CHALLONER, Neville Butler.

Manuscript Account of the well known Harpist fulfilling an engagement by a Mr. M. to perform at a weekend party at or near Northampton

Northampton and London

Folio, 4pp., written in a very neat legible hand, approx 1200 words, trifle dusty, has been folded.


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Product Description

Neville Butler Challoner (1784 – post 1835?), conductor, music seller, Regency musician, Harpist, published, & composer. He studied the violin under Claude Joseph Duboeck, performing a Concerto at the age of 11 years. He was involved with the Birmingham Orchestra in 1800 and joined the firm of music sellers and publishers in 1806. This remarkable account of his visit to Northampton is coloured at the start with an avid description of his travel from London to Northampton, giving much information on not only the mode of travel at the time but interesting comments on who he met on the way. His first rehearsal he describes as “performers wretchedly out of tune” but he meets an old aquaintance from Birminham. He is persuaded to stay on until Sunday, is dined and then he performed at Tea where he comments “fingers very sore could not play country dances”. He was invited to go hunting with Mr. M, of whom he gives a good account. His performance in the evening he describes as “tried Hadyn’s Quintettos – couldn’t succeed Mr. M cant read music – Vauxhall’s old sinfonia somewhat better – play’d all my stock of airs on the Harp -gained great Applause.” The remainder of the account is of his shopping in Northampton and then an account of his return to London. Amongst other writings Challoner was the author of “Lays of Harmony, or the Musical Scrap Book” (1832).