Words to a Selection of Sacred Music ... Rev. Dr. Strong’s Church, Norwich ...

Libretto or song lyrics for a religious music concert in Norwich, Connecticut, likely in 1837

Libretto or song lyrics for a religious music concert held at the church of Rev. Dr. Joseph Strong in Norwich, Connecticut, likely in 1837.

The concert featured a choir under the direction of Samuel Chandler (assisted by Isaac Packard Cole) accompanied by organist “Mr. Gear, (late from St. Paul’s Cathedral, London).”

This rare libretto features 20 solo, duo, and choral song, performances by such composers as Mozart, Handel, and Hayden. Songs include “Old Hundred,” “Marseilles Hymn,” “Vesper Hymn (Russian Air),” and two selections from Handel’s Messiah: “But thou didst not leave his soul in hell” and “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”

Only one copy of this item is recorded. It is held by AAS whose copy has 8 pages.

The present copy is distinguished by having an added, tipped-on leaf. The unfoliated leaf bears the title “Words To the pieces omitted in the bill of performance.” Acting as a supplement to to libretto, each of the four additional songs bears instructions as to after which song each one should follow in the performance.

Description: Words to a Selection of Sacred Music ... Rev. Dr. Strong’s Church, Norwich ...

[Likely Norwich, Connecticut. 1837?]. 8, [1], [1(blank)]pp. 7 x 4½ inches. Dbd., rmvd. Untrimmed at fore and bottom edges. Light foxing; few short closed tears; corner losses from smoke damage at upper right; other small margin paper defects; text not affected, good. Early ownership of “Mary Wertwoth” or “Mary Wentworth”.


Not in American Imprints. OCLC 78397697, one copy at AAS, but only noting 8 pages, i.e. without the added final printed leaf seen here.

The catalog notes at AAS suggest a possible date of publication: “The First Congregational Church in Norwich, Conn., acquired its first organ in 1824. Two years later, in 1826, April 17 fell on a Monday. April 17 next fell on a Monday in 1837. Although Rev. Joseph Strong died in 1834, it is possible that, after 56 years as its pastor, the church was still being called Rev. Dr. Strong’s church in 1837. According to C.A. Northrop (An historical address given on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the present meeting house of the First Congregational Church, 1901) the earliest paid music teacher at the church was B.S. Barclay, who received $40 for his services in 1831. He was followed in this position by William Clegg and then Samuel Chandler. Isaac Packard Cole is listed in Philadelphia directories for 1821-24, in New York City directories for 1827-34, and in Albany, N.Y., directories for 1834-37.”

Price: $50.00