This beautiful publication explores the rise of the choral tradition in Bath, England, particularly the annual performance of Handel Messiah. In the second half of the eighteenth century, no other city outside London could boast a musical tradition of such diversity and quality. The bedrock of a performance of Messiah each Christmas was laid by musical impresario Venanzio Rauzzini, a tradition that was revived early in the twentieth century and is still thriving today.
The earliest record of a Bath Choral Society can be dated to 1819 when the Freemasons Hall was opened. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Bath Choral Society as we know it today was established. Its archives demonstrate an uninterrupted pedigree under the direction of just four musical conductors.
The book will appeal to lovers of music and lovers of Bath alike. There are more than a hundred images, half of them in colour, together with fascinating contemporary observations and useful appendices listing the many choral concerts in Bath since 1756.
The author Andrew Clarke has been a member of Bath Choral Society for many years, having earlier sung in Bristol under the direction of Clifford Harker. He is also a member of the Mayor’s Corps of Honorary Guides in Bath.