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Blair in B minor - 1908 Edition


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Dear all,


I need some info urgently in connection with an essay I have to write by next week, and I'm hoping someone on this list might know where to find it.


Last year at a choirs' festival in Worcester we sang the "1908 Edition" of Blair in B minor, Opus 18, published as No 788 in Novello's Parish Choir Book (Price: 3d J). But although mostly based on the same thematic material, this is very different from the version that most of us know and sing regularly ("Written January 1887, re-written March 1892").


My question: on what manuscripts was this edition based, and where are they now? The obvious answer one would expect would be "Worcester Cathedral Library", but it isn't.


The Worcester musicians and Librarian have very kindly sent me copies of all the relevant MSS from their library, including Blair's full score and the ATB Dec/Can partbooks, but these are obviously the source of the well-known version (albeit with some interesting minor discrepancies) and do not appear to include any of the very different "1908" material.


If anyone can assist in solving the mystery I will be most grateful.




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Try a PM to "themythes". I know he has done some work on this service.

Many thanks for the suggestion. I'll do that.

Do you know the version of which I speak? If not, I'll e-mail you a copy.

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I'll have a think about anyone else who might know about it.

Thanks, Christopher - much appreciated.

An enquiry to Music Sales (owners of Novello's), via a friend who knew someone there who allegedly "knew everything" produced the following response:

I am afraid we cannot help on this matter. The company doesn’t hold any manuscripts or correspondence from that period and I have no idea where they would be now. I doubt if there is anything in the British Library unless it formed a small part of the large consignment of MSS that Music Sales packed off there fifteen or so years ago. Nor is it clear to me how the Novello editors operated in 1908; possibly they produced this simplified version in-house from the original double-choir version, or possibly the composer did, just to widen its appeal. It is unlikely that Mr Henn-Macrae will have much luck tracing such a tiny item by a relatively obscure organist composer.”

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