Composer Information: Vincent Novello

Vincent Novello (6 September 1781 – 9 August 1861) was an English musician and the son of an Italian who married an English wife, was born in London. As a boy, Novello was a chorister at the Sardinian chapel in Duke Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he learnt the organ, and from 1796 to 1822 he became in succession organist of the Sardinian, Spanish (in Manchester Square) and Portuguese (in South Street, Grosvenor Square) chapels, and from 1840 to 1843 of St Mary's chapel, Moorfields.

Novello was an original member of the Philharmonic Society, of the Classical Harmonists and of the Choral Harmonists, officiating frequently as conductor. In 1849 he went to live at Nice, where he died. Many of his compositions were sacred music, much of which was very popular. His great contribution, however, together with Christian Ignatius Latrobe, lay in the introduction to England of unknown compositions by the great masters, such as the Masses of Haydn and Mozart, the works of Palestrina, the treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and innumerable, now well known great compositions. His first work, a collection of Sacred Music, as performed at the Royal Portuguese Chapel, which appeared in 1811, has the additional interest of dating the founding of the publishing firm Novello & Co which carries his name, as he issued the collection from his own house; and he did the same with succeeding works, till his son Joseph Alfred Novello (1810–1896), who had started as a bass singer, became a regular music publisher in 1829.

Vincent Novello had several children but the most famous was Clara Novello (1818–1908), whose beautiful high soprano and pure style made her one of the greatest vocalists, in opera as well as in oratorio and on the concert stage, from 1833 onwards. In 1843 she married Count Gigliucci, but after a few years returned to her profession, and only retired in 1860.

Vincent Novello was a good friend of Domenico Dragonetti (1763-1846), also an executor of his will, and persuaded 'Il Drago' to come out of 'solo retirement' to play this Concert Aria.

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