paul's Cathedral.
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. His works include 24 operas, 11 major orchestral works, ten choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. His hymns and songs include "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord".
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. He was instrumental in raising the status of the Cambridge University Musical Society, attracting international stars to perform with it.
Manns performed the works of more than 300 composers, and was reckoned to have given more than 12,000 concerts during his tenure at the Crystal Palace, between 1855 and 1901. He became a British citizen in 1894 and was knighted in 1903.
Manns was born at Stolzenburg in Prussia near Stettin (now Stolec in Poland).His father was a glass-blower, with, as Manns recalled, "a pound a week and ten children," of whom August was the fifth. The family was musical, and the young August learnt to play the flute in the family's informal ensemble. At the age of ten, August temporarily took the place of one of his brothers at the factory, but he had no liking for the work of glass-blowing. His father briefly considered that August might be trained for a career as a schoolmaster, but the youth's predisposition for music prevailed. At the age of twelve he was sent to a school, kept by his uncle, at a neighbouring village. Here he was trained to play the flute, clarinet and violin. At fifteen he was apprenticed for three years to Urban, the town musician of Elbing, with whom Manns learnt to make the best of limited orchestral forces, transposing and switching instrumental parts as necessary. In his third year Manns played first violin in the string-band and first clarinet in the wind-band of Urban's Town-band; and he was selected by Urban to receive special lessons in harmony and composition.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
Stolec is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Dobra, within Police County, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-western Poland, close to the German border. It lies approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) north-west of Dobra, 17 km (11 mi) west of Police, and 24 km (15 mi) north-west of the regional capital Szczecin.
Elbląg is a city in northern Poland on the eastern edge of the Żuławy region with 120,142 inhabitants. It is the capital of Elbląg County and has been assigned to the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. Previously it was the capital of Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998) and a county seat within Gdańsk Voivodeship (1945–1975).
When Manns was approaching the age for military conscription, he avoided active service by volunteering as a member of an infantry band stationed at Danzig, for which he played the clarinet. At the same time he played the violin in the theatre, in concerts, and for the ballet. In 1848 his talent was spotted and he was invited to join Josef Gungl's orchestra in Berlin, where he played first violin. He was then appointed conductor and solo violinist at Kroll's Gardens in Berlin, a post that he held from 1849 to 1851, when the venue was destroyed by fire. Within weeks he was recruited by Colonel Albrecht von Roon to be the bandmaster of Roon's regiment. Manns replaced a dozen bad players, made new arrangements of classical works, including Beethoven overtures and symphonies for the wind band, and formed a string band.He resigned the position in 1854 when a junior officer reprimanded him for allowing his musicians to appear on parade with inadequately polished buttons.
Gdańsk is a city on the Baltic coast of northern Poland. With a population of 466,631, Gdańsk is the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and one of the most prominent cities within the cultural and geographical region of Kashubia. It is Poland's principal seaport and the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.
Albrecht Theodor Emil Graf von Roon was a Prussian soldier and statesman. As Minister of War from 1859 to 1873, Roon, along with Otto von Bismarck and Helmuth von Moltke, was a dominating figure in Prussia's government during the key decade of the 1860s, when a series of successful wars against Denmark, Austria and France led to German unification under Prussia's leadership. A moderate conservative and supporter of executive monarchy, he was an avid modernizer who worked to improve the efficiency of the army.
In the same year Henry Schallehn, who had recently established a military band at the Crystal Palace in the suburbs of London, engaged Manns as clarinettist and sub-conductor. Within months there was a rift between the two men when Schallehn passed off a composition of Manns's as his own; when Manns protested, Schallehn dismissed him. Manns then earned a living teaching the violin in the English provinces, and playing in the opera orchestra in Edinburgh.
Crystal Palace School of Art, Science, and Literature, which opened in 1854, was set up by the Crystal Palace Company as a new enterprise to occupy part of its buildings when it re-erected the Crystal Palace in suburban Sydenham in 1853. Civil engineer and later first director of the Royal College of Music, George Grove was appointed secretary. It was a part of the great movements for educational and social reform of the nineteenth century.
In 1855 Manns was invited to conduct a summer season of concerts in Amsterdam, after which he returned to England to take over at the Crystal Palace when the management, led by George Grove, secretary of the Crystal Palace Company, (later famous as the editor of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), dismissed Schallehn for his unsatisfactory work.The Musical World wrote,
Sir George Grove was an English writer on music, known as the founding editor of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
The change will, we trust, lead to some necessary improvements in the band. Herr Manns has a capital opportunity of distinguishing himself. His resources are sufficient to constitute one of the finest bands in the kingdom, and we shall be glad to find the Crystal Palace orchestra achieve such a reputation under his conductorship. ... Herr Manns is too intelligent a musician not to appreciate the nature of his resources and the requirements of his public. It may be safely predicted, that the music at the Crystal Palace will be one of its principal attractions within a short time after the instalment of the new director.
The rest of Manns's career was almost exclusively associated with the Crystal Palace. When he took over, the permanent band was a wind ensemble, from which, with four specially engaged string players, Manns improvised an orchestra of about thirty-four performers. With the backing of Grove and the directors of the Crystal Palace he gradually expanded the band into a full orchestra, for which a new concert room was added to the Crystal Palace. Together, Grove and Manns made the Crystal Palace concerts the principal source of classical music at popular prices.The concert season ran from October to April, with concerts given on Saturday afternoons from 1855 to 1901.
Within months of his appointment, Manns gave the first London performance of Schumann's Symphony No. 4 in D minor and the British premiere of Schubert's "Great C major" Symphony. His concerts featured the music of more than 300 composers. There were more Austro-German composers (104) than those of any other nationality, but British composers (82) came a strong second.Manns was the first conductor to introduce Arthur Sullivan to the English public, when he conducted the young Sullivan's Tempest music in April 1862. Manns later introduced early works by William Sterndale Bennett, Charles Villiers Stanford, Hubert Parry, Hamish MacCunn, Edward Elgar and Edward German. Thirty years after Manns introduced the Tempest music, Sullivan wrote to him, "How much do I not owe to you, my dear old friend, for the helping hand you gave me to mount the first step on the ladder! I shall always think of you with gratitude and affection." Among contemporary continental composers, Johannes Brahms (in 1863), Joachim Raff (in 1870), and Antonín Dvořák (in 1879) also first became known in England through Manns's Crystal Palace concerts.
Some fragments of a live performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt conducted by Manns at Crystal Palace in 1888 are among the earliest surviving recordings of classical music.
Manns retained the position of director of music until his retirement in 1901, undertaking few outside engagements. At the Crystal Palace he also conducted the triennial Handel Festivals, from 1883. He took on the 1883 festival at a few hours' notice, when the established conductor, Sir Michael Costa was unwell.He was at first regarded as less successful as a choral conductor than in the orchestral repertory; his beat was eccentric and puzzling to the uninitiated. He was, nevertheless, invited to conduct all the subsequent festivals up to and including 1900. He directed the orchestral concerts of the Glasgow Choral Union for thirteen seasons in succession. He conducted the promenade concerts at Drury Lane in 1859, and was conductor of the festivals of Sheffield in 1896 and 1899, and Cardiff in 1896.
After 1890 the Crystal Palace concerts declined in importance. Orchestral music could be heard elsewhere in London, and the old popularity of the palace had died out. Manns conducted till the season of 1900–01, concluding on 24 April.In 1998, The Musical Times estimated that he had conducted 12,000 orchestral concerts during his first 42 years at the Crystal Palace.
Manns was married three times: his first wife died in 1850 or 1851; his second, Sarah Ann née Williams, with whom he had a daughter, died in 1893; his third wife, (Katharine Emily) Wilhelmina née Thellusson (b. 1865/6), whom he married on 7 January 1897, survived him.
Manns became a naturalised British citizen in May 1894.He was knighted in 1903 and died in Norwood, London, just short of his 82nd birthday. He was buried at West Norwood Cemetery.
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass, brass instruments such as the horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba, woodwinds such as the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and percussion instruments such as the timpani, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, and mallet percussion instruments each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.
Sir Adrian Cedric Boult, CH was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family, he followed musical studies in England and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. His first prominent post was conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1924. When the British Broadcasting Corporation appointed him director of music in 1930, he established the BBC Symphony Orchestra and became its chief conductor. The orchestra set standards of excellence that were rivalled in Britain only by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), founded two years later.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra(BBC SO) is a British orchestra based in London. Founded in 1930, it was the first permanent salaried orchestra in London, and is the only one of the city's five major symphony orchestras not to be self-governing. The BBC SO is the principal broadcast orchestra of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), based in London, is a British Orchestra that was formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946. In its early days, the orchestra secured profitable recording contracts and important engagements including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the concerts of the Royal Philharmonic Society. After Beecham's death in 1961 the orchestra's fortunes declined steeply; it battled for survival until the mid-1960s, when its future was secured after an Arts Council report recommended that it should receive public subsidy; a further crisis arose in the same era when it seemed that the orchestra's right to call itself "Royal" could be withdrawn.
Sir Henry Joseph Wood was an English conductor best known for his association with London's annual series of promenade concerts, known as the Proms. He conducted them for nearly half a century, introducing hundreds of new works to British audiences. After his death, the concerts were officially renamed in his honour as the "Henry Wood Promenade Concerts", although they continued to be generally referred to as "the Proms".
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.
Sir Edward German was an English musician and composer of Welsh descent, best remembered for his extensive output of incidental music for the stage and as a successor to Arthur Sullivan in the field of English comic opera. Some of his light operas, especially Merrie England, are still performed.
Sir Granville Ransome Bantock was a British composer of classical music.
A concert band, also called wind ensemble, symphonic band, wind symphony, wind orchestra, wind band, symphonic winds, symphony band, or symphonic wind ensemble, is a performing ensemble consisting of members of the woodwind, brass, and percussion families of instruments, and occasionally including the double bass or bass guitar. On rare occasions, additional non-traditional instruments may be added to such ensembles such as piano, harp, synthesizer, or electric guitar.
Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie KCVO was a Scottish composer, conductor and teacher best known for his oratorios, violin and piano pieces, Scottish folk music and works for the stage.
Sir Charles Barnard Groves CBE was an English conductor. He was known for the breadth of his repertoire and for encouraging contemporary composers and young conductors.
The Tempest incidental music, Op. 1, is a set of movements for Shakespeare's play composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1861 and expanded in 1862. This was Sullivan's first major composition, and its success quickly brought him to the attention of the musical establishment in England.
The Symphony in E, first performed on March 10, 1866, was the only symphony composed by Arthur Sullivan. Since Sullivan's death, it has frequently been called the "Irish" Symphony as it was composed in Ireland, and as a homage to Mendelssohn's "Scotch Symphony".
The Cello Concerto in D major is Arthur Sullivan's only concerto and was one of his earliest large-scale works. It was written for the Italian cellist Alfredo Piatti and premiered on 24 November 1866 at the Crystal Palace, London, with August Manns conducting. After this, it was performed only a few times. The score was not published, and the manuscript was destroyed in a fire in the 1960s, but the full score was reconstructed by the conductors Sir Charles Mackerras and David Mackie in the 1980s. Their version was premiered and published in 1986.
Kenneth Hesketh is a British composer of contemporary classical music in numerous genres including opera, dance, orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo. He has also composed music for wind and brass bands as well as seasonal music for choir.
St. James's Hall was a concert hall in London that opened on 25 March 1858, designed by architect and artist Owen Jones, who had decorated the interior of the Crystal Palace. It was situated between the Quadrant in Regent Street and Piccadilly, and Vine Street and George Court. There was a frontage on Regent Street, and another in Piccadilly. Taking the orchestra into account, the main hall had seating for slightly over 2,000 persons. It had a grand hall 140 feet (43 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) broad, the seating was distributed between ground floor, balcony, gallery and platform and it had excellent acoustics. On the ground floor were two smaller halls, one 60 feet (18 m) square; the other 60 feet (18 m) by 55 feet (17 m). The Hall was decorated in the 'Florentine' style, with features imitating the great Moorish Palace of the Alhambra. The Piccadilly facade was given a Gothic design, and the complex of two restaurants and three halls was hidden behind Nash's Quadrant. Sir George Henschel recalled its 'dear old, uncomfortable, long, narrow, green-upholstered benches with the numbers of the seats tied over the straight backs with bright pink tape, like office files.'
Salut d'Amour (Liebesgruß), Op. 12, is a musical work composed by Edward Elgar in 1888, originally written for violin and piano.
Julius Allan Greenway Harrison was an English composer who was particularly known for his conducting of operatic works. Born in Lower Mitton, Stourport in Worcestershire, by the age of 16 he was already an established musician. His career included a directorship of opera at the Royal Academy of Music where he was a professor of composition, a position as répétiteur at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conductor for the British National Opera Company, military service as an officer in the Royal Flying Corps, and founder member and vice-president of the Elgar Society.
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