Discovery of one of the first ‘benefit concerts’ in 18th century collections

Written by SHL Research Collections |

Discovery of one of the first ‘benefit concerts’ in 18th century collections

Written by SHL Research Collections |

Senate House Library staff have discovered a very rare book detailing what appears to be a unique benefit concert held in the 18th century.

As part of a wider project to catalogue some 18th century works in storage, we found a collection known as “Music Locked Cupboard”. In it there is a volume by Thomas and Michael Arne which contains the music performed at a special benefit event in Covent Garden on the night of 19 March 1773 for what appears to have been a hurricane in the West Indies. There is an oratorio by Michael Arne (son of Thomas – composer of Rule Britannia) Within this volume there is a piece called “The Thunder Ode: written on the hurricanes in the West Indies.” A newspaper review the next morning read:

“The several musical Pieces performed last night at Covent Garden Theatre were very favourably received by a numerous Audience… the Thunder Ode composed by Mr Michael Arne met with the greatest applause”

SHL Research Collections

You don't need to sign up to Disqus to comment

By using the Disqus commenting system, you provide your consent for processing comments using Disqus and agree to the terms and conditions as well as the Disqus privacy policy.