THIS PAGE FIRST POSTED 1 OCTOBER 2020

LAST MODIFIED Thursday 26 November 2020 13:59

Tolhurst family

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


THIS PAGE IS ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Tolhurst family", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia): https://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/tolhurst-family.php; accessed 18 January 2021





TOLHURST, William Henry (William Henry TOLHURST; Henry TOLHURST; W. H. TOLHURST; Mr. TOLHURST, sen.)

Musician, vocalist, viola player, conductor, composer

Born Kent, England, 23 October 1798; baptised Langley, November 1798; son of Henry TOLHURST (1778-1814) and Ann SWEETLOVE (c. 1847)
Married Ann KING (c. 1799-1878), All Saints' church, Maidstone, 2 November 1824
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 5 December 1852 (per Orestes, from London, 15 August)
Died Prahran, VIC, 12 March 1873, aged 74

https://trove.nla.gov.au/search?l-publictag=William+Henry+Tolhurst+1798-1873 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

TOLHURST, George (George TOLHURST; Mr. G. TOLHURST; Mr. TOLHURST)

Professor of music, teacher of pianoforte, violinist, viola player, baritone vocalist, composer

Born Maidstone, Kent, England, 5 June 1827; son of William Henry TOLHURST and Ann KING
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 5 December 1852 (per Orestes, from London, 15 August)
Married Ann GIBBONS (1822-1905), Melbourne, VIC, 6 May 1856
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 7 March 1866 (per Sussex, for England)
Died Barnstaple, England, 18 January 1877

https://trove.nla.gov.au/search?l-publictag=George+Tolhurst+1827-1877 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1502088 (NLA persistent identifier)




Summary (draft as at October 2020)

Titlepage of Six anthems, and six psalms, by Henry Tolhurst, 1802

Titlepage of Six anthems, and six psalms, composed and adapted for the use of country choirs, humbly dedicated to W. Baldwin, Esq'r by Henry Tolhurst, Chart Sutton (Kent: Chart Sutton, [1802]

http://books.google.com/books?id=wAANa41v9k4C


Henry Tolhurst (1778-1814) and sons

Henry Tolhurst, born in Langley, Kent, in 1778, was the earliest representative of the Tolhurst family of musicians and composers.

Henry was said to be the "favourite pupil" of a Maidstone musician, Michael Dobney, formerly (1780s-90s) master of the band of the Northamptonshire Militia, and composer of two published collections of anthems and psalms.

Described in an obituary as "a well known psalm singer and music", Henry also composed several collections of sacred music, beginning with Six anthems, and six psalms . . . for the use of country choirs (Chart Sutton, Kent, 1802)

In August 1798, Henry married Ann Sweetlove, from the nearby village of Leeds, daughter of Thomas Sweetlove, who was listed as a subscriber to John Barwick's first book of Harmonia cantica divina, in 1783.

William Henry, their first son, was born at Langley in October 1798, only 2 months after their wedding.

A second son, George (1800-1865), emigrated to Ohio, USA, in 1832, and was one of seven amateur instrumentalists who formed the Cleveland Harmonic Society in 1835, and later also briefly directed a Mozart Society.

A third and fourth son, John (1805-1861) and Charles Frederick (1807-1847) were both amateur singers.


William Henry Tolhurst (1798-1873) and sons

William's sons Henry (1825-1864) and George both became professional musicians.

Frederick (1828-1883), became a Baptist minister, and emigrated to the United States, where he joined his uncle George (1800-1865).

In the next generation, a musically notable family member was Henry's son Henry Tolhurst (1854-1939), a violinist and pianist, composer and arranger, teacher, and English biographer of his friend Gounod (1904).


The Tolhursts in England (to 1852)

William Henry Tolhurst carried in his trade in Maidstone first as a boot and shoemaker, and by the 1830s as a currier. Later, in Melbourne in 1858, William once gave his business address as care of the Victoria Leather Warehouse, in Collins-street east, in the city.

William was probably musically active in Maidstone and the surrounding district as an amateur singer and instrumentalist long before the death of his father in 1824. However, his name only first appears in the newspaper record in 1831, as first choirmaster of the newly erected Zion chapel, in Brewer Street, belonging to one of Maidstone's two (later three) rival Strict Baptist communities, and later to the Countess of Huntingdon's connexion.

For the next decade and a half his choir (of amateur singers and instrumentalists) was the mainstay of oratorio and other musical performances in the area, later becoming formalised as the Maidstone Sacred Harmonic Society. William was assisted in public concerts at first by his brothers, George (until he left for the United States in 1832), and Charles Frederick, as well as his Sweetlove maternal cousins; and later, during the 1840s, by his sons Henry (as organist and accompanist) and George (as boy soprano vocal soloist).

By the age of 18, George was organist of the Week Street chapel (Independent/Congregationalist) in Maidstone, and in April 1845, a Jubilee hymn, for the anniversary of its Sunday school, was his first published composition. A few months later, in July 1845, he was one of four contestants for the vacant position of organist of All Saint's church, Maidstone.

The post having gone to the incumbent deputy, in April 1846 George announced a "farewell concert . . . , previous to his leaving this country for America", perhaps intending to join his uncle George in Ohio. Whether or not he actually took the voyage, he was back in England by the end of 1848.

His elder brother Henry having meanwhile established a professional musical practice in Maidstone, George appears to have gone to London by around 1850, where he trained and worked as a shorthand reporter, probably until only shortly before emigrating to Australia in mid 1852.


The Tolhursts in Australia (1852-73)

Father and son, William and George arrived in Melbourne in December 1852, the forward party of a family migration, completed early the next year, with the arrival of William's wife, Ann, and their other children, Charles (1833-1860), John King (1835-1916), Ann (born 1836; died Prahran, VIC, 2 September 1853), Elizabeth (c. 1839-1871).

One of the Tolhursts, William or George - probably the latter - first appeared billed as an instrumentalist in John Winterbottom's band for the Melbourne Thursday Concerts in September 1853, and again in December, as a viola player, in the band for Alfred Oakey's promenade concerts at Joseph Rowe's "American circus".

George was for the brief space of a few weeks in July 1854 assistant singing master to George Leavis Allan, of the Denominational School Board. Thereafter, for the next couple of years, he redirected his talents again to shorthand reporting and journalism for The Age newspaper. In August 1856 he edited a pamphlet, Black and white list and elector's guide to candidates for public office, for the bookseller and publisher George Slater.

In May 1856 George married Ann Gibbons, originally from Marden and Linton in Kent. Returning to music professionally, in 1857 he advertised as music-seller and music teacher (piano, harmony and singing) and piano tuner in St. Kilda, and was active as a performer in musical and temperance circles.

Meanwhile, William directed a singing class connected with Richard Fletcher's new Independent Chapel in St. Kilda, probably from as early as it opening in September 1855, and in June 1856 was presented with a testimonial gift from the class of 25 sovereigns.

In 1857, George contributed 3 songs, and his father one song, which appeared as monthly musical supplements in The illustrated journal of Australia, also published by Slater, and printed by William Henry Williams. Williams, who was also a leading amateur vocalist and a musical colleague of the Tolhursts, then republished all four songs under one cover in his Williams's musical annual and Australian sketch book for 1858.

In August 1858 George advertised a course of 20 vocal music classes at the National School, Russell Street. He also taught music at several schools and colleges, beginning, in 1859, with St. Patrick's college, Eastern Hill.

In June 1864 he succeeded Henry John King as organist of St. James's cathedral, which then stood on the corner of Collins and William streets in the city centre.

Among William's performances in Melbourne, he conducted the first performance of his son George's oratorio Ruth in Prahran in January 1864. For the Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society in February 1865, he was to have played viola in Mozart's Trio in E flat (K 498) for piano, clarinet and viola with Charles Edward Horsley and Adam Clerke. However, neither score or parts being available, the advertised performance did not take place.

Horsley later described William as "the Chipp of Australia" - evidently referring to his work as an orchestral drummer in the mold of Thomas Paul Chipp.

George's oratorio Ruth was premiered in Prahran in January 1865, and a second performance, of a revised and expanded version followed in March 1865. Later that year he applied for government assistance to produce a lithographic edition of the work, an unusual request perhaps, but one that was refused by the assessors on a technicality rather than on any matter of substance.


George Tolhurst in England (1868-77)

Press reports suggested that George decided to return to England in 1866 on account of his health, and to fulfil his ambition to introduce his oratorio Ruth to England. However, the death of his elder brother, Henry, in 1864, was perhaps also a contributing factor. Returning to Maidstone, George effectively took over his late brother's professional practice, while also reviving the lapsed Maidstone Choral Society, and thus also keeping the family name to the fore in local music affairs.

In January 1858, with subscription assistance from Melbourne friends and colleagues, George published the elegant folio first edition of Ruth, engraved in London by William Paxton, then just setting out in business as a music publisher. It was quickly followed, late that month, by the first London public performance of the work.

The generally unfavourable, and often scathing, response of professional London reviewers, contrasted notably with the more supportive press he received for later outings in provincial towns, starting with two performances in Maidstone in December 1869 and October 1870. By 1872, the original edition had evidently sold out, and a second subscription edition, from the original plates, was advertised by the London publisher Duncan Davison.

In 1873, an anthem by Tolhurst, I will lay me down in peace, was published in the collection Anthems special and general edited by Thomas Lloyd Fowle, who variously styled himself M.A. and Mus. Doc., but whose claims to either title was contested.

By March 1874, Tolhurst, too, was styling himself, Mus. Doc., and there being no other record of where or how he came by a degree, it may be doubted it was awarded by any of the usual institutions. However, no such doubt appears to have been raised in public at the time, perhaps out of belated sympathy for someone who had previously been dealt with overly harshly by the musical press.

Tolhurst died suddenly of an attack of smallpox while performing in Barnstaple in 1877. According to reports, at the time of his death was correcting proofs for a new octavo vocal score edition of Ruth, which, in the event, never appeared.

Tolhurst died intestate, leaving his wife and children in parlous circumstances. Friends and colleagues, including the tenor singer W. H. Cummings, rallied around to give a benefit concert for the family, in which, however, not a single item composed by Tolhurst himself was reported to have been performed.


The later reception history of Ruth

The purpose of this page is to document the Tolhurst family history, and George's career and the reception of his music, only up to the time of his death in 1877 - to provide materials that might help explain why his oratorio Ruth is the way it is, and why it was received the way it was during his lifetime.

There will be a fuller treatment of issues arising from this in the final form of this summary in due course.

Meanwhile, for a good introduction to later professional vilification of Ruth - and of provincial musical taste (whether homeland or colonial) more generally, see Sarah Kirby's 2019 article.

Tantalisingly, Kirby also reveals that she is personally in possession of further original resource materials (page 222 note 122) that shed more light on the later English reception of Tolhurst's "Australian oratorio".




Documentation
England (to 1852)
1801

[Advertisement], Kentish weekly post or Canterbury journal (13 November 1801), 1

CHURCH MUSIC.
Dedicated by permission to W. Baldwin, Esq., Harrietsham-Place.
HENRY TOLHURST respectfully informs his Friends and the Public, that he intends publishing a set of Six Anthems and Six Psalm Tunes, for the use of Country Choirs, the whole with an accompanied bassoon or violoncello, and figured for the organ, harpsichord, piano forte, &c.
Price 5s. to Subscribers, Bs. to Non-Subscribers.
Subscribers will be thankfully received by the following Agents before the 12th of December, 1801, where the Copies may had after the 1st of January, 1802.
AGENTS.
Mr. Weller, No. 23, Oxford-street, London.
Mr. Bristow, Canterbury.
Mr. Peacham, Musician, Lewes, Sussex.
Mr. Tyrrell, Musician, Maidstone, Kent.
Mr. Farmer, Musician, Chatham, Kent.
H. Tolhurst, Musician, Chart-Sutton, Kent.
Letters post paid.

1810

April 1810, a funeral anthem by Henry Tolhurst, performed at St. Martin's church, Aldington, Kent

"DIED", Kentish gazette (24 April 1810), 4

April 16, at Aldington, in his 40th year, Mr. Richard Stoakes, whose loss is greatly lamented by his numerous friends and acquaintance; he belonged to the choir of psalm singers and society of ringers in that place for 30 years. The choir of singers attended the funeral and sung and anthem proper for the occasion, composed by Henry Tolhurst. The society of ringers also attended, and rung a peal of 720 changes, with the bells muffled conducted by Edward Marshall.

1814

20 May 1814, death of Henry Tolhurst, Maidstone, Kent

"KENT . . . Died", The new monthly magazine (1 July 1814), 592

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=XjQaAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA592

At Maidstone, Mr. Henry Tolhurst, a well known psalm singer and musician.

1827
5 June 1827, birth of George Tolhurst, Maidstone, Kent

5 June 1827, birth of George Tolhurst, Maidstone, Kent

Dr. Williams's Library, Protestant dissenters' birth register, 1824-37; UK National Archives (image above)

https://www.ancestry.com.au/interactive/2972/40612_B0147197-00049 (PAYWALL)

H No. 2536 / THESE are to certify, That George Tolhurst Son of William Henry Tolhurst and Ann his Wife, who was the Daughter of John King, was born at Maidstone in the Parish of Maidstone in the county of Kent on the Fifth day of June in the year [1827] . . .

1831

14 December 1831, oratorio, Zion Chapel, Brewer-street, Maidstone

"ORATORIO", South eastern gazette (20 December 1831), 4

On Wednesday last an Oratorio was performed at Zion Chapel, in this town, under the management of Mr. Henry Tolhurst, who was assisted by several of his amateur musical friends. The music consisted of selections from Handel's sublime Messiah, and three pieces by Kent, Whittaker, and Mathews. Both the instrumental and vocal parts of the performance went off with great spirit, and gave considerable satisfaction to very respectable company. The pieces which we liked best - "O thou that tellest," Solo by Mr. F. Tolhurst; "For behold darkness and the people walked;" Mr. G. Tolhurst; the Quartett from Kent's Anthem - "Blessed be thou;" and the finale of the "Hallelujah Chorus"; the opening Solo was very finely executed by Mr. H. Tolhurst. - We believe that this is the first Oratorio, supported solely by native musical talent, which has been performed in Maidstone. We hope it may not be the last; and, certainly Mr. Tolhurst deserves the thanks of the lovers of the concord of sweet sounds for this experiment upon the musical taste of the town.

NOTE: "H. Tolhurst" was almost certainly, correctly, William Henry; and "F. Tolhurst", his brother Charles Frederick (1807-1847); "G. Tolhurst" was his brother George (1800-1865); on Zion Chapel, see Topography of Maidstone and its environs, and directory . . . (Maidstone: J. Smith, 1839), 24

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vhAHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA24 (DIGITISED)

MUSIC: Blessed be thou (Kent); other named extracts from Messiah (Handel)

1832

18 January 1832, oratorio, Zion Chapel

"ORATORIO", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (24 January 1832), 4

On Wednesday evening the lovers of sacred music had another opportunity of hearing some of Handel's compositions at Zion Chapel, where a performance took place, to which only subscribers were admitted. On this account, the attendance was not nearly so numerous as on the former occasion. The performers were the same, Messrs. W. H., F. and G. Tolhurst, Goodwin and Smith, taking the solo and semi-chorus parts. Mr. Morfill led the Choir, assisted by Mr. Fowler, and several amateurs, whose talent was exceedingly creditable. Mr. Box's chaste and tasteful manner of touching the double bass, was particularly admired. We were most pleased with the chorusses "And the Glory of the Lord" - "Hallelujah" - "Lift your heads" and "For unto us a Child is born;" all of which were admirably performed.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Morfill (1806-1875), professional musician, father of William Richard Morfill)

NOTE: This was the last time William's brother George was mentioned in the newspaper record before, that same year, he emigrated the USA

1833

27 November 1833, concert of sacred music, Zion Chapel

"CONCERT OF SACRED MUSIC", South eastern gazette (3 December 1833), 4 (image above)

On Wednesday last the amateur singers and performers of Zion Chapel, Maidstone, gave a concert of sacred music to their friends and the public, assisted Mr. Morfell, as leader, and Mr. McHattie, of Rochester, principal violoncello. Above 500 tickets had been issued, and audience which was highly respectable consisted of at least 600 persons. The pieces were selected from Handel, Hadyn [sic], Weber, Pergolesi, Moore, and Jarman. The choir comprised about 30 voices, and the orchestra contained about an equal number of instrumental performers, who opened with Handel's overture to the occasional oratorio, which they played with considerable taste and precision. The air "Oh thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" was sung Mr. King, who possesses a counter-tenor voice of greet softness and flexibility, and who got through in manner highly creditable to an amateur. If Mr. King were to cultivate his voice, and pay a little more attention marking the emphasis of each measure, he would be an acquisition to any choir . . . The chorusses were admirably sung. Indeed we have seldom beard them to greater advantage at the London oratorios . . . We ought not to close without bestowing the praise which is due to Mr. Tolhurst, by whose exertions the treat was got up under whose auspices the choir has arrived at its present superiority. The instrumental department was supported throughout in way that reflected high credit on the leaders.

1834

16 April 1834, oratorio, at Tonbridge, with choir of Zion Chapel, Maidstone

"TONBRIDGE", South eastern gazette (22 April 1834), 4

Our Oratorio on Wednesday last, afforded a rich treat to the lovers of music in this neighborhood. Great praise is due to the committee of management, Messrs. West, Carnell, and Jewhurst, for their excellent arrangements and judicious selection of performers. The vocal and instrumental performers were sixty-six in number, and several of the finest pieces of Handel and Haydn were admirably executed . . . The orchestra was ably led by Mr. Morfill, and several fine overtures were beautifully executed; some very fine choruses were admirably sung, and produced effect of the greatest sublimity and grandeur. The church was well filled, all the rank and fashion of the neighborhood having made a point of attending upon this interesting occasion. This Oratorio having been got up for the purpose of aiding the funds of the schools in Tonbridge and Tonbridge-Wells, it is extremely gratifying, that it has been so liberally patronised . . . The choir had been engaged from Zion Chapel, Maidstone, where under the superintendance of Mr. Tolhurst, (who managed the musical department, and who is entitled to great praise for his judgment and assiduity), has attained a character of superiority seldom acquired by provincial singers. We understand that upwards of fifty performers came from Maidstone.


[Advertisement], Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (19 August 1834), 1

. . . CHARLES WALTER and THOMAS CORNWALL, of Marden, in the county of Kent, Cordwainers . . . have conveyed and assured all and singular their Stock in Trade, Household Furniture, Debts and Effects unto JAMES OLIVER and WILLIAM HENRY TOLHURST, both of Maidstone in the county of Kent, curriers, in TRUST, for the benefit of themselves, and such other creditors . . .

1835

11 February 1835, oratorio, Zion Chapel

"ORATORIO", South eastern gazette (17 February 1835), 4

An entertainment of sacred music was given by the choir of Zion Chapel, Brewer-street, Maidstone, under the direction of Mr. Tolhurst, the conductor, on Wednesday evening last. The chapel was filled by a most respectable audience. The orchestra was led by Mr. Morfill. The pieces selected were from Handel, Beethoven, Weber, Haydn, Pergolesi, Perry, and Moore. A trio composed by Mr. S. Philpot (of Maidstone), and counter-tenor duet with a chorus, by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, were also performed. There is, probably, no choir in this county, and few any where in the provinces, that can compete with this in chorus singing, and the evening's performance gave the greatest satisfaction, and surprised many who had not heard this choir before. The choir and orchestra comprised 72 persons. After the overture to Esther, which was well played, the beautiful duet, "Ye vallies, hills, &c." was creditably performed, and was succeeded the striking chorus, "Hail, bounteous Lord," which was sung with degree of precision that never heard excelled. "Gloria in excelsis" followed, but the sopranos wanted firmness, and the base was not sufficiently sonorous to redeem the defect. "Miriam's song" was executed with great spirit and confidence; but we thought we detected a sharp female note or two. "Why do the nations" was tolerably sung, considering its difficulty, by Mr. Smith. He has good voice, but his articulation may be improved. Handel's difficult chorus "Let us break our bonds asunder" was well given. That universal favorite "The heavens are telling" was beautifully managed. The recitative "Thus saith the Lord" by Mr. Cornell, was well sung, considering its difficulty, and no very pliant voice. The air "But who may abide," was sung by Mr. C. F. Tolhurst, with great softness and in good time; but Mr. Tolhurst's voice being a falsetto, is not capable of great expression. Mr. S. Philpot's beautiful trio "Teach me, oh Lord," was not done justice to; but this was compensated for the vigor with which Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus was performed after it. We have not room to notice the other pieces in detail, except that of Mr. Tolhurst's. The duet was beautifully sung Messrs. C. F. Tolhurst and King, and appeared a very sweet and pleasing piece of composition. The chorus was also well executed, and these two pieces seemed to have been done full justice to by the choir. It is short but has some good points, and is very creditable to the composer. Considering that no professional except Mr. Morfill, assisted; this oratorio was got up and performed in very superior manner.

1836

1 March 1836, oratorio, Zion Chapel

"ORATORIO AT ZION CHAPEL, MAIDSTONE", South eastern gazette (23 February 1836), 4

We hear that an oratorio of sacred music will take place on next Tuesday, at Zion Chapel, when selections from Mehul, Hadyn [sic], Perry, Rodwell, Pergolesi, Beethoven, Handel, Weber, Moore, &c. &c., under the direction of Mr. Tolhurst, (with a duet and chorus of his own composition), will be performed. Messrs. Young and Dobson, the celebrated singers of Canterbury, and Master Forde, of Rochester Cathedral, have been engaged to sing the solos. The choir will comprise upwards of eighty persons, and if may judge by what have witnessed of the spirited and superior manner in which former oratorios have been got up by Mr. Tolhurst, - the present one is likely to be highly interesting and respectably attended. The orchestra will be led by Mr. Morfill.

"ORATORIO", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (8 March 1836), 4

The oratorio at Zion chapel, in this town, on Tuesday evening last, went off in a manner highly creditable to the amateurs engaged in the performance of the very difficult music selected for the occasion. The band, which was complete in every department, played with a degree of precision and effect of which few similar choirs could boast, and, with one or two exceptions, the individual performers acquitted themselves admirably. in the chorusses the trebles were scarcely powerful enough, while there was a superabundance of bass, an error which may be easily rectified in future. Mr. W. H. Tolhurst led with great judgment, ably supported by Mr. D. T. Sweetlove (second violin), Mr. Morfill and others . . .

"ORATORIO", South eastern gazette (15 March 1836), 3

On Tuesday week, a concert of sacred music was performed at Zion chapel, Maidstone, by an orchestra and choir of about eighty persons, under the direction of Mr. W. H. Tolhurst; the whole of whom, with the exception of Mr. Morfill, the leader of the orchestra, Messrs. Dobson and Young the Canterbury cathedral, and Master Forde of the Rochester cathedral, - were amateurs. The pieces performed consisted of selections from Handel, Hadyn [sic], Weber, Perry, Rodwell. Moore, &c.. together with duet and chorus composed by Mr. Tolhurst, of which we made favorable mention in our notice of the last concert . . . The choruses were uncommonly well performed, if we except preponderance of base and a slight deficiency of treble. In Exeter-hall, or any other very large building, they would have sounded delightfully, but it struck that, crowded as the chapel was, a less powerful choir would have been an improvement; for there was hardly distance enough for the sounds to amalgamate perfectly, before they reached the audience. Still there was no fault in the performers, who sung their respective parts with greater accuracy than we have sometimes witnessed in professional choirs. The orchestral performance was very superior, and although thought that we occasionally detected a sharp note in the brass instruments, yet the overtures to "Joseph" and to "the occasional Oratorio" were executed with much precision and judgment. Taking general view of the performances, they were highly complimentary to Mr. Tolhurst and all parties engaged, and we have indulged in criticism which we should have avoided, were we not fully aware that the general superiority of this choir requires tenderness, and that the members of it will take our strictures more as incentives to approach still nearer to perfection, than as discouragements to those whose only and praiseworthy aim is to please. We have only space left to mention the very delightful accompaniment of some of the solos, by Mr. Mc.Hattie, of Rochester, on the violincello.


5 October 1836, oratorio, at Sevenoaks

"ORATORIO", South eastern gazette (11 October 1836), 4

On Wednesday last, an oratorio was performed in the Assembly Room, Sevenoaks, which was very fashionably and numerously attended; in fact, the room was crowded. Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, of Maidstone, led, and Mr. Peck presided at the piano-forte. Mrs. Peck performed some beautiful vocal selections from "The Creation." which were much admired.


17 November 1836, Maidstone Amateur Harmonic Society

"THE MAIDSTONE AMATEUR HARMONIC SOCIETY", South eastern gazette (22 November 1836), 4

The first concert of this spirited and talented society took place on Thursday last, in the New Corn Exchange, before an audience of probably four hundred of the most fashionable company of the neighborhood . . . The celebrated Canterbury glee singers, Messrs. YOUNG, DOBSON, and EWEL, assisted by Mr. W. H. TOLHURST, were engaged, and sang some delightful pieces, accompanied by Mr. STEPHEN PHILPOT, the able conductor. The glees "Hark, Apollo," "The Curfew," "Merrily goes the Bark," "Fill me, Boy," and a very beautiful serenade "Sleep, gentle Lady" were all enthusiastically applauded. The accompaniment was at first somewhat too loud, and the pitch of voices insufficient to fill this immense room; but after the first piece every thing went smoothly, and gave high pleasure to those who had the good fortune to be present . . .

1838

4 June 1839, All Saints' church, Maidstone

"WHIT-MONDAY", South eastern gazette (5 June 1838), 4

Yesterday morning the benefit societies went in procession to All Saints's church, where an admirable discourse was delivered to a crowded congregation hy the Rev. C. Borckhardt, from 1 Tim. 5, v. 8. The Amateur Choral Society, led by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, kindly performed several of Handel's beautiful chorusses on the occasion. The "Te Deum" and "Jubilate" were chaunted in excellent style by the choir; and the fine chorus "Worthy the Lamb," and "All we like Sheep, &c.," were executed with great spirit and precision. This interesting service was concluded the "Hallelujah" chorus, which was well performed. Master Tolhurst presided the organ.

1839

Topography of Maidstone and its environs, and directory . . . of Maidstone (Maidstone: J. Smith, 1839), directory, 28

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vhAHAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA28 (DIGITISED)

Tolhurst, William Henry, currier, Gabriel's Hill


31 January 1839, first oratorio, Maidstone Sacred Harmonic Society, King Street Baptist Chapel

"THE MAIDSTONE SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", South eastern gazette (29 January 1839), 4

This is a new society, for practising sacred choruses and selections from the best masters, under the leadership of Mr. Tolhurst, to whom the lovers of music in Maidstone are much indebted. Their practice meetings are held in the Chapel in King-street, and are really delightful to lovers of sacred music. We believe that few towns in the kingdom possess a better choir, with the instrumentals generally amount to upwards off fifty persons. An oratorio will be performed on Thursday night, at which we anticipate a rich treat. A new organ has been placed in the chapel (by Mr. Adams, of London), which has been visited and admired by several organists of the neighborhood, all of whom have expressed their high approbation of the extraordinary powers richness, and sweetness of tone of this effective little instrument, which blends the choir and orchestra into a swell of harmony that is truly sublime. We wish success to this spirited society.


26 March 1839, oratorio

"SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (2 April 1839), 2

This society gave a public performance on Tuesday evening last, on which occasion the music consisted of selections, principally choruses, from Handel's two fine oratorios Judas Maccabeus and Israel in Egypt. This difficult music was performed with accuracy and effect which was truly delightful, and entirely unknown before in this town. We never heard anything more effective than the beautiful air "See the conquering hero comes," performed as trio, duett and chorus - it was perfectly charming. The whole was as usual, under the direction of Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, who led the band with great ability, his son presiding at the organ.


20 May 1839, All Saints' church, Maidstone

"WHIT-MONDAY", South eastern gazette (14 May 1839), 4

We have been informed that the Rev C. Row is to preach the sermon before the benefit societies, at All Saints church, on Monday next. The Maidstone Sacred Harmonic Society have most handsomely consented to execute the following selections: - Dr. Boyce's Te Deum, Jones's Jubilate, "To thee Cherubim and Seraphim," from Handel's Te Deum, "Sing unto God" (Judas Maccabeus), and the Hallelujah Chorus (Messiah).

1841

12 January 1841, concert, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern gazette (19 January 1841), 4

One of the best instrumental concerts which has ever been performed in Maidstone was enjoyed by the members and friends of this institution on Tuesday evening last, in the County Assembly Room. The orchestra (led by Mr. J. E. Field, a highly talented musician, who has recently established himself in Maidstone) consisted of thirty-two performers . . . The overtures, "La Dame Blanche" and "Il Direttor," with two parts of Mozart's symphony, were played with considerable talent, particularly the first part of Mozart . . . Master George Tolhurst (very tastefully accompanied by his brother, Master Henry) was encored in "Let the merry bells ring round," which be executed with much greater taste and skill than we had anticipated in so young a performer . . . We ought not to close even this brief notice without speaking word of praise in favor of Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, whose exertions and expenditure of time in getting up this concert deserve the warmest thanks.

MUSIC: O let the merry bells ring round (Handel, from L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato)


"THE MAIDSTONE SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", South eastern gazette (16 November 1841), 4

We rejoice to find that this excellent society is taking the field in earnest, and proposes at an unprecedented low subscription to honorary members, to give ten oratorios during the ensuing season.


12 November 1841, Maidstone Catch Club

"MAIDSTONE CATCH CLUB", South eastern gazette (16 November 1841), 4

On Friday last there was very full meeting at the Catch Club, and the programme was better than usual. Haydn's No. 4. Symphonia was the opening piece, which was played with more spirit, and the band was in better keeping with the style of that great master than they generally have been. The overture to "Zauberflote" was also well played. Beethoven's "Men of Prometheus" would no doubt have gone better with a rehearsal . . . Master George Tolhurst sang "Let the merry bells ring round," with his usual success . . . The concert of the evening was probably the best that has ever been given by this society. On next Friday we hear Mr. D. T. Sweetlove, whose performances have recently been hailed with such "uproarious" demonstrations, will execute a violin solo.


22 December 1841, oratorio

"MAIDSTONE SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", South eastern gazette (28 December 1841), 4

This society held their third oratorio for the season on Wednesday evening last, in the County Assembly Room, which was well filled by the subscribers and their friends. It consisted of selections from "Judas Maccabeus," "the Creation," "the Messiah," &c. . . . Mrs. Seymour secured enthusiastic applause in the above pieces, as well as in two duets with Master G. Tolhurst, in which the latter acquitted himself very creditably. His solo, "Wise men flattering," was, however, much too severe a trial for so young a singer, and presents, indeed, difficulties enough to appal many singers of considerable pretension . . . Mr. H. Tolhurst played the organ accompaniments with great judgment and care . . .

MUSIC: Wise men flattering (Handel, from Judas Maccabaeus)

1842

25 January 1842, national celebration of the christening of Edward, prince of Wales

"MAIDSTONE", The musical world (10 February 1842), 36

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=4vgsAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA36 (DIGITISED)

The musical resources of this town were developed on the Royal Christening day, in a manner highly creditable, and were devoted to the highest and noblest of purposes - the enhancement of the solemnity and impressiveness of divine worship; it having been determined that the children of the parish, day, and Sunday schools, 1200 in number, should attend divine service at Trinity Church, previous to partaking of old English fare at the Corn Exchange, the assistance of the Sacred Harmonic Society was requested, and most promptly creditably afforded. No time was to be had for a rehearsal, nor was any required. The service opened with a voluntary on the organ, by Mr. Lintott, the organist of the church, very nicely played. This was followed by the hundredth psalm. During the service, the Venite Exultemus was chanted; the Te Deum, to Boyce's in D, and the Jubilate, to Jones' in D. The anthem was an arrangement of "Haydn's Hymn," as quartet and chorus, with full band accompaniments, which had a grand effect. Before the communion service, Handel's impressive choral fugue from Judas Maccabeus, "O Father, whose almighty power," was sung most delightfully; and, at the close of the service, the "grand Hallelujah chorus" from the Messiah, was given with magnificent effect and faultless precision. In the place of a concluding voluntary, the occasional overture (omitting the adagio) was played by the hand and organ. The whole went off delightfully, and gave great effect to the celebration. Mr. Folhurst [sic], the founder of the society, and its zealous leader for these ten years past, was conductor; his son, Mr. H. Folhurst [sic], presided at the organ; and Mr. J. E. Field, one of our resident professors, led; Mr. F. Venua, another of our resident professors, and C. G. Whittaker, Esq., Mr. Bensted, Mr. Lancefield, and other amateurs, lent their valuable aid.


9 March 1843, benefit oratorio

"MAIDSTONE SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (15 March 1842), 3

On Wednesday evening concert was given by this society, the proceeds of which were to be devoted to the relief the widow and eight children of deceased member, Mr. G. Tanner, who died alter long illness, leaving his family in great destitution. This creditable effort the part of our musical amateurs to relieve the widow and the fatherless was kindly patronised by our worthy Mayor Alexander Randall, Esq. - and are happy to say was well attended by the gentry of the town and neighbourhood, the reserved seats being completely filled . . . The programme contained selections from the oratorio Samson, Handel's Dettingen Te Deum, and Weber's Blessed be the Lord &c., Mr. Tolhurst, conducted with his usual steadiness and tact, his son presided at the organ, and Mr. Field led the band, which comprised G. Whittaker, Esq., Messrs. Bensted, Lancefield, Mason, and other amateurs, and also our resident professors Mr. Venua, and Mr. Hoadley. Our space will not allow us to discuss the performances piece by piece, but we may state that the solo songs and recitatives were extremely well performed by Mr. Cornell, and Mast. Tolhurst. The latter had an arduous task in Let the bright Seraphim, in which he was very ably accompanied on the trumpet by Mr. Brabant. The overtures and chorusses elicited warm applause and flattering expressions approval from some of the elite the company . . .

MUSIC: Let the bright seraphim (Handel, from Samson)


"MAIDSTONE. AUGUST 2", The musical world 17 (11 August 1842), 254

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=4vgsAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA254

Everyone who has ever heard anything of musical doings in Maidstone, cannot but be acquainted with the name of Mr. Tolhurst - cannot but know that he is the sun and centre of our local musical system, stimulating its movements by his energy, sustaining them by his perseverance, supporting them by his talent.

Is a concert to be given requiring the assistance of an orchestra - Mr. Tolhurst must be consulted, for it is he who knows whence the materiel of a band is to be procured - is a catch club established, first and foremost among its working members is Mr. Tolhurst, - and if we desire to enjoy the magnificent sacred compositions of the great masters, it is still to our indefatigable resident amateur we must be indebted, for it was he who established, and still conducts and carries on our Sacred Harmonic Society. In a word - music, of whatever kind, owns as its active promoter in this town and neighbourhood that most laborious, enterprising, and indefatigable of amateurs, Mr. W. H. Tolhurst. No individual, no society, whose objects are deserving of support seeks his assistance in vain - whether the purpose be religious, charitable, useful, or merely social and recreative, it may count on his ready aid.

Impressed with these feelings, and having had many opportunities of witnessing the toil and anxiety which his devotion to the cause of music imposed - more especially in his management of that highly respectable provincial musical institution the Sacred Harmonic Society, Mr. E. P. Hall, some time since, suggested the propriety of presenting Mr. Tolhurst, with some testimonial which should in some degree typify the grateful esteem and admiration for him entertained by every musical man acquainted with his praiseworthy exertions. The project was warmly seconded by all to whom it was mentioned, and a numerous party of gentlemen, including most of the musical amateurs, and several of the professors, of Maidstone and the neighbourhood, lately assembled at a public dinner given to Mr. Tolhurst, at the Star Hotel, to carry it into effect. C. G. Whittaker, Esq., took the chair, supported by Thomas Selby, Esq., George Perfect, Esq., Mr. W. H. Bensted, Mr. W. Philpot, Mr. J. E. Field, Mr. Lintott, Mr. Masters, Mr. E. P. Hall, Mr. Lancefield, Mr. E. Mason, Mr. J. Brown, Mr. Whiting, &c., &c. - Thomas Hitchings, Esq. discharged the duties of vice-president.

The dinner was most excellently and liberally provided by Mr. R. Fowler, and as to "the feast of reason and the flow of soul" that was amply supplied by the guests themselves. After the usual prefatory toasts, the health of Mr. Tolhurst was given, and his many claims on the regard of his fellow townsmen were enumerated, after which the testimonial was presented to him by the Chairman, - consisting of a handsome silver tea-pot, elegantly chased, and bearing the following inscription.

One one side:

MR. WILLIAM HENRY TOLHURST,
FOUNDER OF THE SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY,
MAIDSTONE.

On the other -

PRESENTED
BY HIS MUSICAL FRIENDS,
AS A TOKEN OF ESTEEM,
1842.

The applause which accompanied the presentation of the testimonial must have convinced Mr. Tolhurst how sincere was the feeling which prompted it, and the whole proceeding must have been highly gratifying not only to himself, but to Mrs. Tolhurst, and his family, who as well as other ladies, witnessed it from the gallery. Mr. Tolhurst briefly but warmly acknowledged the kindness of his friends, expressing his earnest desire to aid the sacred cause of music in whatever way it might be in his power to do so. - Composed as the company almost exclusively was of musical men, it is needless to say that the harmony of the evening was amply sustained. Glees, catches, and songs, went merrily around, ably accompanied by Mr. J. E. Field, on the pianoforte, and the party prolonged to a late hour one of the pleasantest evenings ever spent in Maidstone.

1845

4 March 1845, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern gazette (11 March 1845), 4

The usual monthly musical entertainment of the discussion and lecture class took place on Tuesday evening last. The orchestra, led by Mr. T. French, played two movements from Haydn's symphonies very efficiently. Mr. G. Tolhurst, who presided at the piano-forte, gained an encore in "The Batchelor," a song written and composed for the occasion. Other members of the institution contributed to the amusement of the evening by songs, recitations, &c. . . . Mr. G. Tolhurst will deliver a lecture music with illustrations, before the members of the class, at their next meeting. It is really gratifying to see the young men of the town amusing themselves and each other, and promoting self-improvement at the same time, in this rational way . . .


Jubilee hymn, words written by J. Brown; music composed by Geo. Tolhurst, Week Street Chapel, Maidstone, 1845, 1
Jubilee hymn, words written by J. Brown; music composed by Geo. Tolhurst, Week Street Chapel, Maidstone, 1845, 2

21 April 1845, Sunday school anniversary, Week Street chapel, Maidstone

Jubilee hymn, words written by J. Brown; music composed by Geo. Tolhurst, Week Street Chapel, Maidstone; in The juvenile missionary magazine 2 (1845), 142-43 (images above)

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924007275849&view=1up&seq=336 (DIGITISED)

First line: "Hark! Hark! the glad sound, 'tis the trumpet of Jubilee"; words dated at end "Maidstone, April 21 1845"


All Saints' church, Maidstone, c. 1840s (Drawn on Stone by Henry Burn)

All Saints' church, Maidstone, c. 1840s (Drawn on Stone by Henry Burn; Published by J. Smith, 10, Week Street, Maidstone; Printed by Mc.Lean & Co. 70 Martins Lane.)

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1928-1210-7 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: This image drawn on stone by Henry Burn, also later active in Melbourne, Australia, from 1853


7 July 1845, trial for the post of organist, All Saints' church, Maidstone

[2 advertisements], South eastern gazette (17 June 1845), 1

RATE-PAYERS GENERALLY OF THE PARISH OF MAIDSTONE. MR. GEORGE TOLHURST begs to offer himself as a CANDIDATE for the situation of ORGANIST of ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, and solicits the support of his Friends and the Public, assuring them, that, if should be appointed, he will make it his study to perform the duty, to the best of his ability, with assiduity and attention. Gabriel's-hill, Maidstone.

Mr. GEORGE EASTES, DEPUTY ORGANIST OF ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, MAIDSTONE, IN consequence of the Death of Mr. SANDERS, begs respectfully to solicit the support of the Nobility, Clergy, Gentry, and Inhabitants generally of the parish of Maidstone, as CANDIDATE for the vacant situation of ORGANIST to the above Church . . .

"MAIDSTONE. ELECTION OF ORGANIST", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (8 July 1845), 2

Yesterday a trial of skill between the rival candidates for the situation of organist of All Saints Church took place before Mr. Goss, organist of St. Paul Cathedral. The candidates were Mr. Eastes, who has for some time acted as deputy the late organist Mr. Sanders, and has continued to discharge duty since his decease, Mr. Charles Hoadley, Mr. George Tolhurst, and Mr. Gibson. Each candidate played a chant, a loud and soft voluntary and a chorus of his own selection. - and an original psalm tune, and a chorus appointed Mr. Goss, the two latter compositions being the same for all the candidates . . . After hearing the respective performances the umpire . . . awarded first place in the order of merit to No. 3, which proved to be Mr. Eastes . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Goss


16 December 1845, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern Gazette (23 December 1845), 4

A concert was given to the members of this institution, on Tuesday last, in the County Assembly Room. In the opening movement of the first overture, "Zaira" the flute, cornet, and trombone had a beautiful effect. The allegro went off with spirit and precision, and showed the band to efficient at all points. "Fra Diavolo" was also well played, but in the overture, "Massaniello," the Instruments, particularly the violins, were not well together . . . "The British Anchor" was well sung Mr. Cornell, as was also Christmas song by Mr. G. Tolhurst, composed himself, which gained an encore . . .


December 1845, publication of new Christmas song, England the land of the free, by George Tolhurst

"MUSICAL REVIEW", The illustrated London news (27 December 1845), 411

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HtBCAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA411 

ENGLAND, THE LAND OF THE FREE, AND A NEW CHRISTMAS SONG. Written and Composed by George Tolhurst. Blackman.
WHERE THE FLOWERY KNOLLS INVITE, NEW FAIRY GLEE. Composed by J. Stone. Williams.

These patriotic and seasonable effusions - the latter in two flats three four time, and the former two sharps six four measure - are chiefly remarkable, as regards the combination of poet and composer, but neither the words nor the music rise above the average quality of such inspirations. As first productions they are creditable . . .

1846

13 February 1846, concert, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern gazette (17 February 1846), 5

A concert, conducted Mr. George Tolhurst, assisted by several clever amateurs, took place before the members and their friends on Friday evening . . .


24 February 1846, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution

"Maidstone. MECHANICS' INSTITUTION" Kentish mercury (28 February 1846), 3

Tuesday night last was the amusement night of the discussion class . . . and that night have been appointed in reading, in character, of a comedietta, written by Mr. G. Tolhurst, entitled "The amusement night," and having reference to the institution. The class had fitted up a stage in the lower lectureroom, but had no expectation of very large audience. The matter, however, having "got wind," the place was actually crowded by members and their friends, the room was filled to suffocation, long before the commencement of the performance, and about 200 persons are said to have been unable to obtain admittance. The piece is of a lively cast, and contains some scenes of a highly ludicrous character, which were spiritedly performed by members of the institution. Although containing many imperfections and cordences of unpractised composition, it yet indicates in the writer a degree of originality and inventive power which is worth sedulously cultivating. The applause was most enthusiastic.


20 March 1846, Apollonian Society, Maidstone

"MAIDSTONE . . . APOLLONIAN SOCIETY", West Kent guardian (28 March 1846), 6

This society gave another excellent concert on Friday last. The band performed in good style, two overtures, a quartette, the "cricket" polka, and a pleasing set of quadrilles Mr. G. Tolhurst. The vocal performances were also very creditable. The last concert for the season was announced for Friday week, which we have doubt will be numerously attended.


9 April 1846, Maidstone Mechanics' Institution, "farewell" to George Tolhurst

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern gazette (7 April 1846), 5

We find a farewell concert announced by Mr. G. Tolhurst, previous to his leaving this country for America. Mr. Tolhurst has done good service to the institution in various efforts, and the "Amusement night" has often been rendered especially attractive by his exertions. We most heartily wish him a bumper, and that the members of the institution especially may embrace the opportunity to testify their grateful recollection of his services. The programme presents a very pleasing selection of popular music, glees, &c., and, assisted by the very superior Apollonian band, cannot fail to prove a real treat to all who appreciate good music . . .

"MR. G. TOLHURST'S FAREWELL CONCERT", South eastern gazette (14 April 1846), 4

This concert, on Thursday night, in the County Assembly Room, was well and numerously attended, and the performances gave very great satisfaction. Mr. Tolhurst was much applauded, and encored in his last song; he must have been much gratified by the kindly feeling expressed on all hands towards him.

1848

20 and 21 November 1848, Southampton

[Advertisement], Hampshire advertiser (18 November 1848), 4

Royal Victoria Assembly Rooms, Southampton.
ON MONDAY EVENING, November 20th, and TUESDAY, 21st, Miss GEORGE (of the Hanover-square Rooms, and Haymarket Theatre, London),
will give a MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT. New Song, by Mr. Tolhurst, "England, the Home of the Free!" and other favourite compositions.
Mr. G. TOLHURST will preside at the Pianoforte, and sing "The Dream of the Reveller," "Little Moles," "Blue Beard," and a "Wife Wanted."
Followed by Mr. GEORGE COX'S NEW DISSOLVING DIORAMA, by the lime light. New effects, lights, shades, fountains, chromatropes.
Seats, 2s 6d, 2s, and ls. Commence at Eight o'clock.

"SOUTHAMPTON", Salisbury and Winchester Journal (25 November 1848), 4

On Monday and Tuesday evenings a musical entertainment was given at the Victoria Rooms by Miss George, when she introduced some new songs composed by Mr. Tolhurst, and sang several duetts with him. Mr. G. Tolhurst presided at the piano-forte, and attempted some serio-comic extemporising, after the manner of the celebrated John Parry. At the close, Mr. G. Cox gave an exhibition of a dissolving Diorama, illuminated by the oxy-hydrogen lime light, as at the Polytechnic and Adelaide Institutions.

1849

June 1849, publication of George Tolhurst's Charles Mackay songs

"MUSICAL NOTICES", South Eastern Gazette (3 July 1849), 5

1. "The Little Moles." Song, by Charles Mackay; music by George Tolhurst.
2. "Life's Companion." Song by Charles Mackay; music by George Tolhurst. (J. Blackman.)
These are two of the best of Mackay's songs, the arrangement of which is highly creditable to Mr. Tolhurst as composer. The subjects are bold, striking, and generally original. Perhaps the best set of the two songs, is "Life's Companions," the air of which is singularly appropriate and the accompaniment pleasing and effective . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Mackay

1851

England census, 30 March 1851, Maidstone, Kent; UK National Acthives, HO 107 / 1617

https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/8860/images/KENHO107_1617_1618-0015 (PAYWALL)

67 King Street / William H Tolhurst / Head / 52 / Bootmaker for 1 master employing 3 men / [born] [Kent] Langley
Ann [Tolhurst] / Wife / 51 // Elizabeth [Tolhurst] / Dau'r / 12 . . .


"NEW MUSIC", Glasgow Herald [Scotland] (1 December 1851), 3

A CHRISTMAS SONG AND CHORUS. Written and composed by George Tolhurst. London J. Lawson, 198 Tottenham Court Road.

THIS is a delightful Christmas song. The melody is simple, graceful, and appropriate to the words - and the chorus, for treble, alto, tenor, and bass, while it is equally simple like the song, is rich, harmonious, and finely in keeping with the subject. It is not a custom in Scotland to bold Christmas as a festival; and we are sorry to have to state that concerted vocal music is not a feature of even the few holidays we enjoy . . .


"THE PHONETIC SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND . . . ALTERATIONS", The fonetic jurnal [sic] (15 July 1851), 112

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=8GKo461w-1oC&pg=PA112 (DIGITISED)

[1849] Maidstone - Tolhurst, Geo., 6 New Burlington st. London


15 December 1851, Maidstone Choral Society

"MAIDSTONE CHORAL SOCIETY", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (23 December 1851), 3

Handel's oratorio "Samson" was performed by this society yesterday se'nnight . . . The principal vocalists were Mrs. Edward Hancock, and Mr. Donald King, of the Exeter Hall concerts, - Mr. Armes and Mr. Harcourt, of Rochester Cathedral, - and Mr. Palmer, of Canterbury Cathedral. The chorus was aided the choristers of Rochester Cathedral, and the vocal and instrumental force numbered altogether about a hundred and twenty. Mr. H. Tolhurst led the band, and the conductor's baton was wielded . . . by Mr. Hopkins, organist of Rochester Cathedral . . . We were glad to see the respected president of the society in his accustomed place in the orchestra, affording both moral and musical aid to the society, and also recognised with pleasure the veteran father of oratorio practice in Maidstone, Mr. Tolhurst, sen., who kindly came to render his assistance to his former associates in the "good work" . . . Mrs. Hancock was scarcely equal to the music entrusted to her, her voice being deficient in compass and power . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ellen Hancock (soprano vocalist); John Larkin Hopkins (organist)

1852

19 February 1852, Maidstone Literary and Mechanics' Institution

"MAIDSTONE LITERARY AND MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South eastern gazette (24 February 1852), 4

The concert of this society, on Thursday evening last, was attended by about 1100 persons. The orchestra, which was ably led Mr. H. Tolhurst, performed, with great spirit and precision, the "Men of Prometheus, "La Cenerentola," and "Figaro," and Mr. H. Tolhurst took the audience by surprise, by the admirable way in which he executed a clarionet solo with variations, by Brepsant . . .




Melbourne, VIC (from December 1852)
1852

5 December 1852, arrival at Melbourne of William and George Tolhurst, per Orestes, from London, 15 August

Unassisted inward passengers index, 1852; Public Record Office Victoria

TOLHURST, GEORGE; Ship: ORESTES; Arrival Year: 1852; Arrival Month: DEC; Age: 25; Gender: M . . .
TOLHURST, WM H.; Ship: ORESTES; Arrival Year: 1852; Arrival Month: DEC; Age: 52; Gender: M; Origin: ENG; Master: CAYZER HENRY C; Origin port code: B; Fiche number: 19; Page of list: 5

1853

8 September 1853, weekly Thursday concert, Mechanics' Institution, Melbourne

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1853), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4796746 

MELBOURNE Thursday Concerts. - Thursday, Sept. 8th. MECHANICS' INSTITUTION.
Vocalists - Miss Lewis and Mr. John Gregg.
Instrumentalists - Cornet-a-Piston, Mr. G. Chapman, M. Tucker, M. Edwards, M. Tranter, M. Boullermere [sic], M. Touthust [sic], M. Harrison, M. Thatcher, M. Wigney, &c.
Pianist, M. Salamons.
Leader of Orchestra, M. Tucker.
Conductor, M. Winterbottom.
Programme - PART I. Overture- Il Barbiere - Rossini
Valse - Ladies of England - Montgomery . . .
Quadrille - Le Bon Temps - Montgomery . . .
Polka - St. Valentine's Day - Montgomery
PART II.
Quadrille - La Guerre des Femmes - Bosiscio . . .
Valse - Fuschia - Barrett . . .
Galop - The Queen's - Tinney . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gregg (bass vocalist); Annie Lewis (soprano vocalist); Edward Salaman (pianist); John Winterbottom (conductor, bassoonist); Edward (John) Tucker (violinist); George Chapman (cornet player); William Tranter (string player); William Wigney (brass player); Mons. Boullemier (instrumentalist); Charles Thatcher (flautist)


17 December 1853, promenade concert, Rowe's American Circus, Melbourne

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 December 1853), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4800794 

ROWE'S AMERICAN CIRCUS, Corner of Stephen and Lonsdale Streets.
The sixth of a series of Grand PROMENADE CONCERTS . . . on Saturday evening, December 17th, 1853.
Mr. Alfred Oakey's Monster Orchestra, aided by several members of the band of the 40th Regiment . . .
Instrumentalists: Pianoforte - Mr. Alfred Oakey.
Violino primo - Mr. Radford and Mr. Peck.
Violino Segundo - Mr. Mather and Mr. Burgess.
Viola - Mr. Tolhurst.
Violincello - Mr. S. Chapman and Mr. Minton.
Contra Basso - Mr. West and Mr. Chate . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Oakey (conductor); Mark Radford (violinist); George Peck (violinist); Samuel Chapman (cellist); Alfred Chate (double bassist)

1854

July 1854, George briefly serves as assistant singing master, Denominational Schools

Peter Game, The music sellers (Melbourne: The Hawthorn Press, 1976), 21, 22

. . . In June [1854] a Mr. G. Tolhurst was offered the post of assistant singing master at £300 a year to date from 1 July, on condition that he devoted at least twenty-four hours a week to his duties under George Allan's supervision. Mr. Tolhurst seems to have been a single-minded man with more than ordinary self-esteem: he refused the £300 salary, and when the Board increased the offer to £350, accepted . . . A few weeks later Mr. Tolhurst, exhibiting the same independent spirit . . . resigned because he objected to the denominational system. There is no [other] record of why he so quickly grew disenchanted after agreeing to work for the board.

See also, Kenneth Hince, "Allan, George Leavis (1826-1897)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/allan-george-leavis-2875 

ASSOCIATIONS: George Leavis Allan

1855

[Advertisement], The Age (27 August 1855), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154894620 

ELIJAH. - A few score copies (octavo size) of Mendelssohn's chef d'oeuvre for sale. Price ten shillings. Apply to Mr. Tolhurst, office of this paper.


On George's work as a reporter, from c. mid 1855, see:

"THE DETECTIVE OFFICE AND THE PRESS. (To the Editor of . . .)", The Age (21 June 1855), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154895164 

"SUPREME COURT . . . PERJURY", The Age (21 November 1855), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154862693 

1856

6 May 1856, marriage of George Tolhurst and Ann Gibbons, Melbourne

"MARRIAGES", Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser [England] (16 August 1856), 4

TOLHURST - GIBBONS. On the 6th Inst. [May], at Melbourne, Australia. Mr. George Tolhurst, formerly of Maidstone, to Anne, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Ambrose Gibbons, of Toke House, Linton.


19 June 1856, testimonial to William, Independent Chapel, St. Kilda

"ST. KILDA SINGING CLASS", The Age (21 June 1856), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154863041 

On Thursday evening a social tea meeting of the attendants of the singing class in connection with the new Independent Chapel, St. Kilda, was held in the building. After tea, the Rev. R. Fletcher, who presided, delivered an interesting address on the importance of the cultivation of vocal music, as a part of divine service. Mr. Fulton followed, and on behalf of the singing-class, presented Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, the conductor, with a purse containing twenty-five sovereigns. The testimonial was acknowledged in appropriate terms, and some other addresses having been given, a very pleasant evening was brought to a close by the anthem "Holiest breathe an evening blessing" being sung by the class. We ought not to omit to say that most of the very beautiful specimens of psalmody recently introduced at this place of worship, and of which about half-a-dozen tunes were sung on this occasion, are from Vincent Novello's incomparable work "The Psalmist," published by Haddon Brothers, Castle street, Finsbury.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Fletcher (Congregationalist minister), father of William Roby Fletcher

MUSIC: The psalmist (part 1); The psalmist (part 2) (Vincent Novello)


On George's work as a reporter, to c. mid 1858, see:

"LEGISLATIVE COUNTIL REPORTING (To the Editor of . . .)", The Age (13 March 1856), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154864522 

"THE BAPTISTS (To the Editor of . . .)", The Age (15 April 1856), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154860915 

"IN THE ESTATE OF THE PROPRIETORS OF THE 'AGE' NEWSPAPER", Bendigo Advertiser (22 August 1856), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88052282 

This was an adjourned special meeting. The Court was crowded with insolvents and creditors, and debts were admitted as being due to a host of parties connected with the establishment, from the Rev. Mr. Tolhurst to "the devil" himself . . . - Herald.

[Advertisement], The Age (16 August 1856), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154872426 

BLACK and WHITE LIST, and ELECTORS' GUIDE. - Will be published, on nomination day, a New and Revised Edition of the Black and White List, with an entirely New Appendix; comprising a complete List of Candidates, up to the latest moment, with interesting particulars, and an extended List of Likely Men. Compiled by George Tolhurst. Price 1s. 6d. George Slater; and all Booksellers.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Slater (publisher)

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1856), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7135044 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. - This Day is Published, price one shilling . . .
contains - "The New Black and White List" . . .

NOTE: "The new black and white list" (song by Charles Thatcher)

"JOURNALISM AND POLTITICS", The Age (28 August 1856), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154873105 

1857

1 May 1857, publication of George's song I remember

"THE ILLUSTRATED JOURNAL OF AUSTRALASIA", The Argus (5 May 1857), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7149035 

The current number is above the average in point of literary merit . . . Hood's plaintive ballad, "I remember, I remember," has been set to music by Mr. J. Tolhurst [sic], and is published in the number under notice.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Slater and William Henry Williams (publisher and printer)


[Advertisement], The Argus (6 May 1857), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7149080

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, MUSIC SELLER, 50 Brighton-road, St. Kilda, Pianofortes Tuned.

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 May 1857), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7132136 

MR. TOLHURST, Teacher of the Pianoforte, 50 Brighton-road, St. Kilda.


1 July 1857, temperance meeting, Exhibition Building

"INAUGURATION OF THE TEMPERANCE LEAGUE OF VICTORIA", The Age (2 July 1857), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154831669 

Yesterday evening the Exhibition Building presented a most brilliant appearance. Separation Day having been made the occasion for a great gathering of the advocates of temperance, with a view of inaugurating the Temperance League, and raising a fund of one thousand pounds in order to carry out its object . . . During the evening, the proceedings were relieved by some excellent glee singing by Messrs. Goodliffe, Williams, Fletcher, Angus, Ewart, Tolhurst, senior, Charles Cook, and Mrs. Goodliffe, who gave their services on the occasion. There were several encores. Mr. G. Tolhurst presided at the piano, and played judicious accompaniments to several airs sang by Mrs. Goodliffe, and Messrs. Williams and Angus.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Goodliffe (vocalist); Charles Cooke (vocalist); William Henry Williams (tenor vocalist); Silvanus Angus (bass vocalist); Thomas Ewart (tenor vocalist)


2 December 1857, benefit concert, Mechanics' Institute

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 December 1857), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7142840 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. MR. KROM'S Benefit Concert on Wednesday December 2nd.
Miss E. Turner; Re-appearance of MISS OCTAVIA HAMILTON.
The following distinguished Artists have kindly volunteered their services:
Vocalists: Mrs. Batten, Mr. Geo. Tolhurst, Mr. Blanchard, Mr. W. H. Williams, Amateur.
Instrumentalists: Miss Emily Smith, Mr. Julius Siede, Mr. Charles Bial, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Krom.
PROGRAMME: Part I. Trio and Chorus - "The Chough and Crow" - Bishop . . .
Song - "The Pilot," Mr. G. Tolhurst - Nelson . . .

[News], The Argus (3 December 1857), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7142906 

This musical entertainment was given last evening in the Mechanics' Institution, and was well attended, considering the numerous public amusements at present inviting attention. If the concert was rich in nothing more, it certainly was lavishly profuse in the number of soloists, and introduced Miss E. Turner (a contralto) to the musical world, as well as re-introduced a lady who has long been a favorite, Miss Octavia Hamilton. Miss Emily Smith, Mr. Julias Siede, and Mr. C. Bial, as well as the beneficiare, performed as instrumentalists, and supported a reputation already formed; while, in addition to the ladies above mentioned, Mrs. Batten (mezzo soprano), Mr. G. Tolhurst (baritone), Mr. Blanchard (basso), and Mr. W. H. Williams (tenor), each sustained an allotted part in the varied programme. It is to be hoped that the concert was found to be productive of all the benefits that the friends of Mr. Krom could desire.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Herman Krom (beneficiare); Miss E. Turner (vocalist); Octavia Hamilton (soprano vocalist); Charles Blanchard (vocalist); Emilie Smith (solo pianist); Julius Siede (flautist); Charles Bial (pianist, accompanist)

MUSIC: The chough and the crow (Bishop, from Guy Mannering); The pilot (song composed by Sidney Nelson)

1858

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 April 1858), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7292374 

Mr. TOLHURST, TEACHER of the PIANO-FORTE, Wellington-street, Windsor.


Early 1858, first performance of God preserve our sovereign's viceroy, probably correctly at Prahran, not Geelong

[13 April 1858] "MELBOURNE", The Musical Times (1 July 1858), 275

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3371034?seq=4 (DIGITISED)

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=820PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA275 (DIGITISED)

By a letter from a correspondent dated, April 13th, we learn that there have been performances of sacred music during the previous month, in aid of the Indian Fund, at Melbourne, at Prahran (a suburb of Melbourne), and at Geelong. At the last-named, Sir H. Barkly, Governor of Victoria, was present, and an anthem, "God preserve our Sovereign's Viceroy," composed by Mr. George Tolhurst, was performed for the first time . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Barkly


[Advertisement], The Argus (17 April 1858), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7292908 

PIANO for SALE. - Splendid new rosewood piccolo, by Nutting and Addison. In first-rate condition. Price, 45 guineas. Mr. Tolhurst, at Victoria Leather Warehouse, 55 Collins-street east; or Wellington-street, Windsor, next Governor Gipps Hotel.

ASSOCIATIONS: Nutting, Addison, and Co. (London); partnership of James Nutting and Robert Addison


[Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1858), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7293435 

PRAHRAN MECHANICS' INSTITUTION. - Mr. Tolhurst's VOCAL MUSIC CLASS meets on Wednesday evenings.


21 May 1858, oratorio, Prahran Philharmonic Society

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 May 1858), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7294895 

FIRST QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE of the PRAHRAN PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY.
FRIDAY, MAY 21st, 1858. Patron: HIS EXCELLENCY SIR HENRY BARKLY.
Haydn's Grand Oratorio "THE CREATION" Will be performed by the above Society, Assisted by several leading Members of the Melbourne Philharmonic and the Collingwood Harmonic Societies.
The Band and Chorus will consist of UPWARDS OF 100 PERFORMERS.
Principals: Miss Octavia Hamilton, Mrs. Fox, Mr. Ewart, Mr. W. H. Williams, Mr. Angus, Mons. Coulon.
Leader - Mr. Leslie. Organist - Mr. G. Tolhurst. Conductor - Mr. Radcliffe.
Reserved Seats, 6s.; Unreserved Seats, 2s. 6d. Tickets to be had at Mr. J. Wilkie's, Collins-street, Melbourne.
J. STOKES, Honorary Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah Fox (contralto vocalist); Emile Coulon (bass-baritone vocalist); Alexander Leslie (violinist); Charles Radcliffe (conductor)


[Advertisement], The Argus (18 June 1858), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7296285

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, TEACHER of the PIANOFORTE and SINGING, Wellington-street, Windsor.


22 July 1858, lecture, Mechanics' Institution

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (23 July 1858), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154878521 

Last evening about sixty persons assembled in the Mechanics' Institution, for the purpose of listening to a lecture on Music, with illustrations by Mr. George Tolhurst. The lecture, if such it can be called, consisted of a few not very coherent observations interspersed with quotations from the works of writers on music. This was followed by a series of sketches of various styles of music personified by the greatest masters in each, and arranged in chronological order so as to depict the gradual improvement which musical composition has undergone. The lecturer illustrated each of these departments with characteristic passages, which were mostly well selected and played. This was decidedly the most acceptable portion of the evening's entertainment, and the lecturer would have done well to have made it more prominent and cut short the preliminary observations. At the close of the lecture a vote of thanks was proposed by the chairman, Dr. Greeves, and carried by acclamation . . .

"LECTURE ON MUSIC", The Argus (23 July 1858), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7298029

Mr. George Tolhurst delivered the last of a course of lectures at the Mechanics' Institute, yesterday evening, on the subject of "Music." Dr. Greeves occupied the chair. The lecturer dwelt pleasingly on the general influence of music - its universality and salutary effects, and gave a very interesting sketch of the history of the art, from the most ancient compositions down to the works of Spohr and Costa, illustrating the lecture with performances on the pianoforte of specimens of the styles of the great composers of all ages. The audience was by no means numerous, but the lecture was well received, and a vote of thanks tendered to Mr. Tolhurst at its conclusion.

"MR. TOLHURST'S LECTURE ON MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Age (30 July 1858), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154876849 

SIR. When first I glanced at your remarks in the "News of the Day," on Mr. Tolhurst's lecture, it did not seem to me worth while to make any stir on behalf of the lecturer, who has, I think, been rather unfairly handled by a portion of the press. If he possesses ability, it will in time be known that he is possessed of it; if not, better for himself and the public that he remain unknown. But those with whom I have conversed upon the subject think some reply on behalf of Mr. Tolhurst should be made, and I am sure you will allow this much of justice to be done him.

He is a young man: this his first attempt at lecturing in Melbourne. Lectures on music and musical composition, it is admitted, are desirable. Let us, then, give Mr. Tolhurst a fair trial.

Permit me to say, that in complaining of Mr. Tolhurst's remarks being "not very coherent," I think you do him an injustice. The question to be asked, of a lecturer or lecture is, "were his remarks good?" To be acceptable, a lecture must be rather anecdotal than essaic, and I think the lecturer proved himself possessed of a good stock of common sense in taking the course he did. Perhaps he was a trifle too discursive, but it was an error on the right side; better too scrappy than too prosy. While the lighter amusements are uniformly commended by the newspapers, I think it but fair to say thus much on behalf of one who has stepped forward to set forth the art divine in its best attire.

Will you further permit me to say a word with respect to the criticism which a writer in My Note Book has put forth upon the lecturer. The public will then be able to judge of his powers as a musical critic. He, too, complains of observations made by the lecturer; but his complaint is not that of your own, namely, that the lecture was made up of quotations, but that the lecture was too original, that is to say, he expressed opinions with regard to music which were not the opinions of the writer in the periodical in question. He complains that the examples were too few. There were upwards of a dozen of them, the whole occupying nearly two hours. He complains of the lecturer omitting the "allegro movement" of "The Heavens are Telling." I do not. The imitations of the beasts of the forest, so magnificent when given with the brass instruments, would have been, upon the pianoforte, simply ridiculous. Mr. Tolhurst showed good taste in omitting the "wind up." To call it a second movement is a mistake. I do think that in not wearying his hearers with long, meaningless (upon the pianoforte I mean) effusions, as other performers are wont to do upon this instrument, the lecturer did quite right.

In thus attempting to do Mr. Tolhurst justice, I feel compelled to say, on the other side, that his programme was a little too pretentious. A history of music, with a dozen illustrations compressed into one-half of the period, usually allotted to a public lecture, was attempting too much. At the same time, I rejoice that he has courage to express fearlessly original opinions respecting the art.
Yours truly,
ONE WHO WAS PRESENT AT THE LECTURE.
July 27th, 1858.

ASSOCIATIONS: Augustus Greeves (d. 1874); My note book (periodical, 1856-58, to which, among others, James Edward Neild contributed)


17 and 24 August 1858, commencement of vocal music class, National School, Melbourne city

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 August 1858), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7299310

VOCAL MUSIC - A CLASS for the STUDY and PRACTICE of VOCAL MUSIC, conducted by Mr. GEORGE TOLHURST, will be commenced at the National School, 6 Russell-street, Melbourne, on Tuesday, August 24, commencing at half-past 6 o'clock p.m. Tickets for the course of 20 lessons, 5s. each, may be paid at the school. An Introductory Lecture will be given by Mr. Tolhurst on Tuesday evening, August 17, in the school-room, commencing at 7 o'clock. Admission free.


17 December 1858, lecture on the history of music, St. Kilda

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 December 1858), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7306493 

HISTORY of MUSIC. A LECTURE will be given THIS EVENING, DECEMBER 17, 1858, At Kelson's Rooms, Junction, St. Kilda, On the HISTORY OF MUSIC, By Mr. G. Tolhurst. The lecture will be illustrated by specimens the compositions of the great masters, performed upon the pianoforte, by Mr. Tolhurst. Admittance, 1s each ; reserved seat, 2s. To commence at 8 o'clock.

1859

5 April 1859, lecture on the cultivation of the voice, Mechanics' Institute, Geelong

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (5 April 1859), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150077046 

A lecture on "The Cultivation of the Voice," illustrated by various examples of vocal music, will be delivered this evening at the Mechanics' Institute, by Mr. G. Tolhurst. The programme of the pieces for execution looks sufficiently attractive and offers considerable variety. The selections are from Handel, Mendelssohn, Webbe, Nauman, Sporle, Russell, and other well known composers.


April 1859, reissue of God preserve our sovereign's viceroy

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1859), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5679929 

THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM. "God Preserve Our Sovereign's Viceroy." Price 1s. Wilkie, Collins-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wilkie (musicseller, publisher)


[Advertisement], The Argus (9 August 1859), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5685935 

MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY . . . TWO CONCERTS Will be given in the EXHIBITION BUILDING, On TUESDAY and THURSDAY EVENINGS August 9 and 11, 1859, In commemoration of the CENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF HANDEL. THIS EVENING, AUGUST 9, The first concert, consisting of a Selection from the Oratorios SAMSON, JUDAS MACCABAEUS, ISRAEL IN EGYPT, &c. The second will consist of THE MESSIAH . . . Violin: - Mr. King, leader; Griffiths; Leslie; Weston; Megson; H. King; Gabb; Tolhurst . . . Conductor - Mr. Russell . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Melbourne Philharmonic Society; John Russell (conductor); Edward King (leader); Joseph Griffiths; Alexander Leslie; John Weston; Joseph Megson; Henry John King; John Gough Gabb


September 1859, George appointed organist (harmonium player) of Christ church, South Yarra

[News], The Argus (2 September 1859), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5687372 

Mr. George Tolhurst, professor of music, St. Kilda, has been appointed organist of Christ Church, South Yarra.

NOTE: The first stage of the present building was opened in February 1857; the first pipe organ was installed in 1871


[Advertisement], The Age (8 September 1859), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154828711 

ST. KILDA COMMERCIAL ACADMEY, Park Terrace, Fitzroy street.
English, Mathematics, Classics - Rev. R. S. Bruce, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge . . .
Vocal Music: George Tolhurst, Esq. . . .


15 September 1859, lecture on the cultivation of the voice, Mechanics' Institute, Melbourne

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (15 September 1859), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154827387 

This evening, at the Mechanics' Institute, Mr. George Tolhurst will deliver a lecture on the cultivation of the voice, and vocal music, illustrated with numerous examples from the works of Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Bellini, Russell, &c. On this occasion Mr. Tolhurst will make use of the new piano-organ, whereby the performer is enabled to play the piano or organ separately or together upon the one key-board. The lecture promises to possess great interest.

[News], The Argus (16 September 1859), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5688196

Mr. George Tolhurst gave an extremely interesting lecture last evening at the Mechanics' Institute, on the Cultivation of the Voice. Owing to the unfavourable state of the weather, the audience was very limited. The lecturer illustrated his discourse by singing, reciting, and playing selections from favourite composers.


November 1859, George appointed teacher of vocal music, St. Patrick's College, East Melbourne

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (5 November 1859), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154882195 

We have been informed that Mr. George Tolhurst has been appointed professor of vocal music at St. Patrick's College. Those who are familiar with the professional acquirements and personal excellencies of that gentleman, will best appreciate the value of his accession to the collegiate staff.

"ST. PATRICK'S COLLEGE", The Age (21 December 1859), 5-6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154881420 

The Christmas examination of the pupils attending St. Patrick's College, Eastern Hill, commenced yesterday forenoon, at 10 a.m., and concluded shortly before 4 p.m. . . . [6] The academy of St. Patrick's College held a soiree in the evening . . . The programme was divided into three parts, and consisted of instrumental music, songs, and recitations. We have heard much better music, but at the same time we do not feel disposed to find fault with the efforts of our juvenile friends. Of the singing, we may say that the Academy did all they could to make the entertainment interesting; nor must we forget to mention that Mr. Tolhurst presided at the piano, and assisted much in pleasantly whiling away the intervals between the examinations in the earlier part of the day . . .


15 November 1859, lecture on the ballad poetry of Charles Mackay, Mechanics' Institute, Geelong

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (15 November 1859), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146566409 

Mr. Tolhurst will deliver a lecture at the Mechanics' Institute, this evening, on the ballad poetry of Charles Mackay. The lecturer will illustrate his discourse by introducing several of the characteristic airs set to words by that popular author.

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (16 November 1859), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146564897 

Mr. Tolhurst's lecture last night on the poetry of Charles Mackay was very well received. The audience displayed great attention, and appeared highly interested in the critical mode (with vocal "illustrations") in which the lecturer handled his subject.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Mackay

1860

2 March 1860, death of Charles Tolhurst

"DEATHS", The Argus (3 March 1860), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5678207 

On the 2nd inst., of consumption, at the residence of his brother Mr. George Tolhurst, Wellington-street, St. Kilda, Mr. Charles Tolhurst, aged 26 years.


12 April 1860, lecture on music, St. Kilda Commerical Academy

[Advertisement], The Argus (11 April 1860), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5680403 

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST will give a LECTURE on MUSIC, with musical readings, accompanied on the pianoforte, at the Commercial Academy, Fitzroy-street, St. Kilda, on Thursday evening, at 8 o'clock. Admission, 2s. 6d, and 1s.

[Advertisement], The Age (6 July 1860), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154841644 

ST. KILDA COMMERCIAL ACADMEY, Park Terrace, Fitzroy street.
English, Mathematics, Classics - Rev. R. S. Bruce, M.A. . . .
Vocal Music: George Tolhurst, Esq. . . .


26 June 1860, lecture on music, Brighton Mechanics' Institute

[News], The Argus (28 June 1860), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5685144 

In connexion with the Brighton Mechanics' Institute, a lecture was delivered on Tuesday evening last, by Mr. George Tolhurst, on "Music." The meeting was presided over by Mr. Augustus Tulk, and a numerous and attentive audience frequently greeted the lecturer with applause.

ASSOCIATIONS: Augustus Tulk


"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE [BALLARAT] . . . CORRESPONDENCE", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (19 November 1860), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66335835 

From Mr. George Tolhurst, offering to give his Musical Entertainment and Lecture during the Christmas holidays. Received, the Secretary to write informing Mr. Tolhurst that no arrangement can be made for the Christmas holidays on account of the Bazaar, and inquiring whether the latter part of January will suit him.


"THE HORTICULTURAL EXHIBITION. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Argus (10 December 1860), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5694720

Sir, - Again there was a difficulty about obtaining the use of the Philharmonic Society's organ for the Horticultural Exhibition. On Friday, the accompanying letter reached me: -

"Dear Sir, - I have, unluckily, sprained my ankle, and cannot walk to see you. I have spoken to Mr. Clarke, and he tells me the organ will be ready for you, and when you get to the building, at any time you like to go, he will tell you what to do. The Exhibition closes at 7 o'clock, so that you could go as early before that hour as convenient to-day. "Your[s] truly, "---."

The letter was signed by a member of the committee, whose name it will only be sufficient for me to hand to you. At 2 o'clock on Saturday I was there. Mr. Clarke told me, that although the secretary of the Philharmonic Society had promised to come and open the organ, he had not done so. I said, "The organ is not locked." Mr. Clarke said it could not be used until "opened" by Mr. Davis.
I have the honour to be, sir,
Yours obediently,
GEORGE TOLHURST,
Professor of Music, St. Kilda.


[Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1860), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5696088 

ST. KILDA EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE, Bay View House, Argyle-street.
Principal, WM. COX, Melbourne University . . .
singing master, Mr. G. Tolhurst, professor of music . . .


26 December 1860, entertainment, Mechanics' Institute, Williamstown

"THE LATE ELOCUTION SOCIETY", Williamstown Chronicle (29 December 1860), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article68570212 

On Wednesday evening last a grand amateur dramatic entertainment was given in the Mechanics' Institute, Williamstown, by the Melbourne Histrionic Society, in behalf of the late Williamstown Elocution Society . . . Considerable merit was due to the musical portion of the entertainment. The opening piece was a Fantasia from "Semiramide", given by Mr. G. Tolhurst, who was loudly cheered. Of the songs the two which elicited the greatest applause were "Simon the Cellarer," sung by Mr. George Fox and a parody on "The Fine Old English Gentleman", given by Mr. Wyatt Hickling, in the character of an Irish peasant; this was encored twice . . .

1861

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (8 February 1861), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154887697 

The shilling Promenade Concerts at the Prince of Wales, seem rising in public favor. Some credit is due to the lessees, Messrs. Hancock and Varley, for the enterprising manner in which they have conducted them. The vocalists comprise Mrs. Hancock, Madame Carandini, Miss Chalker, Walter Sherwin, and Mr. Hancock. There is an efficient band under tha direction of Mr. E. King, and Mr. George Tolhurst presides at the piano forte.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ellen Hancock (soprano vocalist); Maria Carandini (soprano vocalist); Marie Chalker (vocalist); Walter Sherwin (tenor vocalist); Edward King (violinist); Edward Hancock (vocalist, manager); Frank Varley (manager)


3 September 1861, entertainment, for the Brighton Mechanics' Institute

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (5 September 1861), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154901794 

The reception of Mr. George Tolhurst, at the Devonshire Hotel, on Tuesday evening, must have been highly gratifying to that gentleman. His musical entertainment consists of about a dozen well selected songs, from the most favorite compositions of Russell, Parry, &c., interspersed with anecdotes and scraps of information upon the subject of music. "An Hour's Gossip about Music and Musicians" is its title. At the close a vote of thanks was proposed to Mr. Tolhurst by G. Higinbotham, Esq., and carried by acclamation. This was the first of a new series of lectures to be given by various gentlemen, in connection with the Brighton Mechanics' Institute, the proceeds to be devoted to the erection of a suitable building for a reading room and lecture hall.

[New], The Argus (5 September 1861), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5703806 

On Tuesday evening last a musical entertainment entitled "An Hour's Gossip with Music and Musicians" was given, in connexion with the Brighton Mechanics' Institute, by Mr. Tolhurst, and was numerously attended. The lecturer illustrated his remarks by singing a variety of pieces by modern composers, amongst which "Mamma is so very particular," and "John Littlejohn," the latter being a composition of Mr. Tolhurst's, were rapturously encored. At the conclusion a vote of thanks was unanimously awarded to the lecturer.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Higinbotham

MUSIC: Mamma is so very particular (Parry)


10 September 1861, oratorio, Messiah, Prahran Philharmonic Society

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 September 1861), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5703937

PRAHRAN PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY.
On TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, In the Town-hall, Chapel street,
Handel's Oratorio, The MESSIAH Will be performed,
In aid of the Funds of the Prahran and South Yarra Benevolent Society.
Principal Performers:
Madame STUTTAFORD.
Mrs. BATTEN.
Mr. BEAUMONT.
Mr. ANGUS.
Mr. WILKINSON.
First Violin - Mr. Leslie.
Second Violin - Mr. A. Pringle.
Viola - Mr. G. Tolhurst.
Violoncello - Mr. Hailes.
Flute - Mr. Mortimer.
Trumpet - Mr. Richardson.
Double Drums - Mr. W. H. Tolhurst.
Organist - Mr. P. L. Plaisted.
Conductor - Mr. G. R. G. Pringle . . .
J. STOKES, Hon. Sec.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Pringle (conductor); Philip Plaisted (organist); Charlotte Stuttaford (soprano vocalist); Mrs. Batten (contralto vocalist); Armes Beaumont (tenor vocalist); Alexander Pringle (violinist); George Hailes (cellist)


21 September 1861, private concert, Government House

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (23 September 1861), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244246112 

The vice-regal region of Toorak, presented on Saturday, a most gay and animated scene. About two hundred ladies and gentlemen had been invited by His Excellency and Lady Barkly to a morning musical entertainment at which it was understood Mr. Lyster's opera company would make their re-appearance . . . The Sydney steamer having only come in late on Saturday morning, fears were entertained that Madame Escott and her associates would not be able to attend, but after some little delay, Miss Georgians Hodgson and Mr. Farquharson were announced, and shortly after Madame Escott and Mr. Squires arrived. MM. Poussard, Douay, Boulanger, and Tolhurst were the instrumentalists; and Miss Octavia Hamilton, with good grace, sung "My Pretty Jane," very sweetly while the company were waiting for the other vocalists . . .
Programme.
Part I. - Grand Trio in C Minor - Piano, violin, and violoncello - Beethoven - Messieurs Boulangor, Poussard, and Douay.
Recitativo and Aria - Fatal Godfredi (Torquato Tasso) - Donizetti - Madame Escott.
Fantasie - (Lucia di Lammermoor) - Violin - Donizetti - Monsieur Poussard.
Ballad - "My Sistor Dear" - (Masaniollo) - Auber - Mr. Henry Squires . . .
Il Balen - (Trovatore) - Verdi - Mr. Farquharson.
Song - "Swiss Girl" - Linley - Miss Georgia Hodson.
La Serenade - Violoncello - Schubert - Monsieur Douay.
Trio - (Lucrezia Borgia) - Donizetti - Madame Escott, Messieurs Squires and Farquharson.
Part II . . .
Ballad - "Auld Robin Gray" Lady A. Lindsay - Miss Georgia Hodson.
Serenade - Com e Gentil - (Don Pasquale) - Donizetti - Mr. Henry Squires.
Solo - English melodies - Violoncello - Douay - Monsieur Douay.
Ballad - "Go not from me" - Minasi - Madame Escott.
Song - "Oh! ruddier than the cherry" - Handel - Mr. Farquharson.
Souvenir de Bretagne - Violin - Poussard - Monsieur Poussard.
Duet - "Da quel di" (Linda di Chamouni) - Donizetti - Madame Escott and Mr. Henry Squires . . .
Accompanyist: Mr. Tolhurst . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lucy Escott (soprano vocalist); Georgia Hodson (contralto vocalist); Henry Squires (tenor vocalist); Robert Farquharson (bass vocalist); Horace Poussard (violinist); Rene Douay (Cellist); Edward Boulanger (pianist)


9 October 1861, concert, Mechanics' Institute, Melbourne

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 October 1861), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5704839 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9. FASHIONABLE SOIREE. GRAND FAREWELL CONCERT Given by Messrs. POUSSARD and DOUAY, The celebrated instrumentalists, With the assistance of Miss OCTAVIA HAMILTON, Miss A. BAILEY, Messrs. Thomas, Rider, George Tolhurst . . .

[News], The Argus (10 October 1861), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5704879 

It does not often happen that concerts at the Mechanics' Institute are so well attended as was the musical entertainment given last evening by MM. Poussard and Douay . . . Miss Octavia Hamilton and Miss Bailey agreeably diversified the concert by their vocal efforts; and Messrs. Rider and Thomas proved efficient coadjutors to the principals in the concerted pieces. Mr. Tolhurst's song might have been judiciously omitted.

ASSOCIATIONS: Amelia Bailey (vocalist); Herbert Thomas (violinist, viola player); George Ryder (violinist)


4 November 1861, entertainment, Kew Athenaeum

"NOTES AND NEWS", South Bourke Standard (8 November 1861), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66903091 

At the Kew Atheneum, on Monday evening, Mrs. Ashley Spencer and Mr. G. Tolhurst gave a dramatic and musical entertainment. There was not a large attendance on the occasion, but amongst them was a knot of boys, or as they would style themselves young men who were eminently successful in their attempts to interrupt the proceedings. Such rowdyism would not be tolerated for an instant even in the penny theatres of London, and it speaks well for the forbearance of the performers, that one or two out of this mob were not handed over to the police.

1862

"BIRTHS", The Argus (9 January 1862), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5708187 

TOLHURST. - On the 7th inst., at 41, Wellington-street, St. Kilda, the wife of Mr. George Tolhurst, professor of music, of a son.

"DEATH", The Argus (31 January 1862), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5709275 

TOLHURST. - On the 30th inst., at 41 Wellington-street, St Kilda, George Arthur, infant son of Mr. George Tolhurst, aged twenty-three days.


"TOWN TALK", The Herald (5 July 1862), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244229618 

Coppin's Apollo Music Hall is to be opened for the first time to-night with a grand concert, in which Madame Carandini, Miss Chalker, the Misses Royal, and Messrs. Sherwin, Small, Tolhurst, and Barlow will make their appearance. Mr. George Loder is the musical director, an appointment which, we are sure, will receive the approval of the patrons of the establishment. It is the intention of the management to give selections from the popular operas, a feature which has proved exceedingly attractive at the large concert establishments in London. The first series of extracts will be from "II Trovatore," and the next from Benedict's last lyric production, "The Lily of Killarney." The hall has been beautifully decorated, and will be brilliantly lighted by glass gasoliers of enormous dimensions.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Loder (conductor); Eliza and Kate Royal (vocalists); Joe Small (comic vocalist); Robert Barlow (comic vocalist)


July 1862, publication of The spilt pearls

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (12 July 1862), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155010469 

"The Spilt Pearls" is the name of a four-part song which has just been published by Mr. George Tolhurst, of St. Kilda, by whom also the music is composed. The words are by Mr. R. G. French [sic]. It will no doubt form a welcome addition to the musical collections of our fair friends.

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (6 August 1862), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244229321 

We have received from Mr. G. Tolhurst, a copy of "The Spilt Pearls," a four-part song, for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices which has been lithographed by Mr. H. Friend and published by the author. The name of R. C. Trench, the well known writer and poet, as the author of the words is a guarantee that the verses selected by the composer of the music are above the usual average of modern ballad literature. It is one of the ballads from Oriental sources which the composer, wisely or otherwise-ly, has denuded of the concluding stanzas in order to bring the poem within the orthodox limits of an ordinary four-part song. The music, both in melody and harmony, progresses smoothly enough to produce a very favourable impression on the listener, and we hope that one of our musical associations will give the work a fair trial, so that if found worthy it may be produced for the judgment of the public.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Friend (amateur musician, lithographer)

WORDS: The spilt pearls (by Richard Chenevix Trench)


1 May to 1 November 1862, music from Ruth exhibited at International Exhibition, London, England

International exhibition, 1862, official catalogue of the industrial department . . . third edition (London: Truscott, Son, & Simmons 1862), 146

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=z7MpAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA146 (DIGITISED)

VICTORIA . . .
384 / MARSH S. D. Melbourne. - Portion of MS. Opera, "The Gentleman in Black" . . .
386 / TOLHURST, G. P. Melbourne. - Music compositions.
387 / WILKIE & Co. Melbourne. - Music published by Exhibitors.

ASSOCIATIONS: 1862 International Exhibition (London); Stephen Hale Marsh (VIC exhibitor); Joseph Wilkie and Co. (VIC exhibitor)

1863

July 1863, first rehearsals of Ruth

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 July 1863), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6487012

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST'S CHORAL CLASS, every Monday evening, Prahran Mechanics' Institute. New quarter just commenced. The entirely new oratorio Ruth in rehearsal.


28 December 1863, concerts, German Gymnastic and Musical Festival, Cremorne Gardens, Richmond

"THE GERMAN FESTIVAL", The Age (29 December 1863), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155021451 

The second German Gymnastic and Musical Festival commenced yesterday, in Cremorne Gardens at noon . . . Nicolai's overture, "The Merry Wives of Windsor," was followed by the prologue, in German, composed for the occasion, and recited by the author, Mr. Theodore Mueller . . . A fine song of praise, by Grauer, was then given by chorus and orchestra, and this was followed in succession by a lively march, composed for the festival by W. C. Fischer; Weber's overture, "Euryanthe"; a song of liberty, "Liedesfreiheit", by Marschner; and the march, "Quick, the whole company", by Becke . . .

The second concert was held when the gymnastic exercises were over. The programme of the concert comprised the following pieces: - Overture (composed expressly for the festival, and dedicated to the Melbourne "Turnverein"), J. Siede; "Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt" (Goethe), C. L. Fischer; "Weingalopp", Kuntze; March (composed expressly for the festival), Huenerbein; "Kriegerchor" (Battle song), Kuecken; "Frosch Cantate" (Frogs' Cantata); Heunig; "Das Deutschen Vaterland" (German National Anthem), Reichardt; "God Save the Queen", Chorus and Orchestra. The overture was encored, a certain proof of its merit with a musical audience, and, we can only say, it well deserved the compliment. The other pieces were rendered with great spirit and effect . . .

. . . during the whole day Herr Schott acted as musical director, and in the orchestra the following volunteers took part: - Messrs. Siede, Strebinger, Fischer, King, Hughes, King, junr., Lewis, Littolf, Montague, Jones, Reed, Chapman, Gover, Thorn, Campbell, Koehler, Braithwaite, Tolhurst, Thomas, and Richti.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Schott (conductor); Wilhelm Carl Fischer (violinist, composer); August Huenerbein (composer); Julius Siede (flautist, composer); Frederick Strebinger (violinist); Henry Hughes (violinist); Ernest King (jun.) (violinist); Francis Litolff (instrumentalist); Alfred Montague (string player); Franz Kohler (horn player); Herbert Thomas (string player); Carl Richty (violinist)


1864

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 January 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5741808 

LADIES' COLLEGE, SOUTH YARRA.
(Late residence of Colonel Anderson, Jun.)
Principals, the Misses THOMPSON (Late of Kyneton) . . .
Music - Miss L. Thompson.
Singing - Mr. Tolhurst.
Classes re-assemble January 20, 1864.


13 to 20 January 1864, rehearsals for Ruth

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 January 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742355

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST'S Entirely New Sacred Oratorio,
RUTH, Will be given in the TOWN-HALL, PRAHRAN,
On the Evening of THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 1864.
PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS. Miss Juliana King; Mrs. F. King;
Miss E. Bailey; Mr. E. Exon; Mr. S. Angus.
Leader, Mr. E. King.
Conductor, Mr. W. H. Tolhurst.
Supported by An Efficient Orchestra and Full Chorus.
Admission. - Reserved Seats, 5s.; Body of the Hall, 2s. 6d. ; Gallery, 1s. To commence at 8 o'clock. A REHEARSAL of Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth" will be held in the Town-hall, Prahran, THIS EVENING, at half past 7 o'clock.

ASSOCIATIONS: Juliana King (soprano vocalist); Eliza Anna King (soprano vocalist); Amelia Bailey (soprano vocalist); Edwin Exon (tenor vocalist); Silvanus Angus (bass vocalist); Edward King (violinist, leader)

[News], The Herald (15 January 1864), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247592303 

Mr. George Tolhurst, a local musician has composed an oratorio on the biblical subject of Ruth, and which is to be publicly performed at the Town Hall, Prahran, on the evening of the 21st. Having had an opportunity of hearing a portion of this work, we are in a position to confidently recommend it to the notice of the musical public of Melbourne. One of the pieces - a trio for three female voices - is exceedingly beautiful, and argues well for the capacity of the composer. The performance of an original oratorio in this community is indeed an interesting event, and we hope that Mr. Tolhurst will be sustained in this his maiden effort by all who recognise the importance of encouraging local talent.

The "Bohemian Girl" continues to draw good houses, and the opera is very creditably rendered . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 January 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742571 

A REHEARSAL of Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth" will be held in the Town-hall, Prahran, at 3 o'clock THIS DAY [Saturday].

"RUTH, A NEW SACRED ORATORIO", The Argus (19 January 1864), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742687

An entirely new sacred oratorio is to be performed on Thursday evening at the Town-hall, Prahran. Such an event calls for more than a passing notice. "Ruth" has been composed by Mr. George Tolhurst, a professor of music in that locality; and as this is the first oratorio that has been composed in this colony, the novelty as well as the extent of the undertaking call for special remark. The choruses were placed in rehearsal a short time since, and, judging from the effect then produced by the vocal music class in connexion with the Prahran Mechanics' Institute, by whom they were first essayed, much expectation was awakened as to the merits of other portions of the work. It may be here mentioned that a volume of the full score was forwarded to the International Exhibition of 1862, and was regarded with sufficient interest by those who inspected the production, to stimulate the author to hasten its production for the judgement of the public.

The oratorio opens with an overture, which may be considered too elaborate for a sacred composition, but there is enough of canon and fugue to satisfy the most earnest adherent to the strict school of writing. The two styles represented usually by the terms "German" and "Italian," are blended throughout; and if it should fall into the hands of an efficient band, the result must be a combination in a high degree pleasing to the trained listener. The first chorus is in the form of choral recitative - a style that has latterly been admired. In this work, however, it ceases to be actually choral recitative, the time being uniform and marked all through. The second chorus, "And they went on their way" (a fugue in the measure of a march), reminds the hearer of a theme that is by no means new; but this fault, it will be admitted, is almost, if not entirely, compensated by the number of other musical themes introduced into the chorus. At the outset, it must be mentioned that the words are precisely those of the Scripture narrative, the composer having found sufficient on which to construct his oratorio, in the first and second chapters of the "Book of Ruth." It is a point which undoubtedly admits of diversity of opinion, whether other sacred passages could have been brought in without suspending the progress of the story: but this is a matter requiring the most careful consideration of the critics as well as of the composer.

The return to Bethlehem, after the famine in the land had given place to abundance, forms the subject of the first part of the oratorio; the meeting of Boaz with Ruth in the harvest field the second. After the introductory choruses mentioned, Naomi bids her two daughters-in-law each to return to their mother's house. This, a solo for soprano, is followed by the duet, "Surely we will return with thee unto thy people." Naomi replies - "Turn again, my daughters, go your way;" and this position has been taken advantage of by the composer to introduce a trio for three female voices. Ruth's "Intreat me not to leave thee," follows, the prevailing sentiment occasioned by the situation being expressed in the interval between the soli parts by the chorus, commencing, "And they lifted up the voice, and wept again." There is another "When she (Naomi) saw that she (Ruth) was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her." Here there is a quotation, pardonable or not, on the part of the composer, as the public may judge; Naomi's air, "I went full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty," is preceded by a funeral march, and a chorus expressive of the sympathy of the inhabitants of Bethlehem with the bereaved widow, which brings this part of the narrative to a close. This position has been seized for the introduction of a chorale (an exception to the plan with respect to the words for a single phrase), and a chorus to the verse, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away."

The second part opens with the narration, in the second chapter of the book, that "Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, and his name was Boaz." The expectation of the Moabites is set forth in the solo for soprano that follows, - "Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him, in whose sight I shall find grace." The gleaning in the field forms the subject of an animated chorus, and the entrance of Boaz upon the scene furnishes material for another, the salutation of the master, and the answer of the reapers, "The Lord be with you," "The Lord bless you," forming the words. The servants' reply to the inquiry, "Whose damsel is this?" brings out a bass song, "It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi." A tenor solo of a florid character follows, setting forth the feeling that is supposed to animate the breast of Boaz, but somewhat suppressed from discretionary motives, and finding vent in the commanding tones, "Go not to glean in another field." The silence that is supposed to elapse when this falls on the cars of Ruth is broken by the fitful vocal chords of the full and almost unaccompanied chorus, "Then she fell on her face to the ground." The next is a tenor solo, "It hath been fully shown me all that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thine husband." The chorus then echo the sentiment "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel." There is no anti-climax; the oratorio is here brought to a close: - "Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman," being concluded by an elaborate "Amen," according in this particular with a very prevalent custom.

The production of a work of this magnitude and importance will be of the greatest interest to the musical world of Victoria.

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 January 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742755 

A FULL REHEARSAL of Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio RUTH will be held THIS EVENING, at 7 o'clock, in the Prahran Town-hall.

Interior, Prahran Town Hall (built 1861) (Pictures Victoria)

Interior, Prahran Town Hall (built 1861) (Pictures Victoria)

https://www.picturevictoria.vic.gov.au/site/stonnington/miscellaneous/10909.html (DIGITISED)

21 January 1864, first public performance of Ruth, Prahran Town Hall

"THE ORATORIO OF RUTH", The Age (22 January 1864), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155024671 

A fashionable audience filled the spacious town hall of Prahran, last night, to hear and pronounce on the merits of a new sacred oratorio, on that ancient, but ever fresh pastoral, the story of Ruth, from the pen of Mr. George Tolhurst, a local professor, and already favorably known in the musical circles of this colony. Mr. Tolhurst made a daring attempt in artistic effort, seeing that he entered the field so long occupied by giants; he certainly has not yet eclipsed Handel or Haydn; but he has made more than a respectable debut as a composer in one of the loftiest departments of music, with the promise of capability for better things yet, when the full mastery of his art gives scope for the display of original thought. If we mistake not, Mr. Tolhurst is entirely a self-taught artist, and, therefore, where so much has been achieved amid so many difficulties, much more may reasonably be expected, when his artistic acquirements are ripened for fresh productiveness under the fertilising influences of a fresh and thoughtful musical mind. In reporting on the general characteristics of this new oratorio, very considerable allowance must be made for the disadvantageous circumstances under which it has for the first time been publicly heard. The artistic talent enlisted on the occasion was far from first-rate, and it had, as we hear, the additional disadvantage of only a single complete rehearsal. This was indeed evident from orchestral and choral disorders, though the skill with which discipline was restored was creditable to the conductor, Mr. W. H. Tolhurst. The oratorio, though marked by not a few musical recollections, including, at least, one old operatic friend, displays, with a great deal of learning, art, and taste, much that is excellent for fancy and feeling. Amidst much that is conventional, and occasionally rather antique, there is likewise a good deal that is quite fresh, touching, and true. If there are not flashes of thought, or sensuous feeling to enchain the memory, there is so much that is good in the work, as to assure us that it will improve on further acquaintance and when rendered with more artistic care and executive skill.

The composer has constructed his story on the narrative of Sacred Writ, as contained in the first and second chapters of the Book of Ruth, and it is conducted with great judgment and effect, though the promising openings, both in the first and second parts, are not sustained throughout. Some of the airs are exceedingly characteristic of the situation, and breathe a charming pathos. There was a touching wail in "And she said unto them;" very well rendered by Miss Juliana King. Some of the chorusses were exceedingly effective in conception, if not in the execution. "And she went and came" had a jocund sound of plenteous harvest time, which would have been highly pleasing, had it only been orderly rendered; for chorus and orchestra seemed animated by a rivalry to drown each other in a flood of sound. Perhaps the best thing in the oratorio is the trio "And Orpah left Naomi." This is sure to become popular. Miss King well deserved her encore in the air "Let me find favor in thy sight," for the composer's merits and her own; but why that operatic reminiscence, "It is the Moabitish damsel," enjoyed the same honors is beyond imagination.

The principal performers were Miss Juliana King, Mrs. F. King, Miss E. Bailey, Mr. E. Exon and Mr. S. Angus. Mr. E. King did good service to the performance as leader and Mr. W. H. Tolhurst as conductor; but the band was indifferent, and the chorus without discipline. We should be glad again to hear the oratorio under more favorable circumstances. As it is, Mr. Tolhurst has done enough to justify the expectation that he will yet do more of a higher order of merit. He was loudly applauded at the close of the performance; and, in reply to repeated calls, came forward and bowed his acknowledgments.

"RUTH, A NEW SACRED ORATORIO", The Argus (22 January 1864), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742922

There is more triteness than force in the remark, that the composition of a full oratorio is an ambitious undertaking, but it is especially applicable to the first effort of the kind that has been made in Victoria. It is, however, creditable to the man who makes the first essay of any novelty of merit in musical science, that he should have dared the dangers of the attempt; and, although we may not expect to find a full-blown Handel in one of the suburbs of Melbourne, it is pleasing to find that we have amongst us an ardent lover of the great art of that great master, and that no unworthy pupil of the science has rashly intruded himself into a place that could be satisfactorily filled by no one in our musical community.

The general plan of the oratorio was described in last Tuesday's Argus, but it must be premised here that the production of an oratorio with adequate effects from orchestra and chorus is a most arduous task, failing the due accomplishment of which many beauties may be dimmed, much that is excellent not be properly brought out, and the rendering of fine passages unequally developed. Rehearsals are difficult to bring about, especially when amateurs have to be relied upon, notwithstanding their willingness and their desire to achieve success, and those who know the labour of sufficiently rehearsing a work of this kind are best able to explain shortcomings, when those are observable.

The first performance of Mr. Tolhurst's "Ruth," at the Town-hall, Prahran, last evening, was attended by a numerous and highly respectable company, many present having come there evidently with the intention of showing by their presence on the occasion that the inhabitants of the locality were not unmindful of the importance, provided the work should subsequently prove successful, of the rarity of the event to which their attention had been invited. The overture, described in Tuesday's Argus as open to the observation that it was too elaborate for a sacred composition, certainly bore out that belief on its first representation. It commences with a musical phrase of three similar strains, appealing, not unsuccessfully, to the attention of the musical as well as the general audience; but it will be thought by the former, master or student, that the composer has adopted rather too florid a theme for the prefatory symphony of a sacred composition. It must be admitted, however, that he has in the subject of his oratorio an inspiring and sunny theme. There is, here and there, a return to the minor key, foreshadowing, as it were, the bereavement of Naomi as recorded in that portion of the narrative forming the first part of the oratorio. The chorus at the commencement was not particularly striking; no sentiment was awakened by it; a bare statement of the relative positions of the persons afterwards introduced being all that it contains; but a few detached chords at the close appeared to intimate the vacuity in the family of the widowed Naomi occasioned by the death of her husband and her two sons. The opening solo, - "Then she arose with her daughters in-law that she might return to the country of Moab, for the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread,"- was entrusted to a soprano new to a Melbourne audience, Mrs. Frederick King, and she acquitted herself satisfactorily; the style was classic, almost old fashioned. The next chorus, "And they went on their way," which brought to a close the introductory part, awakened the expectation of those who might be looking for what new melodies might be developed in the composition; but, while the first chorus was rather dull, the second was, perhaps, something too lively. "Go, return each, to her mother's house," was the first air rendered by Miss Juliana King, who has greatly improved in her delivery since her last appearance in public; the melody, a very winning one, was gracefully delivered. The duet, "Surely we will return with thee," and the trio, "And Orpah left Naomi," were received with deserved appreciation by the audience, but they are in a lighter style than, customary in sacred music. The same fault could, however, have been alleged against the compositions of the great master of this branch of musical science in the period in which he flourished. The celebrated "Te Deum" may be said to be as much elaborated as any music known previous to the time in which it was written. The choruses following are in that style of fugue, with short consentaneous phrases interspersed; such as no one but Handel has succeeded in writing. Some of them used by the composer of "Ruth" are so much like those older themes that it may not be unfriendly to remind the young writer of this oratorio to scan his subjects a little more closely before making use of them. "And all the city was moved" is one which may be especially referred to. Of the pleasing manner in which the counterpoint is constructed there cannot be a second opinion, but the composer should aim at greater originality. The finale to the first part, ambitiously enough conceived, failed to produce the effect it might have gained, from the circumstance of the chorus - chiefly, if not entirely, composed of amateur ladies and gentlemen residing in the neighbourhood - not having had sufficient rehearsal to throw their best efforts with confidence into the composition.

The same may be said of the choruses contained in the second part of the oratorio. The one "And she went and came and gleaned in the field" possess some really exquisite melodic phrases, and in the hands of a chorus consisting of a large number of soprano voices must be exceedingly pleasing. The song which introduces Boaz "Hearest thou not, my daughter"- a presto, containing some vigorous writing, was ably rendered by Mr. Exon, and, as in many other places, the instrumental accompaniments accorded remarkably well with the prevailing sentiment of the words. Perhaps one of the most pleasing songs in the second part is that of the servant to Boaz (a bass), "It is the Moabitish damsel," sung by Mr. Angus, who delivered it with good taste, and was encored. This will be remembered by almost everyone who heard it, but it reminded one of an air in a very popular opera, from some similarity.

One of the real gems in the composition was the trio, "And Orpah left Naomi," beautifully sung by Miss Juliana King, Mrs. F. King, and Miss Bailey. The air, "Let me find favour in the sight," sung by Miss Juliana King, in the second part, was also highly applauded, and encored. The programme, was protracted to such a length that part of the fugued "Amen" was necessarily omitted. That the composition was successful in securing for the author and for his subject the sympathies of his audience was shown by the unanimous call for him at the end of the oratorio. That Mr. Tolhurst has done himself great credit by the skill with which he has handled an ambitions idea, and in which he has shown some genius and more talent, will be acknowledged by all who make themselves acquainted with his composition. Whatever may be the merits of this oratorio by comparison with the best works of the great masters, the production of "Ruth," a new sacred oratorio, evidences the spirit of musical science, and sufficient courage in the Victorian professor to put his musical quality to the test. But Mr. Tolhurst must not be satisfied with any present temporary success; he must go further on his way, satisfy the critical amongst the critical. There is then little fear that he will make for himself both fame and profit.

"THE NEW ORATORIO - RUTH", The Herald (22 January 1864), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247592586 

If it be a sign of success that a numerous and critical audience extend their undivided attention to the performance of an original musical work for two hours and a half, then Mr. George Tolhurst, the composer of the new oratorio of "Ruth," has a full right to congratulate himself upon the result of his rather daring experiment upon the taste of the musical public. This oratorio, performed for the first time in public last night at the Town Hall, whatever its intrinsic merit may be, at least was listened to with a patience which must have satisfied its composer that his work had thoroughly enlisted the interest of a class of hearers not prone to over-estimate the importance of a production of this nature emanating from a colonial author. It must not he forgotten that the composer of an oratorio is subject to disadvantages upon the first presentation of his work before a miscellaneous audience which are not experienced by authors whose emanations are addressed to theatrical audiences. He receives no aid from any of the multitudinous resources which in their aggregation constitute perfect stage illusion; the imagination is distinctly appealed to under a form little calculated to impress the mind strongly. An oratorio, except under the treatment of absolute genius, is certainly not a grateful form of the poetry of music; the necessarily solemn nature of the subject forbids any flights of fancy, but binds the composer to a well defined line of treatment, which genius alone can hope to diverge from successfully. This path is so well beaten by the first works of great musicians who have devoted themselves to the cultivation of this order of composition, that their successors can look to achieve little in the way of originality.

Mr. Tolhurst consequently is not to be blamed, if in this, his first and highly meritorious essay he has chosen, rather to follow than to compete with the models of Art. We are not prepared to say that "Ruth" is a production of an original genius, but we can conscientiously declare our opinion to be that the composer of such a work as we listened to last night has that in him which is equal to the production of a work of a much higher order of merit..

The book of the oratorio follows closely the track of the inspired historian, the divine beauty of the story of the Moabitish gleaner being carefully preserved by the adaptor's close adherence to the language of the scared volume. Indeed, the only interpolation he has permitted himself is the introduction of a few lines by Mrs. Hemans, commencing "Lowly and solemn," which have been allied to one of the gems of the work, a very elegant corale. The overture is clever, but wants the devotional spirit; the principal theme is like an extract from a modern Italian opera. The piece has however, the great merit of compactness. To criticise in detail such a work on a first hearing is impossible, but the pieces which struck us as possessing the greatest claims to approval were, the duett for two soprani, "Surely we will return," which, although somewhat light in texture, is pretty and novel; the trio for three female voices, "And Orpah left Naomi," in our opinion the very best thing in the work; the corale already referred to; the last chorus in the first part, "Blessed be the name of the Lord;" a very beautiful chorus of a pastoral cast, "And she went and came;" and the tenor air, Hearest thou not, my daughter." The trio is founded upon a very graceful melody, which is worked up gradually with much cleverness to a really fine climax..

The oratorio had not been sufficiently rehearsed, and the composer in such respect was not by any means fairly represented. Occasionally, the signs of insufficient preparation were somewhat painfully exhibited in the accompaniments and chorusses, although the leader Mr. King and his stringed quartette are certainly not to be blamed for the vagaries of the amateur departments. The soloists were Miss Juliana King, who has greatly improved since we last heard her, Miss F. King, Miss E. Bailey, and Messrs. Exon and Angus. Two encores were obtained, one by Mr. Angus, for the bass air "It is the Moabitish Damsel," and the other by Miss King for the rather florid air "Let me find favour," which we confess was rather too operatic to suit our taste under the circumstances.

"THE WEEK", Leader (23 January 1864), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197293763 

A new oratorio - Ruth - the work of Mr. Tolhurst, a local composer, was produced at the Town Hall, Prahran, on Thursday evening. It was extremely well received, and possesses considerable merit.

[News], The musical times and singing class circular [London, England] (1 April 1864), 260

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=B28PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA260

The production of a new Oratorio at the antipodes is an event which must interest all who watch with pleasure the spread of music, as a humanizing influence, throughout the civilized world. We learn from the Melbourne Argus, that at the Town-hall, Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, an Oratorio called Ruth has been lately produced, the composition of Mr. George Tolhurst, a professor of music residing in the neighbourhood, and we are happy to add with complete success. As this is the first Oratorio that has been composed in the Colony, it will no doubt act as an incentive to other resident musicians; and materially aid in promoting an artistic competition which may eventually lead to good results.

NOTE: Ruth was indeed probably the first oratorio composed and performed in the colony of Victoria, some or all of it dating back to 1862 or earlier; although it was preceded by the performance of a cantata Christ stilling the tempest by George Frederick South, only the previous month, at nearby Richmond, in December 1863. There was also a new mass, for chorus and orchestra, premiered two months after Ruth, on 25 March 1864, composed by George Oswald Rutter, who had earlier composed a cantata, The second advent, first performed by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society in 1859, and another, Praise the lord, by Charles Elsasser, in 1860. In neighboring NSW, the oratorio The crown of thorns, by Charles Packer, received its first partial performance in Sydney in April 1863, and a complete performance in October 1863.

See also "DISTANT MUSIC. BY HENRY C. LUNN", The musical times, and singing class circular (1 April 1872), 431-32

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=rUtGAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA431 

. . . and our readers will remember that Mr. Tolhurst's Oratorio, "Ruth," was performed for the first time at Prahran, a suburb of Australia. The local papers were extravagant in their praise of this latter work; and although, on its production in this country, we took leave to differ from them as to its merits, we found that the few lines we wrote, based on the announcement of its success in the journals which were forwarded to us, and of course before we could have heard a note of the composition, were re-printed as an opinion of the Musical Times. All this may be forgiven, perhaps, when we consider how difficult it is for a man to become a prophet in his own country, and how natural it is, therefore, to endeavour to influence a new public by bringing certificates from an old one; but composers should be cautious of allowing themselves to be influenced by the adulations of local papers . . .


[Advertisement], The Argus (17 May 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5748904 

SOUTH MELBOURNE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, Emerald-hill.
PRINCIPAL - Mr. R. McGREGOR, Of the Normal Institution, Edinburgh . . .
Instrumental music - Mr. Tolhurst . . .


June 1864, George appointed organist (harmonium player) of St. James's cathedral

[News], The Argus (11 June 1864), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5749611

Mr. Henry King having accepted the post of organist at Toorak Church, a vacancy occurred in the like office in St. James Cathedral, which has been filled up by the appointment of Mr. George Tolhurst, the composer of the oratorio of "Ruth."

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry John King (senior); St. James's cathedral


June 1864, publication of The post galop

[Advertisement], The Herald (22 June 1864), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247592109 

THE ILLUSTRATED POST For THE JUNE Mail IS NOW READY.
The Post contains a Summary of the Month's News, carefully prepared for Home Readers: an Original piece of Music, "THE POST GALOP," composed expressly for the Illustrated Post by Mr. G. Tolhurst . . .


1 September 1864, Shakespearian musical festival, St. George's Hall

[Advertisement], The Age (1 September 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155015269 

ST, GEORGE'S' HALL. GRAND SHAKSPEARIAN MUSICAL FESTIVAL,
TO-NIGHT (THURSDAY), 1st SEPTEMBER. In Aid of the Shakspeare Statue Fund.
Principal Vocalists: Miss Octavia Hamilton, Miss Mortley, Mrs. Fox, Mr. W. H. Williams, Mr. Amery.
In addition to many favorite, as well as some less-known songs, ballads, &c., rendered by the principals, the whole of Locke's Music from "Macbeth," and a great variety of popular glees (all to Shakspeare's words) will be performed by a chorus of 50 selected voices.
A Band of 25 performers, kindly supplemented (by the kind consent of Barry Sullivan, Esq.) with some of the principal solo-players from the Theatre Royal Band, will perform several overtures, &c.
Leader: Mr. E. King. Pianist: Mr. G. Tolhurst.
Conductor: Mr. G. R. G. Pringle.
To commence at Eight o'clock. Reserved seats, 4s; unreserved seats, 2s 6d; Balcony, 1s.
Tickets at Wilkie, Webster & Co.'s.
W. H. WILLIAMS, Hon. Sec.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (2 September 1864), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155017201 

. . . The instrumental music was very good, the band including many professionals, and Locke's music to "Macbeth," Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream" overture and "The Wedding March," were rendered in first-rate style. The Rio/ principal vocalists were Miss O. Hamilton, Miss Mortley, Mrs. Fox, Mr. W. H. Williams, and Mr. Amery. Mr. E. King led the band, and Mr. G. Tolhurst presided at the pianoforte. The most successful vocal effort of the evening was the duet from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "I know a Bank," sung by Miss Hamilton with Mrs. Fox, and encored. Mr. Williams delivered Nelson's song, with band accompaniment, "My bliss too long," very effectively. Miss Mortley acquitted herself very creditably, and Mr. Amery did good service in the music from "Macbeth." Mrs. Fox also sung "Bid me discourse" remarkably well.

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah Mortley; Sarah Fox

MUSIC: Locke's music in Macbeth (probably correctly by ); I know a bank (Horn); My bliss too long my bride denies (by Sidney Nelson); Bid me discourse (Bishop)


[Advertisement], The Argus (11 October 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5734617 

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, PROFESSOR of MUSIC, 41 Wellington-street, Prahran. Piano, singing, harmony.


10 November 1864, concert, Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society

"Memoranda", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (12 November 1864), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255914370 

The Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society gave their second concert at the Town-hall, Prahran, on Thursday evening. The audience, though not so large as at the previous performance, was very encouraging, both as to number and respectability. His Excellency the Governor and Lady Darling honoured the society with their presence. Selections from "The Creation" formed the first part of the programme . . . "The heavens are telling," perhaps the finest chorus Haydn ever wrote, must have broken down in one part but for the indomitable energy of Mr. Horsley . . . The Band mustered strong under the leadership of Mr. King. We noticed Mr. Clark (clarionette), Mons. Kohler (horn), Mr. Tolhurst (drum), and several other well-known faces. The whole of their performances were well sustained. The overture to Der Freischutz, at the beginning of the second part, was particularly well given. Mr. Horsley's conducting was admirable as usual . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley; Franz Kohler (horn)


7 December 1864, rehearsal for second performance of Ruth

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 December 1864), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5734631 

MR. TOLHURST'S ORATORIO RUTH.-
A full REHEARSAL, band and chorus, to which professors and amateurs are respectfully invited, will be held THIS EVENING (Wednesday), at 8 o'clock, in the school-room, corner of Chapel-street and Commercial-road, Prahran.


December 1864, publication of Christmas in Australia

"THE ILLUSTRATED MELBOURNE POST", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (22 December 1864), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64632967 

The music for the month is the Christmas Quadrille composed for the Post - and the music, composed by George Tolhurst, for a "Prize Song," "Christmas in Australia" written by J. B. T. the words of which are given.

ASSOCIATIONS: There was no "J. B. T." among the Victorian Tolhursts; it was perhaps, correctly, George's eldest son, John Charles, who was about 6 years old at the time

1865

[Advertisement], The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (25 February 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255914684 

TOWN HALL, PRAHRAN.
THE Second Performance of Mr. GEORGE TOLHURST'S SACRED ORATORIO, RUTH,
will be given on THURSDAY", March 2.
Principal performers - Miss S. Mortley, Mrs. Fox, Miss M. A. Liddle, Mr. E. Exon, and Mr. S. Angus.
Leader, Mr. E. King. Conductor, Mr. J. Russell.
An efficient orchestra and full chorus.
Admission 5s., 2s. 6d., and 1s. To commence at eight o'clock.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maggie Liddle (contralto vocalist); Edwin Exon (tenor vocalist0; John Russell (conductor)


27 February 1865, concert, Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society, Town hall, Prahran

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 February 1865), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5745434

PRAHRAN and SOUTH YARRA MUSICAL SOCIETY.
AN EXTRA CONCERT, In aid of the funds of the society, will be given in the Town-hall, Prahran, THIS EVENING, February 27. Principal Vocalists - Mrs. Trowell, Miss Ross, Miss Slatford, Mr. Ford, Mr. W. H. Williams, Mr. West, Mr. S. Angus, Mr. Trowell. Instrumentalists - Pianoforte soloist, Mr. C. E. Horsley; flautist, Mr. Adam Clerke; viola, Mr. W. H. Tolhurst; piano, Mr. Stevens. PROGRAMME . . . Part II . . . Trio, Pianoforte, Clarinett, and Viola, Mozart - Mr. C. E. Horsley, Mr. A. Clerke, and Mr. W. H. Tolhurst . . .

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (28 February 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155026691 

A concert in aid of the funds of the Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society took place in the town hall, Prahran, yesterday evening. Considering the inclemency of the weather, there was a very good attendance. The programme comprised a large and favorite selection of glees, trios, quartettes, &c. The artists, most of whom are of known and established celebrity, acquitted themselves so as, in nearly every instance, to obtain an encore. Amongst the principal vocalists were Miss Ross and Miss Statford, Mr. Angus and Mr. Williams; and instrumentalists, Mr. C. E. Horsley and Mr. Tolhurst. Mr. Stevens's accompaniments on the piano were characterised by much taste and precision.

[News], The Argus (28 February 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5738103 

The Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society gave an extra concert at the Town hall, last evening, for the purpose of adding to the funds of the association, which at the present time need replenishing. The programme was of a varied character, and included several choice selections from popular operas. The individual efforts of some lady members of the society were very creditable, and elicited the warm approval of a numerous audience, while the precision with which the choruses were given showed that the tuition of Mr. Horsley, the conductor, had been taken full advantage of. Mr. A. Clerke's performances on the flute formed a very pleasing feature of the entertainment; but some disappointment was caused by the omission from the programme of a trio for the pianoforte, clarinetto, and viola, which could not be performed inconsequence of the absence of the necessary music. It is announced that the society will perform Handel's oratorio, "The Messiah," on Good Friday Eve.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (piano); Adam Clerke.(clarinet)

MUSIC: Trio in E flat (K 498) (Mozart)

Prahran Town Hall, 1861-63, photograph, c. 1872; State Library of Victoria

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/252383 (DIGITISED)

2 March 1865, second performance of Ruth, Prahran Town Hall, revised, with 10 additional numbers

[News], The Herald (1 March 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245511085 

A performance of Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth," is announced to be given on Thursday evening, at the Town-hall, Prahran. When the work was given a few months ago at the same place we called attention to its unquestionable merits as a whole, and we believe that we were not singular in commending it to the favourable notice of the musical public. The composer has in the interval made corrections in the second part of the oratorio which were needed, and has substituted new pieces for those which in his first score were considered by competent judges beneath the general character of the oratorio. We hope to meet a numerous audience on Thursday evening, for the production in this country of an original oratorio is an event which undoubtedly should be regarded with intense interest by our musicians and amateurs of music.

[News], The Herald (3 March 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245511165 

Mr. Geo. Tolhurst's oratorio of "Ruth" was performed last night at the Town-hall, Prahran. The work was first produced about six mouths' ago, and it then obtained a very favourable reception; though there were very many difficulties in the way of a satisfactory rendering of the music. The opinion which the public then pronounced was ratified yesterday evening, though the absence of many requisite appliances militated to some extent against the success of the performance. The orchestra was strong, but the chorus was deficient in treble voices. It would, perhaps, be advisable, in order that adequate justice might be done to the composition, for some of the large musical societies to endeavour to bring it before the public. The feature of last night's entertainment was the introduction of 10 new pieces consisting of a trio, a quartet, four choruses, and four recitatives. The Trio, "At mealtime come thou hither," the words of which are from Thomson's "Seasons," was beautifully sung by Miss Mortley, Mr. Ewart, and Mr. Angus, and was deservedly applauded. Miss Liddle was also successful in the air, "For the Lord has visited his people;" and Mrs. Fox sang very well, "Let me now go to the field." Mr. E. King acted as leader of the band, and Mr. J. Russell as conductor, and by their exertions contributed materially to the success of the entertainment.

[News], The Argus (3 March 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5743034 

. . . The oratorio was most favourably received, and its effect was evidently improved by the large additions that have been made since its first production. The attendance was not so numerous as could have boen desired.

"Memoranda", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (4 March 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255914705 

On Thursday evening Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth" was performed in the Town Hall, Prahran, for the second time. Since its first production several new pieces have been added. The attendance was not so large as we hoped to see, and certainly did not afford the encouragement we think should be given to a gentleman who has devoted so large an amount of labour, time, and money in the production of a work of this character. In a neighbourhood where Mr. Tolhurst has been so long and well-known, and where he has so many friends, if not from amongst the professedly musical public, we expected to see a crowded house. In our short space it would be out of the question to enter into a critical notice of "Ruth" as a whole, all we can attempt to do is to speak of the performance. Mr. Russell ably conducted. The band, under the leadership of Mr. King, was all that could be desired. Not so the chorus, especially the treble part, which had it not been for the assistance of the lady soloists might have been described by one word - nil. In one or two of the choruses there was really no treble, and as a matter of course the effect was entirely spoiled. In the apparently fine chorus "The Lord recompense thy work" this was particularly noticeable, and as a consequence the band at times appeared to be out of all proportion to the voices. Some few of the choruses, were, however, well sustained, as Nos. 8, 19, 24, and 25 which were well done. And so was the very beautiful chorale "Lowly and Solemn." These are all pieces of great merit. Amongst the solos a few that claim special notice are "For the Lord hath visited his people," a very sweet sir, which was nicely sung by Mrs. Fox; "Intreat me not to leave thee," by Miss Mortley; "So they two went," and "It is the Moabitish damsel," by Mr. Angus; "Hearest thou not, my daughter?" a remarkably fine tenor song, admirably sung by Mr. Ewart. Indeed all the soloists maintained their well-earned reputation. We trust Mr. Tolhurst will not be discouraged by this evening's lack of attendance. He deserves the greatest credit for having done what he has in the face of prejudice and opposition, and we sincerely trust he will yet find his labours appreciated as they deserve to be. The same indescribable noises mentioned in our notice of the last concert again issued from the gallery more unseemly in a sacred concert than in a secular one. On this occasion they caused the conductor to look round in astonishment, and if his feelings on the subject were similar to our own he would have felt an intense desire to beat time for the rest of the performance on the heads of the perpetrators.

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Argus (25 March 1865), 2s

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5742935

The month has been signalised by a return to our normal condition of varied attractions and overflowing houses . . . Mr. George Tolhurst, a local professor and composer, produced, about a year ago, a very creditable sacred composition - an oratorio on the story of Ruth. It was recently repeated at the Town-hall of Prahran. The oratorio was most favourably received, and its effect was improved by the large additions that have been made since its first production.


22 April 1865, benefit entertainment for Lonsdale street Congregational Church, Exhibition Building

[News], The Herald (24 April 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245508145 

There was a very large attendance at the Exhibition Building on Saturday evening, on the occasion of the promenade concert and bazaar held there, and the proceeds of which will be devoted to liquidating the debt on the manse and schoolroom buildings in connection with the Lonsdale street Congregational Church. Mr. Geo. Tolhurst presided at the piano, and Messrs. Ewart and Blanchard were the principal vocal performers. Several indies also took part in the entertainment, and succeeded in obtaining the approbation of their audience . . .

ASSOCIAITIONS: Thomas Ewart (tenor vocalist); Charles Blanchard (bass vocalist)


25 April to early May 1865, Herr Von Kehl, Polytechnic Hall

[Advertisement], The Herald (25 April 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245509719 

HERR VON KEHL, TO-NIGHT POLYTECHNIC-HALL,
MAN of MIRACLES Has Engaged the following Artists -
Mephistopheles and Sprightly - Mr. DOWNIE.
Pianist - Mr. G. TOLHURST . . .
HERR V. KEHL begs positively to assure the public that he
WILL BE BEHEADED TO-NIGHT.

[Review], The Herald (26 April 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245505747 

. . . From the manner in which he had been introduced to the public, something out of the common was expected, but the entertainment was of the most mediocre description. Herr von Kehl appeared habited in the garments of an astrologer of olden days . . . Mr. G. Tolhurst presided at the pianoforte.

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1865), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5733954 

. . . HERR VON KEHL, The Man of Miracles. POLYTECHNIC HALL.
In his SEANCE DE MAGIE And COMMUNION AVEC LES ESPRITS
TO-NIGHT, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26. For Ten Nights Only. Each seance will be varied . . .
THE THOROUGH COMMUNICATION With THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
The Miraculous AERIAL FLOATING MAGNETIZED LADY,
And the POSITIVE DECAPITATION Of HERR VON KEHL . . .
Pianist, Mr. Geo. Tolhurst . . .
During the evening Mr. Tolhurst will play :
Sonata Pathetique - Beethoven.
Fantasia, "Les Huguenots" - Thalberg.
Galop, "The Post" - Tolhurst . . .

MUSIC: Pathétique sonata (op. 13) (Beethoven); Fantasie on Les huguenots (Thalberg)


27 July 1865, soiree, Prahran Town Hall

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (22 July 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915068 

A Grand Amateur Concert and Fruit Soiree will be held in the Prahran Town Hall, on Thursday evening, under the auspices of the United Trades Association. The programme issued contains a varied assortment of songs, glees, solos, readings, recitations, &c., among the performers of which are Mr. and Mrs. Trowell, Mr. and Mrs. Dudley, Miss Storey, Miss. McPherson, and others. Mr. Ure will be the conductor, and Mr. Tolhurst preside at the piano. Tickets may be had of the principal tradesmen.

[News], The Herald (8 August 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244467988 

A general meeting of the Prahran, South Yarra, and St. Kilda Half-holiday Association, was held last night at the Royal George hotel, Prahran . . . a resolution was then carried that the secretary should write to Messrs. Tolhurst and Urie [sic], thanking them for their attendance and exertions at the concert, and apologising for any offensive remarks which might have fallen from any member of the association during the concert . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Anderson Ure (singing class instructor)


1 August 1865, temperance meeting, St. Kilda Band of Hope

"ST. KILDA BAND OF HOPE", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (5 August 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915112 

On Tuesday last the first annual festival of the St. Kilda Band of Hope was held in the Town Hall, St. Kilda; the Rev. Geo. Mackie presiding . . . The programme was exceedingly well carried out, many of the recitations and songs of the younger members of the band evincing great ability. "Joe Beans in Australia," and "Betty Hunt," by Mr. Benson; and the "Jolly Volunteers," by Master Lawn, were received with much laughter. The singing of Miss Storey, Miss McPherson, and Messrs. Ure, King, and Henderson was much admired. The "A, B, C" duett, by Miss Storey and Mr. Broadly, was encored. Mr. George Tolhurst presided at the piano with his accustomed ability . . .

MUSIC: A-B-C a duett (representing a lady teaching a foreigner) (John Parry)


26 August 1865, public lecture, Polytechnic Hall

[News], The Argus (28 August 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5769648 

The Hon. Wm. Townsend, M.L.C., mayor of Adelaide, gave a lecture on Saturday night at the Polytechnic-hall, Melbourne, in aid of the building fund of the Sailors' Home. The lecture was entitled "Lights and Shadows of London Life," and introduced a great variety of subjects, ranging from imitations of London street cries, to specimens of the oratory of many celebrities, including Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Cobden, Kossuth, Feargrs O'Connor, and others, and concluding with a peroration on the Bible. There was a tolerably good audience, and the lecturer was warmly applauded. In the course of the evening a few songs, including "The White Squall" and "The Death of Nelson," were capitally sung by Mr. W. H. Williams; and Mr. Tolhurst, who presided at the pianoforte, also volunteered a song . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Townsend (mayor of Adelaide)

MUSIC: The white squall (Barker); The death of Nelson (Braham)


29 September 1865, public lecture, Prahran Town Hall

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (30 September 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915274 

The sixth, and last, of the successful series of lectures in aid of the building fund of the Rev. G. Mackie's proposed new church, was delivered in the Prahran Town Hall last evening. The course was fitly concluded with a lecture by Mr. Mackie himself, who chose for his theme "Hugh Miller and the Lessons of his Life." There was a large attendance . . . A selection of Scotch songs were sung during the evening by some amateurs very creditably, who were accompanied on the pianoforte by George Tolhurst, Esq. Mr. O'Gilvy presided.


19 October 1865, concert, Prahran Town Hall

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (21 October 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915367 

On Thursday evening Signor Cutolo gave a very admirable concert in the Town-hall, Prahran, on which occasion he was assisted by Mrs. Spencer Cooke, a lady little known to the musical public as yet, but who, we think, will become a great favourite, as she possesses a sweet soprano voice of good compass, and sings with great taste. This was also the occasion to introduce a pupil of the signor's, Miss Woolman, whose performances were received with enthusiasm . . . The smallest introduction of the evening, but certainly by no means the least interesting, was a "wee" violinist, about six years old. He is doubtless a genuine phenomenon. Nothing short of positive instinct could have produced in so young a child such marvellous musical feeling as his performance displayed . . . We cannot particularise the several performances; but were highly pleased with all - especially with Mrs. Cookes, "Sing, birdie, sing," "Comin' through the Rye," and "Leggiore invisible;" also Signor Cutolo's "Song without words" (which we thought the gem of the instrumental portion), and his solo from "La Sonnambula," not forgetting the several performances of Miss Woolman and the little violinist. Our old friend Mr. Tolhurst accompanied some of the vocal music with his usual taste. The audience, which was more select than numerous, appeared thoroughly to appreciate the evening's performances.

ASSOCIATIONS: Cesare Cutolo (solo pianist); Frederick John Molteno (infant violinist)


31 October 1865, temperance meeting, Prahran Town Hall

"RECHABITE MEETING AT PRAHRAN", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (4 November 1865), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915416 

On Tuesday evening' last, the Independent Order of Rechabites celebrated the inauguration of the Perseverance Tent, No. 31, in the Town-hall, Prahran, by a tea meeting followed by a musical Soiree . . . The songs, glees, duetts, &c., which followed were sung so excellently that it would be invidious on our part to individualise any particular portion of the entertainment . . . A great deal ot the success was owing to the excellent conductorship of Mr. Broadley, and the skilful manipulation of the pianoforte by Mr. Tolhurst . . .


7 November 1865, anniversary tea-meeting, Windsor Congregational Church

"ANNIVERSARY TEA-MEETING OF THIS PEEL-STREET CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, WINDSOR", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (11 November 1865), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915437 

On Tuesday evening a tea-meeting was held in the Congregational Church, Peel-street, Windsor. The company having partaken of an ample repast supplied by the ladies of the congregation, the Rev. W. Middleton (the pastor) said he was pleased at seeing so large an attendance to celebrate the seventh anniversary of his church . . . During the evening several pieces of sacred music were sung by the choir. The Rev. W. Middleton moved votes of thanks to . . . Mr. George Tolhurst, who presided at the harmonium . . .


3 December 1865, auction sale

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 November 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5779474 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3.
Important to moderate capitalists, building societies, and others requiring commodious and respectable cottage residence in a respectable and salubrious neighbourhood. MR. J. H. KNIPE (of Knipe and Kyte) is favoured with instructions from Mr. George Tolhurst to SELL by AUCTION, on the premises, on the above date, at three o'clock prompt, Freehold property having 40ft frontage to Wellington-street, East St, Kilda, by a depth of 95ft, upon which is erected substantial and commodious cottage residence, slated roof; also, useful outbuildings. The above is situated nearly opposite the residence of Dr. Madden, and is for positive sale, in consequence of the owner's intention of immediately leaving for Europe . . .


8 and 9 December 1865, charity bazaar, Exhibition Building

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (9 December 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155042227 

The grand bazaar at the Exhibition Building, in aid of the Melbourne Orphan Asylum, promises to be the greatest success of the kind since the first grand effort of this nature in aid of the Melbourne Hospital, when the sum of £10,000 was realised. The crowd, yesterday, appeared to be as great, and the business as brisk as ever. The gross receipts up to the present time amount to nearly £1700. The musical portion of the entertainment was provided, yesterday afternoon, by Mr. George Tolhurst . . .

[News], The Herald (9 December 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244472590 

Yesterday was the fourth day of the bazaar . . . Mr. Tolhurst, in the afternoon, gave some very fine organ selections from his oratorio of Ruth; and in the evening a concert was given by the Melbourne and Emerald Hill Philharmonic and the St. Kilda Glee and Madrigal Societies.

[Advertisement], The Herald (9 December 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244472582 

The grand bazaar In aid of the MELBOURNE ORPHAN ASYLUM, EXHIBITION BUILDING, Will continue open THIS DAY . . .
The ORGAN PERFORMANCE this Afternoon will be by Mr. GEORGE TOLHURST . . .


12 December 1865, refusal of George's application for colonial funds to assist in printing Ruth

"MINUTES OF MEETINGS HELD AT THE CUSTOM HOUSE, MELBOURNE . . . 12th December, 1865", Additional report of board appointed to consider claims for rewards or premiums for new manufactures and industries (Melbourne: Parliament of Victoria, 1866), reproduced in appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, Volume 2 (Wellington, 1869), D-No. 23, 15, 16

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=adZOAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA22-PA16

That the following applications cannot be acceded to under the Regulations . . . Tolhurst - Oratorio . . . [16] . . .
Application from Mr. Tolhurst read, requesting a premium for lithographing music.
Resolved - That the same cannot be entertained, as it was only delivered on the 14th instant.

[As above] "CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO PREMIUMS ON NEW INDUSTRIES AND MANUFACTURES IN THE COLONY OF VICTORIA", appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, Volume 2 (Wellington, 1869), D-No. 23, 9

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/parliamentary/appendix-to-the-journals-of-the-house-of-representatives/1869/I/1478 

. . . No. 32. G. Tolhurst, Prahran. - Composition of the oratorio Ruth, and other works . . .

"NEW MANUFACTURES AND INDUSTRIES", The Age (28 June 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155043773 


13 December 1865, William conducts choir, Prahran Congregational church

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (16 December 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915563 

On Wednesday evening last a social meeting was held in the Prahran Congregational Church. A large congregation assembled, the church being crowded in every part of it. After the usual repast, the Rev. William Moss, pastor, addressed the meeting . . . The Rev. J. Moss, brother of the pastor, and Messrs. Small, Thatcher, and Roberts also delivered interesting and appropriate speeches. The choir under the management of Messrs. Hemmons, organist, and Tolhurst, conductor, sang several solos and anthems with great taste and power.


28-30 December 1865, bazaar and fair for St. John's church, Lonsdale Street

[News], The Argus (29 December 1865), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5765149 

The St. John's Church Bazaar and Fancy Fair was well attended yesterday, and the takings considerably in excess of those of Wednesday. At the concert Mr. Tolhurst kindly gave his services, presiding at the piano, and during the evening played some selections from "Les Hugenots." The admission has now been reduced to 6d.

[News], The Argus (30 December 1865), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5785926 

The St. John's Church fancy fair, in St. Georges-hall, still continues very attractive. A concert will be given to day, by Mr. Tolhurst and the choir. The quilt, which has taken the ladies of the choir some six months to make, collects admiring crowds.

MUSIC: probably Thalberg's fantasia, as above

1866

1 January 1866, concert, Prahran Town Hall

[Advertisement], The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (30 December 1865), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255915595 

A. O. F. TOWN HALL, PRAHRAN, Under the Patronage of the Foresters of this district. A Fruit Soiree and Concert In aid of the funds of the Prahran and South Yarra Ladies Benevolent Society, will be held in the above hall on NEW YEAR'S EVENING, January 1, 1866.
Principal Vocalists: Madam STUTTAFORD, Miss SHEPPARD, Messrs. McDonald, W. Henderson, and A. Henderson.
Conductor, Mr. GEORGE TOLHURST.
Dr. Mueller has kindly consented to preside.
The Rev. George Mackie will deliver an address . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Stuttaford (vocalist); Ferdinand von Mueller


[Advertisement], The Argus (16 January 1866), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5778393 

SOUTH MELBOURNE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, Emerald-hill.
Principal, R. MACGREGOR, Esq. Of the Normal Institution, Edinburgh . . .
Instrumental Music - G. Tolhurst, Esq. . . .


16 January 1866, concert, Mechanics' Institute, Emerald Hill (South Melbourne)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (20 January 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155047630 

A complimentary concert was given on Tuesday last, in the mechanics' institute, Emerald-hill, to Mr. A. Macdonald. Madame Stuttaford and Miss Shepherd, of Emerald-hill; Messrs Wm. and Alex. Henderson, of St. Kilda; Mr. Tolhurst and Mr. Ure gave their services on the occasion. The performance gave great satisfaction, and the artists were repeatedly encored.


21 February 1866, temperance concert, St. George's Hall

[News], The Argus (22 February 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5779813 

The members of the various Bands of Hope made their annual demonstration yesterday. They assembled at ten o'clock, opposite the Belvidere Hotel, on the Eastern-hill, and proceeded in procession through the principal streets of Melbourne to the Zoological gardens, where several hours were spent in healthful and invigorating recreation, which afforded much amusement to both young and old. In the evening a large number of the members and their friends met in St. George's Hall, where a concert and a fruit soiree were held. Mr. R. Hodson presided, and the musical arrangements, which were conducted by Mr. George Tolhurst, were fully appreciated by a numerous audience, Miss Coates, Mr. Coates, and Mr. Broadbent being specially honoured by encores.


22 February 1866, concert, Prahran Town Hall

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (24 February 1866), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108124608 

On Thursday evening an elocutionary and musical entertainment was given in the Town-hall, Prahran, by the pupils of the South Yarra Presbyterian Schools, assisted by the Rev. G. Mackie, Mr. T. S. Atkinson, Mr. James A. Ure, and several lady and gentlemen amateurs . . . The audience seemed delighted with the musical interludes, especially with a fantasia from La Traviata, by Miss Slatford, and the "Blue bells of Scotland" by Madame Victorine Pett. A lady amateur sang "The Fairy Tempter" very charmingly. A song by Mr. Llewellyn, and "Belle Brandon," by Mr. Ure, were also deservedly admired. Mr. Tolhurst conducted with his usual ability. None of the pieces were encored, owing to a request by the chairman, as the programme was a long one. At the conclusion of the entertainment a vote of thanks was awarded to Mr. Tolhurst and the ladies and gentlemen who had so kindly lent their aid towards the evening's amusement . . .

6 March 1866, farewell concert, St. George's Hall, Melbourne, including selection from Ruth

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (3 March 1866), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108123645 

Mr. George Tolhurst, long and favourably known to the inhabitants of Prahran as a teacher of music, and as a composer whose productions have been regarded by the public with more than ordinary interest, takes his departure for England during the ensuing week. He is to have a benefit in St. George's Hall on Tuesday evening, when a selection from his oratorio "Ruth" will be given for the first time in Melbourne. We hope when the object of his visit has been obtained to see him again amongst us bringing renewed health and vigour to the pursuit of his customary professional avocations.

[News], The Argus (6 March 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5763150 

Mr. George Tolhurst, the composer of the oratorio "Ruth", takes a farewell benefit at St. George's-hall to-night, when the first part of the programme will be made up of a selection from his work. Mr. C. E. Horsley is to conduct on the occasion.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 March 1866), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5763165 

COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT CONCERT,
By the friends of Mr. GEORGE TOLHURST, Composer of the Oratorio "Ruth,"
Will be given in St. George's-hall, THIS EVENING, Prior to his departure for England, when a selection from the Oratorio RUTH Will be performed for the first time in Melbourne.
The following artistes have kindly consented to assist Mr. Tolhurst, and will appear on the occasion:
Mr. E. King, Mr. J. Schott, Mr. C. E. Horsley, and Mr. J. Summers (Mus. Bac. Oxon), Miss S. Mortley,
Miss McPherson, and Mrs. Purdue; Master Bryant, Mr. W. H. Williams, Mr. E. Amery, and Mr. S. Angus.
Leader, Mr. E. King.
Conductor, Mr. C. E. Horsley.
PART I.
(Selection from the Oratorio, "Ruth.")
Chorus - "Now it came to pass."
Air - "For the Lord had visited His people."
Chorus - "And they went on the way."
Duet - "Surely, we will return with thee."
Trio - "And Orpah left Naomi."
Air - "Intreat me not to leave thee," Mrs. Purdue.
Chorus - "When she saw that she was stedfastly minded."
Chorus - "And she went out, and came, and gleaned in the field."
Air - "It is the Moabitish damsel," Mr. S. Angus.
Air - "It hath been fully shown me," Mr. W. H. Williams.
Air - "Let me find favour in thy sight," Miss Mortley.
Trio - "At mealtime, come," Miss Mortley, Mr. W. H. Williams, and Mr. S. Angus.
Chorus - "And she sat beside the reapers."
PART II.
Piano Solo - Romance and Study, Mr. C. E Horsley (C. E. Horsley).
Part-Song-" Banish, O Maiden."
Oboe Solo - Operatic reminiscences, Mr. J. Schott (Schott).
Part Song - "Oft when night" (De Call).
Piano Solo - (A) Song of Hope, Mr. J. Summers (Summers).
Piano Solo - (B) Le banjo, Mr. Summers (Gottschalk).
Song - "Farewell to the mountain," Mr. E. Amery (Barnet).
Duo Concertante - Brillant fantasia upon airs from "Guillaume Tell," Messrs. King and Horsley (Osborne and De Beriot).
Part Song - "When evening's twilight" (Hatton).
Overture - Semiramide (Rossini).
Admission, 2s 6d.; balcony, 1s. To commence at 8 o'clock.

[News], The Argus (7 March 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5779720 

A complimentary benefit concert was given last evening, in St. George's-hall, to Mr. George Tolhurst, a musician favourably known to the musical public of Melbourne and its vicinity for some years past, and who is about returning to England to renew his old professional connexion there. The hall was well filled, and several of the leading musicians of Melbourne were present. The first patt of the programme consisted of selections from Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio of "Ruth," which was first presented to the public just a year ago, at Prahran. The principal artistes wera Messrs. E. King, J. Schott, W. H. Williams, E. Amery, S. Angus, Miss S. Mortley, Mrs. Perryman, and Mrs. Purdue, Mr. C. E, Horsley acting as conductor, and Mr. Tolhurst presiding at the pianoforte.

The chorus was not sufficiently strong to do justice to an oratorio, and the soprani were so weak that the instrumentalists sometimes obtained an undue ascendancy; but considering the hurried manner in which some of the arrangements were necessarily made, and the fact that there had been no full rehearsal, this portion of the concert was very successful. The music of the oratorio, which is of a pleasing cast, was favourably received throughout, and after the last chorus had been given there were loud calls for the composer, who bowed his acknowledgments. Perhaps the best received of the selections from "Ruth" was the trio, "And Orpah left Naomi," sung by Miss Mortley, Miss McPherson, and Master Bryant. The graceful air "Let me find favour in thy sight," was also very nicely delivered by Miss Mortley.

The second portion of the programme comprised several part songs by members of the Orpheus Union; pianoforte solos by Mr. C. E. Horsley and Mr. Summers; a solo on the oboe, by Mr. Schott; a duet for the violin and the piano-forte, from "William Tell," by Mr. King and Mr. Horsley, and the song "Farewell to the mountain," from Barnet's opera of "The Sylp," by Mr. Amery. Mr. Summers, who is a new arrival in the colony, and a very young man, obtained an enthusiastic encore in a pianoforte fantasia, which he played with good expression and with a very pleasing touch. Mr. Summers brings with him musical degree from the University of Oxford and he purposes to supply the place of Mr. Tolhurst as a teacher of music. The latter gentleman sails for England, by the Sussex, to-day.

"ENTERTAINMENTS", The Australasian (10 March 1866), 9

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138045640 

. . . at St. George's hall, Mr. Tolhurst, an able composer and an excellent musician, who gave on Tuesday night a concert, at which portions of his oratorio of "Ruth" and some miscellaneous pieces were performed. Mr. Tolhurst is understood to be going home, and in losing him the colony has much cause for regret, for he is one of those quiet, deserving, amiable, hardworking, and accomplished men who, because they do not continually sound their own praises, as is the wont of people in this part of the world, has never received half the due of praise which belongs to him. Regarded as a performance, perhaps his concert on Tuesday night was not a success; but considered as the occasion of taking leave of a worthy man and a very excellent musician, it ought to be signalised as an event of special importance.

"THEATRICAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (10 March 1866), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199053911 

A complimentary benefit was given on Tuesday last, in St. George's Hall, to Mr. George Tolhurst, the composer of "Ruth," when selections from that oratorio were performed. Ill health, I regret to say, has led to Mr. Tolhurst's return to England, whither he will be accompanied by the good wishes of his numerous friends. -
Yours, etc. OLIVER SURFACE.


[News], The Argus (6 March 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5763150

THIS DAY. Windsor. Household Furniture, Cottage Piano, &c., for Sale.
J. B. CREWS and Co., will SELL by AUCTION, on Tuesday, March 6, at eleven o'clock sharp, on the premises, 41 Wellington-street, Windsor, opposite the late residence of Dr. Madden. All the household goods, furniture, piano, &c., of Mr. George Tolhurst, who is about to leave for England.
No reserves. Sale at Eleven O'clock Sharp.

7 March 1866, George, and his wife and children, departed Melbourne per Sussex, for England



Australia (March 1866 to 1873)

Baptist church, Chapel Street, Prahran (built 1866) (University of Melbourne)

Baptist church, Chapel Street, Prahran (built 1866) (University of Melbourne)

https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/70930 (DIGITISED)


20 November 1866, Baptist church, Prahran

[News], The Argus (21 November 1866), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5779171 

The congregation connected with the new Baptist church at Chapel street, Prahran, celebrated the opening of that edifice for public worship by a tea meeting, last evening. Mr. Halier was chosen to Preside, and the platform was occupied by the Rev. Mr. Rees (the pastor), the Rev. Messrs. Wade, Watson, Sutton (Ballarat), Poole (Caulfield), Lewis (St. Kilda), Slade (Geelong), Moss (Emerald-hill), and Foy (Kew). A very large assemblage, numbering about 500 persons, sat down to tea, and the evening's entertainment was further enhanced by the delivery of several congratulatory addresses both of a serious and humorous tone, and a creditable rendering of some music by the church choir, under the leadership of Mr. Tolhurst. The entire cost of the ground and the erection of the church amounts to £1,800, of which sum £500 is already realised.

1868
April 1868, news reaches Australia of the British reception of Ruth

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (2 April 1868), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113602317 

"A new Ruth, by Mr. Tolhurst, is to be performed shortly." This is said by Public Opinion, a London weekly paper. Mr. Tolhurst, who is now in England, was a few years since a reporter on the Melbourne press, and his oratorio "Ruth" was performed at Prahran a year or two ago. The next English mail will probably bring us the verdict of English critics upon the only Victorian Oratorio yet composed.

"LATEST INDO-EUROPEAN TELEGRAMS. 14th March", The Age (14 April 1868), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article176995186 

The oratorio of "Ruth," by Tolhurst, from Melbourne, has been performed in London, but was a failure.

[News], The Herald (16 April 1868), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244959883 

Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio of "Ruth," first performed four years ago at the Town-hall at Prahran, has not been received with much favour by the English public, or courtesy by the Press. Its performance was a failure, and the Musical World speaks of it as "an Indigenous production, racy of the soil (of Australia), and in harmony with the tastes of the people, who, according to popular belief, have their heads where their feet ought to be." The musical accompaniment is described generally as facetious and eccentric, and the marches as more like "walk-rounds" than sacred music. We do not remember that the oratorio was ever very enthusiastically received out here, and cannot object to see it fairly reviewed on its merits; but the Musical World goes rather beyond the limit and becomes generally abusive.

"MR. TOLHURST'S RUTH", Leader (18 April 1868), 18

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19742844

This oratorio has been performed in London, and has not found favor with the critics. Mr. J. W. Davison, of the Times, says in his own journal, the Musical World: -

Mr. Tolhurst has, we are bound to say, fully asserted his rights, and he will not be astonished if we tell him that to our unaccustomed eyes, the Australian, "Ruth" is a very curious production. There is no reason to be surprised at this; Australia is "fertile" in curiosities and phenomena which are distinctly opposed to anything with which we are acquainted. Whatever influence is the cause of this - whether it be that of the stars we never see, or anything else - we have no authority for limiting the extent of its operation. It may be therefore, that "Ruth" is what it is for the same reason that Australian squirrels fly, and the kernels of certain Australian fruits grow outside. But, in any case, we should do wrong to judge of it by the standards used on this side of the world.

Another writer says of it:

The work presents abundant evidence of thought, of laborious application, and of a seeking after new and striking effects. In some instances the latter are obtained though at a sacrifice of that smoothness and solemn dignity we are apt to look for in oratorio. Mr. Tolhurst's music is, in many ways, peculiar; and an intense desire to be original has, perhaps, led him into occasional crudities and wild flights of fancy not ordinarily found in works of this class, and, certainly not welcome. The composer's power would, probably, be more forcibly asserted in some other branch of musical writing, and this idea is suggested by one or two numbers in "Ruth," rather operatic than otherwise in tone and feeling. The overture is vigorously written; and two choruses, "And they lifted up their voices," with "And all the city was moved," are favorable specimens of the composer's abilities.

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (18 April 1868), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108124533 

Many of our readers will remember that Mr. George Tolhurst, who formerly resided in this district, recently went to England with the object of getting his oratorio "Ruth" produced there. We learn by the present mail that he has succeeded in doing this, but regret to add, that it was not so favorably received as his friends could have wished.

[News], The Argus (21 April 1868), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5814054

We have received from the composer a copy of Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio of Ruth, a production which our readers are aware has been somewhat severely handled by the musical press of London. It is right to state, however, that the work was very favourably received by the audience which assembled to hear it; and that the metropolitan journals were not quite unanimous in condemning it, the following extract from the critique of the Morning Advertiser is sufficient to show:

"It is impossible immediately after hearing an elaborate and carefully thought-out composition like Ruth, which occupied upwards of three hours, to give any decided opinion as to the place it is likely to take in one of the highest and most classical departments of musical art, but it may be said that the ever-flowing melody which distinguished alike the choruses, the concerted pieces, and the solos, and the rich, full, and appropriate instrumental accompaniments, secured for Ruth such an enthusiastic reception as we rarely remember to have been accorded to any new work of a similar character. With respect to its originality, we are bound to say that the influence of that mightiest of musical musicians pervades the oratorio throughout. Consciously or unconsciously the composer has been under that spell, though there are portions in which a distinctive and individual inspiration is manifest, which shows that Mr. Tolhurst may aspire to produce a work which shall take even a higher stand than Ruth."

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (25 April 1868), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108122526 

We stated last week, on the authority of extracts from English papers, that the oratorio of "Ruth," by our late fellow-townsman, Mr. George Tolhurst, and which was first performed in the Prahran Town Hall about four years ago, had not been so favourably received at home as his friends could have wished. We are glad now to learn that its condemnation was by no means unanimous. The London correspondent of the Australasian says:

"You will be glad to hear that your compatriot, Mr. Tolhust, had a performance of his oratorio 'Ruth,' which was successful above the average."

And the critic in the Morning Advertiser (London) says:-

"It is impossible, immediately after hearing an elaborate and carefully thought-out composition like 'Ruth,' which occupied upwards of three hours, to give any decided opinion as to the place it is likely to take in one of the highest and most classical departments of musical art, but it may be said that the ever-flowing melody which distinguished alike the choruses, the concerted pieces, and the solos, and the rich, full, and appropriate instrumental accompaniments, secured for 'Ruth' such an enthusiastic reception as we rarely remember to have been accorded to any new work of a similar character. With respect to its originality, we are bound to say that the influence of the mightiest of musical musicians pervades the oratorio throughout. Consciously or unconsciously the composer has been under that spell, though there are portions in which a distinctive and individual inspiration is manifest, which shows that Mr. Tolhurst may aspire to produce work which shall take even a higher stand than 'Ruth.'"


25 May 1868, concert, Princess Theatre, Melbourne; performance of The Manners Sutton bridal march

"THE ALFRED MEMORIAL CONCERT", The Argus (26 May 1868), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5817302

The concert, entitled by Mr. Summers "The Alfred Memorial Concert," took place at the Princess's Theatre last evening, and was moderately attended . . . The first part of the programme concluded with a march, entitled "The Manners Sutton Bridal March," by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst. The principal theme of this composition is good, but not original. The march is a stage march of the "Blue Beard" character, and is well scored . . .

ASSOCATIONS: Joseph Summers; on the marriage of Anna-Maria-Georgiana Manners Sutton, daughter of the then governor of Victoria, at St. John's, Toorak, on 25 June 1868, see "THE WEDDING OF MR. C. E. BRIGHT AND MISS MANNERS SUTTON", Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (18 July 1868), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60448732 


Independent church (Congregational), Malvern Road, Prahran, Harvest Festival, c. 1900, with 1862 Frederick Nicholson organ (OHTA)

Independent church (Congregational), Malvern Road, Prahran, Harvest Festival, c. 1900, with 1862 Frederick Nicholson organ (OHTA, see below)


27 October 1868, musical service, Independent church, Prahran

[News], The Argus (27 October 1868), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5830950

A "grand musical service" is to take place this evening, at the Independent Church, Prahran, of which the Rev. W. Moss is the pastor, in aid of the choir fund. As the performances of this choir have already been well spoken of, it is not surprising to find the programme somewhat ambitious. It includes Spohr's cantata "God, thou art great;" Mendelssohn's "As the hart pants;" and a selection of sacred music, all performed by a band and chorus of sixty performers, with Mr. Julius Herz as conductor, and Mr. W. H. Tolhurst as leader. Mr. J. A. Edwards is to be the organist, and among the soloists are Mr. A. Ford, Mr. Amery, and other artists, mostly amateurs, more or less known to fame.

[News], The Herald (28 October 1868), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244913495 

A grand musical service was given last night in the Independent Church, Commercial-road, Prahran, in aid of the organ fund. Mr. Julius Herz officiated ea director, and Messrs. W. H. Tolhurst and J. A. Edwards as leader and organist. The principal portion of the programme gramme consisted of Spohr's cantata, "Thou art great;" but there were also several solos and concerted pieces from well known oratorios. The list of vocalists included names of several singers favourably known to the public, all of whom had kindly offered their services, and who were well seconded by an effective band and chorus of sixty performers. To judge from the numerous audience, a considerable sum must have been realised.

ASSOCIATIONS: Julius Herz (conductor); John Ashcroft Edwards (organist)

MUSIC: God, thou art great (Spohr)

NOTE: On the original 1862 organ of the church, since moved to St Patrick's Catholic Church, Mentone, see OHTA

https://www.ohta.org.au/organs/organs/StPatricksMentone.html 

1869

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (30 January 1869), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108122413 

Our late fellow-townsman, Mr. George Tolhurst, has been appointed musical critic to the Athenaeum - a first-class London newspaper devoted to literary musical, dramatic, and fine art criticism.

"MUSICAL PITCH IN ENGLAND AND ON THE CONTINENT", The Herald (25 March 1869), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244920243 

. . . To those who take particular interest in this matter, I refer them to a very talented article in the Daily Telegraph [London] of the 5th January last, said to be from the pens of Messrs. Chorley and Tolhurst . . .

But see: [News], The musical world (9 January 1869), 26

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Y0PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA26 (DIGITISED)

Dr. Flinch, of Maidstone, writes to inform us, that the report of Mr. Tolhurst having been appointed successor to Mr. H. F. Chorley as musical critic to the Athenaeum is unfounded. We are bound to take Dr. Flinch at his word, but would rather have heard from Mr. Tolhurst himself on the subject. The rumour now, however, is that Mr. George Grove - not Mr. Brinley Richards, as some German, French, Italian, Spanish, Belgian, and American papers (North and South) aver - is Mr. Chorley's successor.

And Tolhurst's response, "To the Editor of . . .", The musical world (23 January 1869), 58

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Y0PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA58 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: ) Henry Chorley (d. 1872)


[News], The Argus (29 May 1869), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5836070 

Mr. C. E. Horsley is responsible for the following statement, which appears in a letter addressed by him to the Musical World:

"The great drawback to anything like a recognition of civilisation among us (Victorians) from the mother country is the entire ignorance on the part of the English press and public of our geographical and social position. One of our most learned judges, the Maecenas of the colony of Victoria, was chief commissioner of the Exhibition of 1862 in London. When he returned I asked him what the Duke of Newcastle (then Colonial State Secretary) thought of Victoria, his reply was - 'I do not think the Duke of Newcastle knows where Victoria is. He thought Ballarat was a seaport town, and that Adelaide was within sixty miles of Melbourne.'"

The opinion of so good a judge of the condition and progress of musical art in this colony as Mr. C. E. Horsley, is entitled to respect, and we quote from the communication above referred to the following deliverance on the subject:-

"In private tuition I find the young ladies of Australia quite equal to their English sisters. There are excellent schools in Melbourne and Sydney, and the finest education for both sexes and all classes can be obtained in these cities without sending the pupils to Europe, which is expensive and superfluous. At present I do not see any signs of an Australian composer, but I hope some day we may have a grand music school, and then latent talent may develope itself. We have some admirable instrumentalists in Melbourne, such as Messrs. King, E. King, A. King, Chapman, Gover, Schott, Siede, Lundberg, Hardman, Howard, Tollhurst (Mr.Tollhurst's father - the Chipp of Australia), &c. Our principal pianist - Mr. Buddee - is unrivalled on this continent. Messrs. Pringle and Lee are excellent musicians; in short, there is nothing in any branch of music that cannot be taught in Victoria and New South Wales as well as in England or Germany. Our vocalists should not be passed over. Amongst our Melbourne lady singers we have Miss Watson, Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Ellis, the Misses Easdown, as soprani; Miss Liddle, an excellent contralto; and amongst our tenori, Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Ford; and as our bassi, Mr. Amery, Mr. Angus, and Mr. Richardson, so you see we are not without vocal resources for any emergency consistent with our means. In neither city do I pretend that in performances we can approach the great capitals of Europe; but, let me ask, what is an English musical gathering, such as at Birmingham, the Three Choirs, or Norwich, but a London festival, performed in a provincial town? Therefore, I hold a country not a century old in time, and not half that period in civilisation, is on titled to enormous credit for such a power in interpreting music."

NOTE: Also copied in regional newspapers in Ballarat and Gippsland

NOTE: The "Chipp of Australia", evidently referring to William Tolhurst as a performer on the drums; the reference being to Thomas Paul Chipp (1797-1870); see Leaves from the journals of George Smart (1907), 312 note

https://archive.org/details/leavesfromjourna00smar/page/312/mode/2up (DIGITISED)

Thomas Paul Chipp was a chorister of Westminster Abbey and later a harpist and drummer. Born in 1793, he was a member of the London orchestras from 1818 to 1870, and was a well-known figure at the Sacred Harmonic Society's concerts in the centre of the orchestra, with his two great drums before him and a kettle-drum at the side. He was short of stature, and had a marvellous way of throwing himself on the drums when he wished to suddenly silence them (D.N.B., E.N.).

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry John King (organist, violinist, vocalist); Edward King (violinist); Alfred Edward King (violinist, organist); Samuel Chapman (cellist); Henry Gover (violinist, double bass player); James Schott (oboist, pianist); Julius Siede (flautist, conductor, composer); John Lundborg (trombonist); Daniel Hardman (cellist); Julius Buddee (pianist); George Pringle (conductor, organist); David Lee (conductor, organist); Bertha Watson (soprano vocalist); Sarah Fox (contralto vocalist); the Misses Easdown; Maggie Liddle (contralto vocalist); Thomas Ford (tenor vocalist); Edwin Amery (bass vocalist); Silvanus Angus (bass vocalist)

1869

"AUSTRALIAN COMPOSER", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (10 June 1869), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244918644 

Mr. George Tolhurst, known to the Victorian public as the composer of the oratorio of "Ruth," performed in Melbourne some years ago, has just written a part song, called "Go, Lovely Rose" expressly for Dr. Fowle's monthly musical journal. The words are by Waller and Kirke White.

"MELBOURNE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", Bendigo Advertiser (12 June 1869), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87919900 

. . . Seeing that Waller was of the Charles First and Second period, and Henry Kirke White is of the nineteenth century, this is a rather curious melange of name and somewhat an anachronism . . .

1870
1870, arrival of news of performances of Ruth in Maidstone, England

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (12 March 1870), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105820846 

Our old townsman, Mr. George Tolhurst, appears at length to be gaining the reputation in England for which he struggled so hard in this colony. The Maidstone Telegraph of the 18th December states that, on the 13th inst.,

"The Corn Exchange was crowded with an enthusiastic audience to witness a performance of Mr. George Tolhurst's sacred oratorio of 'Ruth.' The principal professional vocalists engaged for the occasion were Madame Rudersdorff, Miss Etta Elphinstone, and Madame Sauerbrey. The leader of the band was Mr. T. Watson, of the Crystal Palace, and the oratorio was conducted by Mr. G. Tolhurst. Upon the latter gentleman taking the baton in hand he was loudly cheered.

"Every piece was vociferously cheered, and the greatest enthusiasm pervaded the audience as the oratorio proceeded. Madame Rudersdorff was in excellent voice, and her rendering of the various passages was such as seldom falls to the lot of a Maidstone audience to hear. At the conclusion Mr. Tolhurst received a perfect ovation from the audience. Considering the material upon which Mr. Tolhurst had to work, the production of 'Ruth' on Monday night was a great achievement, and must necessarily enhance his musical reputation."

"NEWS BY THE MAIL. THE VICTORIAN IN LONDON [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT]. London, 18th June", The Age (8 August 1870), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189330571 

Your musical circles may like to know that Mr. George Tolhurst, formerly of Prahran, has settled to the practice of his profession in Maidstone, which town has on two occasions endorsed the Melbourne verdict upon the merits of Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth."

1872

11 June 1872, concert, Emerald Hill Mechanics' Institute

[Advertisement], Record [Emerald Hill, VIC] (6 June 1872), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108481283 

MECHANIC' INSTITUTE, Emerald Hill. A Grand CONCERT, Under Distinguished Patronage, will be given in the Hall of the above Institute, on TUESDAY, JUNE 11th, by Mr. ADAM CLERKE (Bandmaster Emerald Hill Volunteer Artillery). Principal Vocalists: Miss Amelia Bailey (Mrs. Smythe), Miss Bertha Watson, Miss Florence Bassett, Mr. E. Amery, Mr. J. Stewart, and a Chorus of 20 selected Male Voices.
Principal Instrumentalists: Mr. Henry Johnson, (late Bandmaster H.M. 40th Regiment), Solo Clarionet; Mr. J. Durrant, 1st Violin; Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, Viola; Mr. D. Herdman [sic, Hardman], Violoncello; and Orchestral Band of 15 Performers. Pianistes, Madame Victorine Pett and Lady Amateur. Band of the Emerald Hill Artillery. Renowned Bellringers, Durrant Bros. Conductor, Mr. Adam Clerke. Doors open at Half-past Seven; Concert to commence at Eight o'clock. Admission - Front Seats, 3s. Back Scats, 2s.; Gallery, 1s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Adam Clerke (bandmaster); Bertha Watson (vocalist); Victorine Pett (pianist); Henry Johnson (clarinet); Daniel Hardman (cellist)




England (1866 to 1877)

[Advertisement], Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser (7 July 1866), 1

MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC, TEACHER OF THE PIANOFORTE. SINGING, AND HARMONY, 114, WEEK-STREET, MAIDSTONE.


1 October 1866, meeting to re-establish the Maidstone Choral Society

"MAIDSTONE CHORAL SOCIETY", Maidstone telegraph (6 October 1866), 3

We are glad to find that it has been determined to resuscitate this society, which has never been formally dissolved, although its practices have been discontinued during the past four years. At a meeting held Chillington house on Monday, under the presidency of Mr. E. Hoar, a committee was formed, including many of those who formerly acted in the same capacity; and a large number of members were enrolled. Mr. George Tolhurst was unanimously appointed as leader and conductor. This gentleman has recently returned to Maidstone, after a residence of some years in Australia, where his oratorio, Ruth, created favourable an impression. The members will meet weekly for practice during the ensuing winter, and as there is no lack of musical talent in the town, we hope the society will strongly supported.

NOTE: George's late elder brother Henry was leader of the society when it ceased activities c. 1862

1867

4 April 1867, concert, Maidstone Choral Society

"MAIDSTONE CHORAL SOCIETY", Maidstone telegraph (6 April 1867), 2

On Thursday evening last the above society gave a concert of sacred music at the Wesleyan School-room, Brewer-street. The programme comprised selections from Mozart's "Twelfth Mass" and Handel's "Messiah;" the various solos being taken by Miss E. Headford, Miss Dye, and Messrs. J. Woollett, H. Goodwin and Relf. The pieces, with scarcely an exception, were rendered with excellent effect; and the entertainment gave general satisfaction. Mr. G. Tolhurst was the conductor; Miss Headford presiding at the pianoforte.


"Music, Arts, Sciences, and Literature", Bath chronicle and weekly gazette (13 June 1867), 7

Mr. George Tolhurst, who appears to have had some success as a composer in Australia, has come to England with a view to the performance of his sacred oratorio "Ruth," of which the Melbourne papers speak in high terms. Orchestra.

1868
January 1868, publication of vocal score of Ruth

"NEW MUSIC", Morning advertiser (20 January 1868), 3

Ruth, An Oratorio. The Words chiefly selected from the Holy Scriptures. The Music composed by GEORGE TOLHURST. - London: Published by the Composer, 60, Kingsland-road, Shoreditch.

A CLEARLY-PRINTED music folio of 191 pages of plates comprises the score of Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio. At first we were about to cavil with the subject chosen by the composer, seeing that we had an oratorio on the some subject presented in London within these few years. When, however, came to examine the work, and found a from brief prefatory note that it was composed at the antipodes, and first performed in the Town-hall at Prahran, near Melbourne, Victoria, in January, 1864, our objection was at once disposed of, and we addressed ourselves impartially to its examination.

The return to Bethlehem of Naomi and Ruth, after the famine had given place to abundance, forms the subject of the first part. This consists of overture, five airs with recitatives, a duet (for two soprani), a trio (three soprani), and eight choruses; the last three being portions of the finale of Part i. The second part, which is devoted to the meeting of Ruth and Boaz, in the harvest-field, also contains five airs with their introductory recitatives, a trio (soprano, tenor, bass), a quartet (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), and eleven choruses, the last three, as before, being sequent, two of them leading up to the final "Amen" chorus.

The work, so far as examination with the piano (a most insufficient and unsatisfactory test), can enable us to form a judgment, is well constructed, and shows thought and considerable skill in writing. The subject is of necessity, though possessing a tender interest, sadly wiredrawn, ladling the incident, variety, and dramatic effects of such oratorios as Eli, Elijah, Paul, Naaman, and others - leaving out of the question the mighty treatment of the Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Saul, and others of Handel, Haydn's Creation, and the sacred compositions of the days when there were musical "giants in the land." Still, a musical epic, we are anxious to hear Mr. Tolhurst's work with an efficient choir, band, and single voices. We have not, nor are we likely to have, a great supply of good oratorios to allow us to spare such a work this, and allow it to drop into oblivion unheard in the only way oratorio can heard. We therefore wait with hope the performance of Mr. Tolhurst's work in a competent manner, and hope we may be there to hear.

"RUTH", The musical standard (25 January 1868), 37-38

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9zw0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA37 (DIGITISED)

"RUTH." The Words selected chiefly from the Holy Scriptures. The Music composed by George Tolhurst. London: Composer.

This is an oratorio. We have frequently had occasion to remark upon the passion for oratorio writing, which seems every now and then to take a firm hold upon this or that one among our countrymen - here we have an Australian in the same predicament. Oratorio composition is certainly an unfortunate disease to acquire. It is a disease of the mind which operates in diverse ways; but one infallible symptom is the firm conviction the afflicted seem to have that their particular oratorio is really up to the mark. Considering the immense amount of work represented by so long a composition as an oratorio it is a pity that those entering upon such a task do not take sound advice previous to beginning: the admiration of a few friends, or of friends at all, if not seconded by those who belong to the outside of that magic circle, is a unsafe guide. This friendly admiration has evidently misled Mr. Tolhurst. He tells us in a letter accompany-[38]-ing the copy of his work sent for review that he set some little pieces which pleased his friends, and that he thereupon set himself to compose an oratorio. What his smaller compositions were we know not, but we must candidly say that we do not think much of his oratorio. Those of our readers who remember the coda-fughetta tunes which were popular in very many chapels twenty years ago, will be able to form a very close estimate of "Ruth" if they understand that it is about on a level with, and rather below than above, most of the tunes in question. A close search through this oratorio has failed to find one new thought for eulogy. The setting of the words (themselves sufficiently grotesque in places) is frequently of the most mistaken character; the music is faded and inappropriate; and nowhere comes up to the dignity required by the subject, although that subject is one requiring far less of the lofty than many others. We are sorry to be compelled thus to speak of "Ruth," because we well know with what enthusiasm the public of Australia look upon anything produced in the colony, but although Mr. Tolhurst's "own right hand," to quote his own words, has doubtless done much for him, it has certainly fallen short of making him an oratorio composer: indeed we sincerely regret that some other "own right hand" did not cross out a great many of the most prominent of the passages before us, for a certain fluency which is throughout apparent tends to create an impression that under a severe master he might have done - or may yet do - some good.

"MUSICAL PUBLICATIONS", The illustrated London News (4 July 1868), 23

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=XptQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA591

Ruth: the words selected chiefly from the Holy Scriptures; the music composed George Tolhurst. Such is the title of a goodly volume which we find before us, and which we regard with the strongest interest as the first fruits of genius and art in the British colonial dominions. In the whole history of the rise of nations and cities there is no event so wonderful as the origin of Victoria and its capital, Melbourne; within our own memory a trifling settlement without even a name to distinguish it by, but now powerful a State, with a metropolis beginning to rival the greatest cities of the old world. Among its growths is that of the arts which minister to the wants of refined society, and of these music is always the foremost in the race of progress. A striking proof of this fact is afforded by the appearance of this oratorio, a work belonging to the highest class of the musical art, and no insignificant specimen of the class to which its belongs. "Ruth" is a regular oratorio, or musical drama, founded on a pathetic and interesting story so simple that the subject suggests itself by the mere announcement of its title, and which only requires to be developed according to the forms of musical construction. In this task Mr. Tolhurst has betrayed the defects of a young and inexperienced artist. His libretto is a series of passages from Holy Writ; but they are too fragmentary and incoherent, thrown into the forms of airs, recitatives, and choruses, without any sufficing reason for adopting any one of these forms in preference to the use of any other. But when the words themselves indicate the manner of their treatment, the composer is often eminently successful; as, for example, the beautiful and well-known phrase, "Intreat me not to leave thee!" which can only be an air, and can be uttered only by Ruth. This, accordingly, is the best morceau in the work, being melodious and expressive. In the choral and concerted music there are proofs of study; but there is a lack of the ease and freedom of style that can be acquired only by practice. "Ruth" has several times been publicly performed in Australia. It was first produced at Prahran, near Melbourne, on Jan. 21, 1864, and has since been repeated more than once, and received with general favour, notwithstanding the disadvantages of a very imperfect performance. Lastly, it has been published in exceedingly elegant form, with a dedication to the Queen, and a subscription list comprising the names of many of the notabilities of the Australian capital.

29 January 1868, first English performance of Ruth, Store Street Rooms, Bedford Square, London

"THE NEW ORATORIO, RUTH", Morning advertiser (30 January 1868), 3

Last night Mr. Tolhurst's new oratorio, Ruth, was given for the first time in England at the Music-hall, Store street. The composer belongs to a family in which the musical faculty seems to be hereditary, his grandfather being well known to those versed in ecclesiastical music, and his compositions are still in general use in the counties of Kent and Sussex. Mr. Tolhurst seems to have written his work while in Australia, while in large practice as a professor of music; and the reception it experienced, on its first performance in the Town-hall at Prahran, near Melbourne, on the of 21st of January, 1864, induced him submit it to the larger and more critical ordeal of a metropolitan audience. Ruth is called "sacred oratorio," though, looking at its subject and the style in which it is treated, it would hare been more appropriately styled a pastoral. The story is well known, the incidents few, simple, and touching, and the return Bethlehem of Ruth and Naomi, after the famine in the land had given place to abundance, forms the first part, the mooting of Boaz with Ruth in the harvest field the second part of the oratorio.

The overture is melodious and effective prelude to what follows. Naomi's determination to return to her native land and the desire of her daughters-in-law to accompany her are very dramatically told in a series of admirably-constructed choruses and recitatives, interspersed with airs full of melody. Orpah consents to remain, after duet, "Surely we will return," sung by Mrs. Robertine Henderson and Madame Gilardoni in most exquisite style, and which to our thinking is the gem of the oratorio, an opinion evidently shared by the crowded audience, by whom it was enthusiastically redemanded. Ruth, however, cleaves unto her mother-in-law, and in a pathetic air, powerfully and dramatically rendered by Madame Sauerbrey, "Intreat me not to leave thee," wins her consent. This also won a genuine and enthusiastic encore. Naomi and Ruth journey towards Bethlehem, and find all the city "moved about them," in chorus which, though reminding us of on# of Handel's best choral compositions, is exceedingly appropriate and effective. In answer to their greetings Naomi gives a touching summary of the woes she had experienced since leaving her native place: "I went out full, and the Lord hath returned me empty," in the delivery of which the rich and well-cultivated voice and dramatic force of Madame Sauerbrey were exhibited to great perfection, and extorted another encore. A fine hymnal chorale, thoroughly Mendelssohnian in spirit and setting, and given with great precision and delicacy by the choir, leads to the final chorus of the first part, "The Lord gave and Lord hath taken away; blessed the name of the Lord."

The second part is, of coarse, fuller of incident, and the story of Ruth's gleaning in the field of her rich kinsman Boaz, the interest which her appearance awakens in him, and the incidents which lead up to their marriage, present not only a charming picture of the old patriarchal times, but are framed in choral, concerted, and solo melodies which prove the composer to possess musical powers of a very high order, and at the same time introduced Mr. Lewis Thomas and Mr. Cummings in several pieces, to which these accomplished artists did full justice, and were rewarded by applause of an unmistakable kind, and by encores that, making all allowance for the partiality of friends and the excitement of a first performance, were too obviously genuine to leave any doubt as to the real cause of their effectiveness.

It is impossible immediately after hearing an elaborate and carefully thought out composition like Ruth, which occupied upwards of three hours, to give any decided opinion as to the place it is likely to take in one of the highest and most classical departments of musical art, but it may be said that the ever-flowing melody which distinguished alike the choruses, the concerted pieces, and the solos, and the rich, full, and appropriate instrumental accompaniments, secured for Ruth such an enthusiastic reception as we rarely remember to have been accorded to any new work of a similar character. With respect to its originality, we are bound to say that the influence of that mightiest of musical magicians pervades the oratorio throughout. Consciously or unconsciously the composer has been under that spell, though there are portions in which a distinctive individual inspiration is manifest, which show that Mr. Tolhurst may aspire to produce a work which shall take even a higher stand than Ruth. But its full flow of melody, its admirably composed choruses, and the simplicity of its story, are likely, we think, the more it is known, to make it take a high and prominent stand among the class of compositions to which it belongs.

To the principal vocalists, the choir, and the orchestra too much praise cannot be awarded for the faithful and zealous manner in which one and all discharged their duties. There was not the slightest hitch from beginning to end, a result which could only have been attained by long and careful drilling under the able management of Mr. J. Turner and Mr. Weist Hill, the leader. At the close of the performance Mr. Tolhurst was called for, and made his appearance amidst enthusiastic and protracted cheers.

"AN AUSTRALIAN ORATORIO", Pall Mall Gazette (1 February 1868), 11

WHEN Herr Otto Goldschmidt's "Ruth" was produced at Hereford last year the visitors to that city were informed, from music-shop windows, that the composer of the new oratorio enjoyed no monopoly of his subject. It appeared that another "Ruth" was in existence, and Herr Goldschmidt was found to be seeking the highest honours of his art in company with a rival less known to fame. It has come out since that the second "Ruth" had a place in the Exhibition of 1862 among the products of Australia, and is a genuine specimen of Australian musicianship. As such the work possesses a certain interest apart from its abstract merits, and we take advantage of its first performance in England (at the Store-street Rooms on Wednesday last) to notice so novel an importation from the antipodes.

When given to the other side of the world, in the Town Hall of Prahran, four years ago, "Ruth " seems to have been received by the public with heartiness and to have made a hero of Mr. George Tolhurst, its composer. Moreover, it was successful in pleasing the critics of the Victorian press almost to a man. Thus, the Prahran Telegraph pronounced it to be of the "very highest excellence," and able to "compare with the earlier efforts of Handel, Haydn, or Mozart." The Melbourne Argus was more technical, and pointed out how it blends "the two styles represented [12] usually by the terms "German" and "Italian," and how the choruses are in "that style of fugue, with short consentaneous phrases interspersed, such as no one but Handel has succeeded in writing." The Melbourne Age, while admitting that Mr. Tolhurst had not eclipsed Handel or Haydn, claimed for him "more than a respectable debut in one of the loftiest departments of music;" and the Emerald Hill Courier declared the oratorio to be "masterly" and suggestive of the style of Haydn, while free from the charge of plagiarism. Thus accepted by common consent, it comes to us as the accredited representative of Australian art.

We are disposed to think that Mr. Tolhurst will do well to demand for his oratorio no other attention than such as is due to its representative character. As an index to the art progress of its native colony, the work may be interesting and useful. But on the score of merit we would adjudge "Ruth" to be a sorry production were it not that the composer's defiance of accepted canons of taste, and even of the elementary rules of harmony, sets us wondering whether a new development of the "Zukunft-musik" has not appeared. If so, we must remember that "the innovations of one age are the settled laws of the next," and be cautious. But, ridding ourselves of such an unpleasant idea, we are at liberty to say that the Australian oratorio is a very singular phenomenon. It so bristles with peculiarities that one is at a loss which to instance first. Even in arranging the text Mr. Tolhurst contrived to do something out of the common by giving a good deal of mere narrative to the chorus, instead of the reciting voice, and wasting sentiment upon matter of fact passages like "And the name of his two sons, Malon and Chilion." Besides this, he takes up such expressions as "And she went and came," or "At mealtime come," and repeats them as if they embodied the essence of the argument. The latter, for example, is heard in the course of a trio nearly seventy times, the result being that weariness effectually dissipates the impression made by the speaker's hospitality.

The music has been written in what we must call - so numerous and glaring are its errors - a purposed defiance of all rule and order. Composers in general are careful to give their chords the essential "third," but Mr. Tolhurst dispenses with it at his pleasure. As to the ordinary treatment of discords he ignores it entirely; scattering them about his pages broadcast, careless of "preparation," and leaving "resolution" to chance. Every number in the wbrk illustrates this peculiar freedom of treatment, and, moreover, abounds in false relations to such a degree that it would seem as if the climate of Australia must make the ear insensible to the most excruciating of all sequences of sound. After this, it is needless to point out minor blemishes, and we shall only express a hope that the next musical importation from Victoria will be something better.

The performance of Wednesday, in which Miss R. Henderson, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Lewis Thomas took part, was received with the demonstrative applause usual on such occasions. At the close Mr. Tolhurst was called for and vigorously cheered. For his own sake we trust that he knows our customs.

"Mr. George Tolhursts's Oratorio", The era (2 February 1868), 10

Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio, Ruth, was, on Wednesday evening, performed for the first time in England at the Music Hall, in Store-street, Bedford-street. When first submitted to the amateurs of the Australian colony the opinions expressed regarding the work were, we believe, extremely favourable, and this may have induced Mr. Tolhurst to venture upon producing it in the Metropolis of the mother country. So far as applause is concerned nothing could have been more warmly welcomed than was this oratorio on Wednesday evening. The points of interest were recognised and enthusiastically acknowledged as they arrived, and many of the numbers were imperatively encored. As a matter of course, a great many of the composer's friends were in the Hall, and their very natural belief in the excellence of the music was expressed with characteristic vigour. So much for the reception of the work on Wednesday; and if Mr. Tolhurst should be so highly complimented at any future performance before an audience entirely unacquainted with him he will have especial cause to feel grateful.

A composer of such an ambitious work as an Oratorio is commonly and reasonably supposed to be in the pursuit of fame and immortality, and few would question Mr. Tolhurst's enthusiasm as a follower of the art which he has, doubtless, attentively studied. The work presents abundant evidence of thought, of laborious application, and of a seeking after new and striking effects. In some instances the latter are obtained, though at a sacrifice of that smoothness and solemn dignity we are apt to look for in oratorio. Mr. Tolhurst's music is, in many ways, peculiar; and an intense desire to be original has, perhaps, led him into occasional crudities and wild flights of fancy not ordinarily found in works of this class, and certainly not welcome. The composer's power would, probably, be more forcibly asserted in some other branch of musical Writing, and this idea is suggested by one or two numbers in Ruth, rather operatic than otherwise in tone and feeling. The overture is vigorously written; and two choruses, "And they lifted up their voices," with "And all the city was moved," are favourable specimens of the composer's capabilities. The first encore was awarded to that admirable vocalist, Miss Robertine Henderson, and Madame Gilardoni, who sang the duet, "Surely we will return with thee." Mr. Lewis Thomas was complimented in like manner for his rendering of the first air for the bass, "And they two went." An air, given with fervent and genuine expression by Madame Sauerbrey, was imperatively redemanded. It is preceded by it kind of funeral march, and made, perhaps, a stronger impression than anything in the oratorio. In the chorus, "And she went, and came, and gleaned it the field," the choir nearly came to a standstill, and the effect of this singular composition was not, in consequence, heightened. Mr. W. H. Cummings repeated his second air, "It hath been fully showed me" (a morceau of surpassing merit, in comparison to others in the oratorio), in obedience to the energetically-expressed wish of the audience. This melody is, by contrast, continuous, flowing, and eminently satisfactory. In the first part is a trio "And Orpah left Naomi," in which the religious feeling is not very apparent. Miss Valdanes took her place among the solo vocalists, and sang the air, "Go, return each to her mother's house." The orchestra, conducted by Mr. James Turner, overpowered the singers from first to last.

There is an unquestionable independence about Mr. Tolhurst's music, and he boldly strikes out a path for himself. He will not, however, expect students to follow him, without hesitation, through the somewhat tortuous ways he has chosen. Eccentricity, or, to use a milder term, peculiarity, should always be allied with genius, and if Ruth should not satisfy the musical public that Mr. Tolhurst possesses the divine spark, he may possible conclude, with many equally earnest and conscientious disciples of art, that he is in advance of the age.

"RUTH", Maidstone telegraph (1 February 1868), 2

The oratorio of this name, by Mr/ George Tolhurst of Maidstone, came off with great eclat on Wednesday evening last, at the Store-street Music Hall, Bedford-square, London. The artiste was twice called before the curtain.

"TOLHURST", The musical times and singing class circular (1 February 1868), 292-93

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3354971 (DIGITISED)

Ruth. The words chiefly selected from the Holy Scripture; the music composed by George Tolhurst.

It is always, with us, a matter of regret that untried composers should submit their works to critical judgment after, instead of before, publication. Were the latter method more generally pursued, an adverse opinion upon the merits of a composition from the lips of a known friend might save years of anxiety and disappointment; but the work once published, and formally sent for review, what verdict detrimental to the hopes of the expectant composer - however tenderly worded, however kindly meant - will ever be accepted as the genuine opinion of an unprejudiced judge? Many a young and deserving musician, who might as a teacher, or perhaps even as performer, have held a good position in the profession, has been ruined by the unfortunate delusion that nature has intended him for a composer. This feeling having once gained possession of him, there is little hope of his stopping short of an Oratorio. The scriptures are ransacked for "words:" songs, duets, and choruses cut to the pattern of the great standard works, are thrown together; and out comes a huge book, to haunt its unfortunate author for the rest of his life, and to crush all hope of his steady advancement in the more humble path which he might have pursued both with honour and profit. We know nothing of Mr. Tolhurst, and should have been pleased to know nothing of his oratorio; but a work of such importance imperatively demands attention, especially as we see that before these remarks come before our readers, it will have [293] been produced at the Store-street Concert Room. How so crude a composition as Ruth could have been performed, applauded, and favourably commented upon - even as far off as Melbourne, where it first saw the light - is to us a marvel. As an oratorio, it is impossible gravely to criticise it; but as a mere collection of detached vocal pieces, it is so utterly devoid of anything like interest, that even the few snatches of melody occasionally gleaming through the obscurity, have only the effect of making the "darkness visible." The choruses appear the work of a student groping his way in part-writing; and, with the mere pianoforte or organ accompaniment, are, in some portions, perfectly unendurable. The opinions of the press, which accompanied the copy of the work sent to us, will no doubt be accepted by Mr. Tolhurst as the real truth - especially as one pronounces the Oratorio "of the very highest excellence," and declares that it "betokens no ordinary genius in the composer" - but we would counsel Mr. Tolhurst to remember that the well-intentioned ignorance of friends is quite as likely to lure to destruction as the malicious cunning of enemies.

[Editorial]. The musical world (1 February 1868), 76-77

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76 (DIGITISED)

MR. TOLHURST'S oratorio, Ruth [FOOTNOTE: Ruth. An Oratorio. The words selected chiefly from the Holy Scriptures. The music composed by GEORGE TOLHURST. London: George Tolhurst.] (which must not be on any account mistaken for an oratorio under the same title, music by Herr Otto Goldschmidt, produced at the last Worcester Festival), comes to us from the antipodes, and was first performed, four years ago, in the Town Hall of Prahran, Victoria. Judging by some extracts from the criticisms of the Australian press which have accompanied it to this country, the work was very favourably looked upon in the land of its birth. We may take it, therefore, as an indigenous production, racy of the soil, and in harmony with the tastes of the people who, according to popular belief, have their heads where their feet ought to be. As such we wish to speak of it with all respect. Fixed canons of art are very well within certain limits. English critics, for example, could not allow a French or German composer to transgress them without being down upon him sharply and at once. Nor are we sure that an American could claim to escape "scot free." Admitting, however, that the canons aforesaid are good within a radius of five thousand miles, the boundary line is a very long way off Japan or Victoria. Hence the court composer of the Mikado can snap his fingers at the rules and regulations of his western brothers, and he of antipodes, whose head points to the opposite quarter of the heavens, is entitled to be still more defiant. Mr. Tolhurst has, we are bound to say, fully asserted his rights, and he will not be astonished if we tell him that, to our unaccustomed eyes, the Australian Ruth is a very curious production. There is no reason to be surprised at this. Australia is fertile in curiosities and in phenomena which are distinctly opposed to anything with which we are acquainted. Whatever influence is the cause of this - whether it be that of the stars we never see, or anything else - we have no authority for limiting the extent of its operation. It may be, therefore, that Ruth is what it is for the same reason that Australian squirrels fly, and the kernels of certain fruits grow outside. But, in any case, we should do wrong to judge of it by the standards used on this side of the world. The oratorio is entirely a thing sui generis, and as novel an importation as was the first chest of tea. Remembering that the pioneer consignment of the "fragrant leaf" was fried with butter by the favoured recipients, we mean to be very cautious about giving an opinion upon Ruth till we know more of the conditions of its production, and the particular light in which it ought to be viewed.

There is, however, no reason why we should not attempt to give our readers some idea as to what it is like, and so much we proceed to do, first cautioning them against hasty conclusions, and pointing emphatically to the moral of the tea.

As to the general plan of the work, we find that Mr. Tolhurst, has very closely adhered to the Old Testament story, and only on two or three occasions does he introduce passages found elsewhere. In [77] arranging the book for musical purposes he presents us with the first novelty out of the many his work contains. The composers of our hemisphere usually throw the purely narrative portions of their subjects into the form of recitative, and reserve their highest efforts for the expression of sentiment. Mr. Tolhurst adopts a different plan. His first chorus, for example, contains, amid much other of a similar character, the following passage: - "And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Malon and Chilon, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah." In order to show the antipodean method of treating such family particulars and to rid the mind of the reader of any notion that Mr. Tolhurst has adopted choral recitative, we give a bar or two of the music -

Other passages of a like character are treated in a similar way, as for example: - "When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her;" and "And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz." We must confess to a strong appreciation of the novelty, if not the beauty, of this peculiar arrangement. We do not say that it is other than beautiful, but one wants to be accustomed to it in order to speak positively on the matter either way.

With regard to the music, we shall take such "numbers" of the work as seem to call for remark, in place of making general observations which may possibly lead us into the expression of opinions. The work, conforming thus far, to our own mode opens with an overture in two movements, andante and allegro. The subject of the former:-

is given out as a solo no less than three times, and followed by a passage for the brass on a tonic pedale. As this is all, the effect is very curious. No less singular is the form of the allegro. It starts with a subject for the celli, which immediately re-appears as a canon on the octave, thus:

There is a second subject, but it escapes similar treatment, and there are scale passages and pedales in abundance, besides a prematurely strangled fugue, the whole defying any method of analysis with which we are acquainted. The second chorus has an equal originality. The words are, "And they went on the way to return unto Judah," the act of going being represented by a pompous ff march, which opens, fills up occasional intervals, and concludes, the choral passages being merely a repetition of this subject after the fashion, we suppose of an Australian fugue:-

The snatches of the march as they appear from time to time have a very droll effect to unaccustomed ears, being rather suggestive of a "walk round" between the verses of a nigger song. The novelty of the work, however, is not confined to construction. Here is, for instance, the opening of the duet, "Surely we will return with thee":-

which is quite enough to show what strange themes may be developed under southern skies. But we cannot resist another extract. Mr. Tolhurst sets the emphatic declaration, "Surely we will return with thee," after this fashion, the instruments playing with the voices:-

With all diffidence we confess our inability to see the beauty or appropriateness of the passage, which, nevertheless, may possess both qualities to those better acquainted with Australian art. The saine remark might be made of Mr. Tolhurst's harmony. We might quote scores of wonderful and inexplicable progressions in which the least singular feature is an indifference to the third as a rightful member of any given chord, but we hesitate to begin for fear of not knowing where to stop. We are bound, however, to show the method in which an antipodean composer, having his penultimate chorus in E flat, and wishing to conclude in the opening key, D, passes from one to the other:-

There is something superb about the directness of this which fills us with admiration. Alas! that we dare not imitate it. Yet another peculiar feature is the great pains taken to impress certain things on the mind which, at first sight, seem to be of no consequence whatever. We should fancy that it would be enough to tell us once "the name of the man was Boaz," but Mr. Tolhurst insists upon going into the very agony of iteration about the fact. Witness how he does it:-

But even this is exceeded when an intensely earnest desire to bring forward the hospitality of the ancient people prompts Mr. Tolhurst, in the trio, "At meal-time come thou hither," to repeat the first three words very nearly seventy times. Speaking of this trio we must not omit to notice a passage in which something very like the bush cry, "Co-oee," is introduced with an effect only to be fully appreciated by an Australian. Here is an example:-

That leap of the octave in the soprano is a suggestion of "native wood notes wild," of which, among Englishmen, only a milkman can feel the propriety.

We might go on to a far greater length and yet not exhaust the curiosities of this curious work, but enough has been said to give an idea of its character and to convey the impression that a taste for Australian oratorio, as for Chinese cookery, must be acquired by those not "to the manner born." We fear, and, as at present advised, we hope Mr. Tolhurst will do little on this side the world with his importation. Englishmen especially are loth to change when they are satisfied with what they have; and as Mr. Tolhurst offers something so very different, he will excuse it being looked at doubtfully. In Prahran - so says the Telegraph of that town - Ruth was a success. Why then divorce it from its native soil, and seek to plant it here, among strangers who do not, and cannot, understand it?

"MAIDSTONE. MR. TOLHURST'S RUTH", Dover telegraph and Cinque Ports general advertiser (5 February 1868), 3

The oratorio of Ruth by Mr. George Tolhurst, of Maidstone, was performed with full chorus and orchestra for the first time in England on Wednesday evening last, in the Store-street Concert Hall, Bedford-square, London. The principal vocalists were Miss Robertine Henderson, Madame Gilardoni, Miss Valdanes, Madame Sauerbrey, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Lewis Thomas. The leader was Mr. Weist Hill, and Mr. James Turner acted as conductor. There was a large attendance, and the audience evinced their satisfaction by encoring several portions of the work. Mr. Tolhurst, the composer, was also twice called for by the audience.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Henry Weist Hill (violinist, leader); William H. Cummings (tenor vocalist); Lewis Thomas (bass vocalist, see Notable Welsh musicians, 84-85)


[Editorial], "ORATORIOS AND REVIEWERS", The musical standard (8 February 1868), 57-58

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9zw0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA57 (DIGITISED)

MR. George Tolhurst, the composer of an oratorio called Ruth, has favoured us with a "short" communication, in which he encloses for our instruction and behoof a published critique from a daily newspaper on that work. Our readers may turn to page 37 of our present volume, where they will find a certainly merciful and considerate review of the oratorio in question. This review has not satisfied the ambition of Mr. Tolhurst, and he writes (in perfectly temperate and gentlemanly manner) to tell us that he differs from our reviewer's estimate of his production: he also intimates in other words that it would take a great deal of what the Yankees term "tall talk" to make the reviewer and himself agree even upon the primary canons of criticism. Where unlimited praise is not accorded this is far from uncommon. We depart from our usual custom so far as to give insertion to the letter in another column: at the same time we do not of course withdraw a word of our review - which review, be it stated, was in no way influenced either by private letters or personal influence - modes too often adopted by aspirants for musical celebrity with the conductors of this journal. It is needless perhaps to assure our readers that "back stairs" criticism is not allowed with us; and that works reviewed - be they great or be they small - are noticed on the grounds of their own merits solely. If Mr. Tolhurst considers that his reputation will be in any degree advanced by the farrago of flattery which the good nature of the editor of the Morning Advertiser has allowed some one to contribute to his journal, we opine that it can be doing no harm in a musical sense to give our readers the opportunity of perusing it, without the truncation, by even a line, of its truly sublime proportions. It begins as follows: . . .

THE NEW ORATORIO, "RUTH." - Last night Mr. Tolhurst's new oratorio, Ruth, was given for the first time in England . . . [as above] . . . to leave no doubt as to the real cause of their effectiveness.

All the above - sufficiently delightful to the composer's eye - is as nothing compared with the following assignment of the oratorio's future standing in the art world.

It is impossible (continues the critic) immediately after hearing an elaborate and carefully thought out composition like Ruth . . . [as above] . . . his appearance amidst enthusiastic and protracted cheers.

Here we naturally pause to draw breath, and "take stock" of our position. The point which next strikes us is the very natural one why people send us their works for review at all, if they chafe under the mildest infliction of censure in the shape of the verdict they have voluntarily sought. We shall here take leave to relate - with all due suppression of names and dates - one of several little instances within our experience bearing on the matter of reviewing. A country professor of undoubted talent and position having brought out a work was of all things desirous to get it "well" noticed in the Musical Standard. His friend in London perseveringly sought and obtained more than one interview with gentlemen "on" the journal, to whom - with nods and winks and no little of the finesse supposed to be necessary in delicate cases - was warily produced and offered a manuscript review of the work in question. It is needless to say that the "manuscript review" was declined as inconsistent with our mode of procedure in such matters, although the certainty of immediate quotation in the leading oracle of the composer's native town was dangled before us as a tempting bait. It is perhaps equally needless to say that the review which ultimately did appear in the Musical Standard was not considered so entirely flattering to the self-approbation of the composer as to entitle it to that place of honour: it therefore did not appear in the Bonchester Mail; meanwhile, to bring the narration to an end, another London journal was less particular - not to say squeamish; the review offered to and declined by our proprietary was offered to and inserted totidem verbis elsewhere, and then triumphantly reproduced in the Bonchester Mail as a specimen of professional opinion here! In this little anecdote we are conscious of having strayed away from the corn fields and pastures of Ruth and Mr. Tolhurst; but we cannot help concluding with the expression of our conviction that the publication of oratorios now-a-days indicates a grave loss of time, without any corresponding benefit to art. No possible benefit can accrue to music from the multiplication of feeble airs and still feebler choruses. There is so much musical weakness afloat already that every published addition thereto cannot be considered otherwise than an infliction upon real amateurs of music. The mania for composition of this class is not easy to fathom, for even if accurate estimation of one's own powers be with some impossible, a dim perception might exist that where so many eminent musicians failed success is a matter of very slender possibility in their case. However, music, intimately connected with theology, is so far like theology that to bring common sense to bear upon it is rather the exception than the rule. Otherwise indeed should we see much less good white paper spoiled, many less distinguished efforts to bring to the front master-pieces of irritable Germanism, and less by many, it might be hoped, of those semi-ludicrous attempts to "make things easy" to our reviewers or ourselves.

"Musical Opinion. MR. TOLHURST'S RUTH", The musical standard (8 February 1868), 62

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9zw0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA62 (DIGITISED)

The very beautiful and touching Scripture story of Ruth the Moabitess having been passed over, perhaps not unadvisedly, by the few successful composers of oratorio music, appears fated to be the prey of a class of writers for whom the world has commonly little sympathy, namely, those whose ambitious desires are not justified by the quality of the works which they produce. The last of these more aspiring than competent composers to appeal to the verdict of an English public is a Mr. George Tolhurst, of Melbourne, who, it appears, forwarded the score of a then unpublished oratorio called Ruth to the International Exhibition of 1862, and was, it is stated, "stimulated" by that course of action to hasten the production of his work. A performance of Ruth accordingly took place at Prahran, near Melbourne, in 1864, but it was not until last Wednesday evening that Mr. Tolhurst managed to give the public an opportunity of hearing this first musical composition of any pretensions which has, so far as we are aware, sprung from the remote colony of Australia. If, before the arrangements for the performance (held in Store-street Concert Hall) were made, the author of the said composition had obtained the opinions of some qualified judges, we think he would have found of himself advised to be content with such colonial honours as he seems to have gained, and to refrain from inviting English criticism upon his work. It is not worth while to go into any detailed description of this so-called oratorio. How very vague is the idea possessed by Mr. Tolhurst of the verbal material upon which such a work should be founded, or how exalted an estimate he has formed of his own ability to rise superior to the paltry accessories of dramatic form and interest, may be gathered from the mere statement of the fact that he has dispensed altogether with the services of a librettist, and (taking Handel's non-dramatic Israel as an example, perhaps) has simply set a considerable portion of the Book of Ruth- o ne of the most plainly matter-of-fact in the Bible - to music, literally "sticking to the text" as he goes. The narrative is chiefly set forth through certain long and loud choruses, which very often contain bold attempts at fugue writing; and the striking effect of such passages as "Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz," repeated over and over again to a noisy accompaniment, with plenty of work for the drums, may be imagined. There has been no effort made even to place the few dramatis persona in the story in their true relations towards each other except in the case of Boaz. The passages relating to Ruth are sung by different individuals, now in the first, anon in the third person, and perhaps next by the choir. The solos are very numerous, but only one or two of the least pretentious are at all interesting, and these are made up of Handelian phrases patched together. The whole thing is as much like an oratorio proper as a series of extracts from the "Vicar of Wakefield," taken just as they read, and ignorantly set to music, would resemble an opera. There was a pretty fair attendance at the Store-street Hall of unmistakable "friends," who tried to encore all the songs, and did cause the repetition of about half a dozen. This encouragement was certainly merited by the exertions of Mdmes. Robertine Henderson, Sauerbrey, Gilardoni, and Valadnes; and of Messrs. Lewis Thomas and Cummings. Mr. Turner conducted the performances, of which, from an executive point of view, the less said the better. - Morning Star.

"THE ORATORIO RUTH" [To the editor], The musical standard (8 February 1868), 65

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9zw0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA65 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - It is not my intention to dispute with you the grounds upon which your reviewer has come to his conclusions in a little matter affecting my oratorio Ruth. It would perhaps require a good deal of "talk" before we should be at one as to the primary canons of criticism. That such would, however, ultimately be the case, I have not the slightest reason, for a single instant, to doubt. One truth always agrees with another truth: such discussion would only be interesting to a very few. You and I would, I feel assured, be equally agreeable to leave the subject to the unerring critic, "time." Yours very truly, GEORGE TOLHURST. January 30.

[As the antipodean "canons of criticism" may be somewhat different to our own, it might be as well to ask Mr. Tolhurst to define them. If he will - as he says "one truth always agrees with another truth" - state a certain method of defining what "truth" is he will remove his remarks from the category of vague generalities. If the "unerring critic time" should place Mr. Tolhurst's Ruth in the category of the Messiah or Elijah a hundred years hence, we must admit our error and agree that the Advertiser critic was right in describing the oratorio as a compound of the excellencies of Mendelssohn and Handel. - ED. MUS. STAND.]

"A DEFENCE OF RUTH" [To the editor], The musical standard (15 February 1868), 79

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9zw0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA79 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - Having read your remarks in Nos. 182 and 183 on the oratorio Ruth, performed lately at the Store Street Hall, and having been present as a hearer myself, I am puzzled to understand this fact, viz., how 700 or 800 persons could be got to stay and listen to the music for more than three hours, encore some six or seven pieces, and in no instance express disapproval, and then at the close of the performance call for the composer and give him their warm applause, if this oratorio is as you state in page 38, "rather below than above the coda-fughetta tunes which were popular in very many chapels some twenty years ago," &c. How can the public reconcile these two positions? for there is no denying the fact that the Store-street audience gave Ruth a good reception.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN FRENCH.
Maidstone, Feb. 11.

[We cannot help the taste of the "seven or eight hundred persons," but we can say that rarely did we ever meet with more miserable music than that presented in the oratorio which has inspired Mr. French with these remarks. - Ed. MUS. STAND.]

"To the Editor of . . .", The musical world (15 February 1868), 105

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SIR, Not to obtrude myself unduly on your notice, but to a endeavour to make clear what the position of a musical composer really is in relation to his critics, I beg a line of your valuable space in general reply to what has been said about the oratorio Ruth. To have addressed each journal separately would simply have been impossible; may I, therefore, look to yours as the representative journal on music.

Do not let it be understood that I complain: rather would I feel grateful to any for instruction. Neither do I intend to use hard words. Nor am I indifferent. If I have been permitted to know anything whatever of myself it is of music, and music alone that I would speak.

Your remarks on Australia I pass by; not, however, without this reflection: you would think differently of a country that grown to such importance in so brief a period if you knew it better.

The first discrepancy from traditional views you note is that the "purely narrative portions" of my oratorio are not, as customary, in recitative. To this I say, first, that the custom is by no means so unvarying as to warrant your remark; second, that the particular portion of Ruth selected for your ridicule is as nearly as practicable choral-recitative. If you meant recitative for one voice, then I have differed from your views in this instance. One voice delivering a recitative of the length of this prologue would even in the best hands be weak and tiresome. Remark those in Samson and in The Fall of Babylon. I have, therefore, chosen to deliver it by the whole choir. It does not become me to venture upon the discussion as to whether more agreeable or effective passages could not have been found to express this part of the narrative. But it certainly does come within my legitimate province to defend myself from the charge of writing it in "beaten-time," when I contend that it would have been perfectly impossible for a new composer writing for a choir who had never seen his music before to have taken any other course. I had to please at the outset: that was imperative. To have written broken fragments without measured time would have ensured a break down. I was therefore compelled, in presenting the opening portion of the oratorio, to be sufficiently marked to secure the interest of the listeners in the dry facts narrated loud enough to be heard, clear enough to be understood, and in such musical notation as should be practicable enough to be performed. If you will calmly say I have been wrong in any of these points, I and the public, who are the readers of your widely circulated periodical, will be grateful to you, especially if you will be sufficiently condescending to point out the particular phrase or passage that requires amendment, and say how it is to be done.

It would be tedious to you were I to travel on through the various objections that have been offered to the work; but if you would allow me space to do so, or to present some views of oratorio writing generally, I should feel proud to make the attempt. Of course my views need not be confounded with those of any one else, or, indeed, compromise in any way the rights or opinions of others. My only wish is to elucidate matters so as to arrive, with such assistance as I can from time to time glean from others, nearer to truth. It is no mere compliment, Mr. Editor, when I say sincerely that I feel from my heart deeply indebted to you for mentioning my effort at all within your pages; and that I have been much instructed by your remarks. -
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.
Feb. 12, 1868.

"To the Editor of . . .", The musical world (29 February 1868), 146

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SIR, - Trespassing again on your kindness, I beg to thank you for your courtesy. It is only fair to the "subject" of the overture, given out, as you observe, three times, that it should be further stated each time in a different key, abbreviated, and at last three notes taken in the time of one. The student will in addition perceive that these outlines suggest some compound chords. This principle of the suggestiveness of a sound it has been my humble endeavour to bring to the surface. Hence what upon paper seems bald will oftentimes be extremely grand in performance. The reverse, too, holds good; for what appears in some instances both elegant and correct in writing is comparatively ineffective when performed. In the one case the more there are performing the worse the music sounds; in the other, numbers only increase its grandeur and magnificence. The greatest authority of modern times bears me out in this. Beethoven did not like a large band. Yet it may fairly be presumed that he would not have objected to the numbers usually engaged in rendering his symphonies in the present day. The point I am desirous of stating is with regard to music upon a much larger scale, where hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of voices are combined. The very high cultivation of our best choirs renders possible what, under less favourable circumstances, would be impossible. And it will not be denied that a great deal of our very best choral music remains, on account of its difficulty of execution a sealed book to all except the choirs of the metropolis, and some half-a-dozen highly favoured provincial towns. But even when performed with an accuracy almost equal to instrumental playing, some great works fall short of the desired effect; they are less satisfactory choir of a thousand than with a choir of a hundred singers. This result is inevitable, chiefly from the physical impossibility for the mass of choristers to be placed sufficiently compact. The sounds uttered by them, granting that they are perfectly simultaneous, do not arrive thus on the ear. It is not possible. From whichever side the listener takes his stand, he will be disadvantaged in some way. But, supposing everything of the most favourable nature - the best that could be devised to secure a good hearing - let it be presumed that there is perfect rendering, a good stand-point, and a suitable building. Now, if even under these circumstances a chorus in quick measure, with chromatic fugal imitations be rendered, will it be so satisfactory with a thousand voices as with a hundred? I think not. One note will not have time to get away from the ear before the arrival of its successor. Echo, arising from a well sounding place will only increase the confusion. In fact, in very many places the echo of one discord will arrive on the ear simultaneously with the percussion of a succeeding discord. On the other hand a prolonged note gathers to itself, especially in a good building, harmonic sounds of infinite number and extent: and armed with this accretion is a very different creation in its second bar to what it was at its birth. Every one will readily call to mind illustrations from his own memory; and the more frequent the opportunities of hearing all kinds of music the more readily will examples suggest themselves. The "Envy" chorus from Saul is one of those whose detached passages and wondrous "ground" bass produces such an overpowering effect with numbers; the (ne plus ultra) Requiem is one of those works I should place on the opposite list. Do not let it be for a moment imagined that I am instituting any invidious comparison. I am merely mentioning two instances from many others that crowd upon the mind.

Kindred topics to which, with your leave, Mr. Editor, I am desirous of referring, I will take another opportunity of alluding to. -
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.
February 19th, 1868.

"To the Editor of . . .", The musical world (7 March 1868), 166

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA166

SIR, - Resuming, with your kind permission, will you allow the observation that the full score of a work will sometimes throw a little light on what in a pianoforte compression appears ambiguous or obscure. Thus, in the second movement of the overture, it will be sufficient to remark that the various "subjects" all go in canon, and all - seven of them - at the same time.

Next, I am charged with periodicity in the choral march. To this only the plea of "guilty" can be offered. Whether such a feature as a general rule is an advantage or otherwise, or whether inseparable from a march, or whether our preference for the works of some composers and our disregard for those of others is mainly owing to the presence or absence, hidden or apparent, of this grand fundamental principle of "periodicity," I take the liberty of leaving to every one to decide for himself. With one more remark I will have done. The "repetition of words" is the next most serious charge against the oratorio. Of this matter I have taken the most careful thought. It is no excuse for me to say that I am only a fourth part of the offender of the "Endless Hallelujah" type; in fact, I have not one-tenth of the repetition to be found in the most popular choral works in use. A great deal might be said as to the advantages offered in fugal compositions by simplicity and uniformity in the words. I will even dare to say that the feature is not only inseparable from great works, but I will go even further, and hazard the affirmation, dogmatic as it may seem, that none can be great in the highest sense without it. My thankless task of replying to strictures which are encomiums were done, but for ever new critics are springing up, each with some new standard of correctness. It could be no advantage to yourself or your readers to hear of them. One accuses me of being like some works, all of which, when Ruth was written, I had never seen nor heard; of having a wrong bass note, when, in fact, he has failed to perceive that the phrasing and the chord are quite other than he makes out; of having long symphonies, when I have not so much by half as in the very choicest productions; of a chromatic fifth on the word "death;" of thinness; of two-part harmonies.

I have preferred to set these charges in their strongest light, that those who are accustomed to think over these and kindred points may for themselves decide as to the desirability of such procedure in musical works generally. My own opinion on the subject is, that many excellent productions fall short of success mainly from their being too full of notes, and from a disregard to the laws of phrasing. Endeavouring to be as brief as possible in this reply, I have but again to express my gratitude to you, Mr. Editor, and bid you farewell.-
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST. Feb. 29th, 1868.

[THADEUS EGG = James W. Davison] "MR. GEORGE TOLHURST AND RUTH. To the Editor", The musical world (28 March 1868), 222

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA222

Sir, -The composer of the "Australian oratorio" is irrepressible. I have treated him as an art missionary from a distant land should be treated - with all gentleness and consideration. I reviewed his work, and contented myself with simply expressing wonderment at its novel features, and inability to distinguish those merits which I allowed it might possibly contain. Then, when Mr. Tolhurst appealed against my remarks, you threw open your columns to give him the opportunity of enlightening the darkness of this hemisphere upon the true principles of the musical epic. Yet he is not satisfied, and now writes to ask why you do not insert a report of the first (and only) performance of Ruth, in addition to the review which gave him so little satisfaction. I imagine that the tone of that review, hopelessly inappreciative as I was compelled to make it, would supply the required reason to any ordinary man. But Mr. Tolhurst is not an ordinary man - or he could not have written Ruth - and hence his persistence. It seems, then, that I must be very plain with this gentleman. In being so I shall probably hurt his feelings, but for such a result he will have only himself to thank. When a man practically adopts the cry of the immersed Irishman: "I will be drowned, and nobody shall help me," nobody need trouble themselves much about his fate.

My reason for withholding a report of the Ruth performance can be stated in few words - I was present and heard it. But Mr. Tolhurst will probably require something more precise than this. He shall have it. In the first place, I kept silence out of consideration for the composer, whom I understood to be a selftaught man and a stranger. There was absolutely nothing to be said for the work, and to say anything against it appeared quite superfluous. Next, I kept silence because, with every disposition to be merciful, it was hardly to be expected but that the remembrance of two or three hours' continuous outrage upon good taste would give a tinge of bitterness to my remarks. True, I might have treated the matter as a joke by straining a point (for it was beyond a joke), but such a course would have pleased Mr. Tolhurst even less than the one I adopted. Lastly, I kept silence because I wished to avoid putting on record that any English audience, however made up of friends, could award frequent encores, and more frequent applause, to music which is simply unmusical. For these reasons I would have allowed Ruth to drop quietly into oblivion, whither it was sure to go in any case, but Mr. Tolhurst has not permitted me. He has insisted upon receiving an explanation, and, having got it, I hope he will return to the antipodes a wiser, if not a sadder man. -
Your obedient servant,
THADDEUS EGG. March 24th.

"TOLHURST ATHWART EGG" [To the editor], The musical world (11 April 1868), 251

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA251

Sir, - Indeed I am not hurt by Thaddeus Egg's remarks; for I take it to be an act of kindness on his part to make known to me what he thinks about the matter. I am sure, that in such able hands as his, disputations about art would never degenerate into personal squabbles; and I have only to thank both him and you, Mr. Editor, for the courtesy, so undeserved, that has been extended to - Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST. To the Editor, &c., April 3rd, 1868.

"TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The musical times and singing class circular (1 October 1868), 552-53

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3352719 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - In your February number you were kind enough to review an Oratorio of mine. Perceiving, by a recent circular, that you invite correspondence, will you me to correct an error into which you have fallen respecting the production of this work. Of course your notice "knocked me out of time" entirely, because other copied your tone, many your very words. And as the notice was written, if not actually printed, before the thing was performed, even the tardy admission that the room was filled, and the people pleased, failed to repair the havoc that you considered it your duty to make. You assume that work was submitted to the public in the first instance without being shown to the professional world; or that it was not submitted to competent judges in manuscript. If had thought for a moment of the practicability of multiplying by means of the pen alone, a score of two or three hundred pages, you would never have used the taunt. But to show you how unjust it was, I will, at the risk of being charged with egotism, name a few of the numerous circle of professional men to whom the manuscript was shown by myself before publication. Mr. Charles Horsley, who conducted it on one occasion; the three other gentlemen who conducted it upon three other occasions, whom I need not name; Mr. John Hullah, Mr. Jules Benedict, Dr. Rimbault, Mr. G. A. Macfarren, Professor Oakeley, and others, whom it is not necessary to mention. Some preferred one number, others another, but the general verdict was the same as that given by the public on the night of its performance. If a new work received with applause, such is mentioned in all reports, be the work what it may, as an evidence of its suiting the taste of the listeners. But in my case, the even the wrapt attention of an audience of some hundreds, extending over a period of three hours, goes for nothing; less than nothing. "It only shows that the people, as well as the composer, were out of their senses." "Not for Joe," it is a great recommendation to be nightly encored; but for a solo from a new Oratorio to be encored, that is decidedly against the work. From the representative of a journal such as yours, I had hoped better things. That, as you say, you "would have been pleased to know nothing of this Oratorio," is no doubt the truth, and is the key to your devout wish concerning its fate. I point to the acknowledged state and condition of musical opinion, and ask, "Whom are we to follow? Who can an give authoritative opinion?" Do not the works that our musical critics most unsparingly condemn sell the best; and do not works from the pens of composers of spoken in their pet papers as the very highest of their time fall dead from the press? Comic songs, not worth naming, will return thousands of pounds to their lucky proprietors, while a concerto from the greatest of living artists will not circulate fifty copies. If I had said five, I should have been nearer the truth. There is something wrong somewhere. Will not those whose office it is to lead public opinion, endeavour to show us where lies the error? It would be much better employment than abusing one another. Allow me humbly to suggest that musical men are in the dark respecting melodic outline. In what does it consist; where lies its enchantment, and its durability? Next, they are "at sea," with regard to "rhythm." Too much of your space I am unwilling to occupy; but these two points are, to my mind, of such paramount importance, that I cannot remain silent upon them. I find [553] Rossini is preaching the same doctrine. You will remember how the critics treated him a generation ago. Yet the "inventive faculty," that comes direct from heaven, has never been so largely bestowed on any composer since Mozart. I speak advisedly when I say that of melodies of the higher degree of popularity in England, more are traceable to the pen of this than to that of any other musician who has ever lived. You will, doubtless, sneer me down; but, confident that I have truth at my back, I fearlessly assert that it is the gift of melody, which, to our leading musicians, is the lost element of their art.
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.
August 28, 1868.

[We have allowed Mr. Tolhurst to plead his own cause in his own fashion; and if our readers think that he has done so successfully, we are glad to have been of service to him. That other critics have copied our tone, and in many instances our words, is not at all unlikely - they have paid us that compliment on some former occasions - but we cannot understand why Mr. Tolhurst should blame us for reviewing his Oratorio as soon as it was sent to us; nor can we conceive the possibility of his supposing that we should reverse our judgment upon a work because "some hundreds" of people sat for three hours with "wrapt attention" to listen to it; especially as he afterwards endeavours to prove that applause and encores are not to be accepted as conclusive evidence of the worth of the composition performed. We can scarcely believe that any author will agree with the truth of a review unless that review be favourable; but we counsel Mr. Tolhurst to dismiss from his mind any lingering notion of his work being beyond the comprehension of his critics. If we are all "in the dark" respecting melodic outline and Rhythm, we fear that "Ruth" will not prove the light to guide us to the truth. - ED. Musical Times.]

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hullah (1812-1884); Julius Benedict (1804-1885); Edward Rimbault (1816-1876); George Macfarren (1813-1887); Herbert Oakeley (1830-1903)

1869

[Charles Edward Horsley]: "FROM THE ANTIPODES. To the editor of . . .", The musical world (13 March 1869), 171-72

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Y0PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA171 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - My attention has been called to a leading article in your issue of so long a date back as the 1st of February, 1868, containing a review of Mr. George Tollhurst's [sic] oratorio, Ruth.

For some time past it has been my intention to write an account of the present state of music in Australia, and to transmit it to you for publication. Various causes have prevented my doing this, but the article in question contains so much misapprehension as regards Australia itself, and so much want of knowledge as regards the progress of our art here, in Sydney and Melbourne, that I can no longer remain silent, and I take the earliest opportunity, since I read the article, of replying to it.

Quitting the immediate subject of this article for a short time, I, as an adopted son of Australia, object to the premises laid down in your first paragraph. With due deference to your superior knowledge of this part of the world, as balanced against my experience of seven years residence in it, I must say these lines contain in a small compass an amount of ignorance perfectly astonishing, and the display of which the slightest enquiry from many Australians now resident in England, such as Mr. Tollhurst, Mr. Farquharson, or Mr. Winterbottom, &c., &c., would have prevented.

The charge of "standing on our heads" is no doubt funny, but, as you live also at the Antipodes to us, we may exclaim, "tu quoque." The oft repeated remark about the "kernels of certain fruits" growing outside, applies to one particular genus only, which is quite inedible, if not poisonous; and, as the country is more opened up, it is fast dying out. If the pretty legend of the "Tea fried with butter" applies to Australia, all I can say is, it has no foundation here; for when Captain Cook landed in 1770, his passengers and crew must have used tea in the ordinary manner, and have instructed the aboriginals to do the same.

The great drawback to anything like a recognition of civilization among us from the mother country, is the entire ignorance on the part of the English Press and public of our geographical and social position. One of our most learned judges, the Maecenas of the Colony of Victoria, was Chief Commissioner of the Exhibition of 1862, in London. When he returned I asked him what the Duke of Newcastle (then Colonial State Secretary) thought of Victoria. His reply was - "I do not think the Duke of Newcastle knows where Victoria is. He thought Ballarat was a sea-port town, and that Adelaide was within sixty miles of Melbourne."

Ballarat is the capital of the gold district of Victoria, and ninety miles inland from Melbourne. Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, 500 miles from Melbourne! Now if a statesman and minister of the Crown, who must have all sorts of maps at his command, can make such mistakes, we here can hardly wonder at others doing the like.

But why not learn? Why not ascertain that Melbourne is a magnificent city, containing 126,000 inhabitants; that its streets are wider than any in London, except Portland Place; that it is lighted and paved, and supplied with every possible convenience the richest or the poorest man can desire; that the shops are as good as in Regent Street; that churches of all denominations worship free from all restraint; that we have theatres, schools of art, public libraries, picture galleries, magnificent botanical and public gardens, choral and philharmonic societies (of these anon), warehouses equal to those of Glasgow and Manchester; in short, every want that man in religion, in art, and domestic comfort can require is to be found in this city, the first stone of which was only laid thirty years ago.

And yet we are savages? yes - savages, who from 1851 to 1866 have sent you 31,731,344 ounces of gold from Victoria alone, representing a money value of more than one hundred and twenty million pounds sterling (more than an eighth part of the national debt of England), and in addition to this, a barely less sum has been sent from New South Wales. Savages, from whom you have also had millions of bales of wool. Savages, to whom you are crying for your daily meat. Savages, who in Melbourne and in Sydney can give you as fine performances of oratorios, operas, symphonies, &c., &c., as you can hear in any provincial city in Great Britain, without London assistance.

All I have said of Melbourne applies with equal force to Sydney. This city is of much older date than its sister, and various circumstances, nor necessary por agreeable to allude to have rendered it a somewhat less "go a-head" place than Melbourne.

Nevertheless it is a grand place, and its situation is acknowledged to be unrivalled. I have spent many pleasant months here, and have received the greatest public and private kindness. I have not yet seen Adelaide or Hobart Town, but though much smaller than the two great cities I have visited, I hear that, relatively, they are equally flourishing. Such is a very hasty and imperfect sketch of what is to be found in Australia's capitals. I trust it may be read by the unenlightened.

I have no wish to blame your critique on Mr. Tollhurst's oratorio. On the contrary, I grieve to say that before he left Melbourne, I warned him against attempting a production of Ruth in England. I made his acquaintance soon after my arrival in Melbourne, and, after I had become conductor of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, in that city, he made an application for the performance of Ruth at one of the concerts. As usual, the work was referred to me; I took the score home, and gave it my earnest attention for a fortnight. I endeavoured to find every possible reason for its performance, but in justice to the society who must have gone to large expense in its production, and in justice to myself, who must have directed it, I was compelled to advise its rejection. Previously to doing so, I wrote a long letter to Mr. Tollhurst, in which I besought him to withdraw the work, and to write something in which I could concur, and offered my experience and knowledge for his acceptance. All in vain. He took a few theoretical lessons from me, and I was glad to find the germ of much better things in his mind than Ruth. My report to the society went in, Ruth was rejected, but produced at a public performance in Prahran (a suburb of Melbourne), which is doubtless the one you allude to. I did not conduct this, but subsequently, at a concert given to Mr. Tollhurst on his departure from Australia, I directed three or four numbers of Ruth, merely to oblige the friends of the composer. The result in both cases was the same. Mr. Tollhurst's friends did all they could for him. The chorus and band worked hard, but the Press and, what is worse, the profession gave but one unanimous opinion against the oratorio. In saying this I desire to avoid hurting Mr. Tollhurst's feelings; but, though I have lived seven years amongst "savages," I trust my artistic feelings are not quite blunted. I hope there are those in London who still recollect that during my career there, I had some right to be called a musician - therefore as an artist, I entreated Mr. Tollhurst not to be rash. Charybdis he found in Melbourne. Scylla I warned him against in London. He has rushed on one, and has met the other; and the wind being sown in Victoria, he has reaped the whirlwind in England. But enough of this painful subject; I wish Mr. Tollhurst truly well, and if he reads these lines, I hope he will believe in my sincerity, and that I shall be very happy to meet him again.

A brief outline of the state of music in Melbourne and Sydney must bring this long letter to a close.

There are two principal societies in Melbourne: the Philharmonic, and the Orpheus Union. Since I left, I believe a third has been added, but I am ignorant of its objects. When, in 1862, I became conductor of the Philharmonic, I found a fine chorus of some 300, and a fair band of some forty performers. During my term of office we performed all classes of works: Messiah, Judas, Elijah, Creation, David, Comus, Walpurgis Nacht, selections from operas, overtures of every description, St. Paul, some local works, Hymn of Praise, and the Exhibition music of 1862, which, owing to a mistake in sending vocal scores, I had to orchestrate, and hard work it was. During four years, I conducted thirty-five concerts, upwards of 300 rehearsals, and scored 820 pages of music for a full band. This, with a large private practice, and without remuneration, gave me plenty to do. On the death of my dear friend, Mr. W. G. Dredge, who was the secretary and the life and soul of the society, I had a difference with the committee, and resigned. I was succeeded by Mr. Pringle, and he by Mr. Lee, and both these, my friends, have kept the society in the same efficient state in which, I hope, I left it. I then became director of the Orpheus Union, a society consisting of only a few members, who meet for the practice of part-songs, glees, &c., &c. This society is also, I hear, as flourishing as it was when I left. In addition to these public institutions, I can always command an excellent quartet in Melbourne, and many a delightful evening have we had with Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Spohr, &c., &c. In the many suburbs of the city there are choral societies, all more or less creditable, and all contribute to the general good. The greatest musical performances, however, yet held in Australia, were at the time of the Intercolonial Exhibition of 1866-1867. At the opening concert, we had the Hymn of Praise, and a miscellaneous second part, of which I enclose a book. By this you will see our choral and [172] orchestral resources are now greatly increased. This concert took place in the magnificent ball of the new building, 200 feet long, and proportionably broad and high. Five thousand persons were present. This hall, the lower part of stone, the upper a temporary roof of wood, admirable for acoustic purposes, was begun, and made ready for use in thirteen weeks. Are we "savages?"

At the close of the Exhibition, I held six grand festival concerts, which, financially, failed, owing to the enormous expense; but, musically, they did an enormous amount of good. The new Town Hall in Melbourne will be opened in a year's time, and preparations are already commenced for holding a festival on the grandest scale. The hall will be 175 feet, 75 feet broad, and 80 feet high, with an orchestra for 100 band and 400 chorus, and an organ estimated at 8,000l. I am busily engaged on a new work for this event. Are we "savages?"

Although not properly belonging to my department of the art, I should not omit to state that every season we have had some excellent opera performances, which have given great pleasure to large audiences. Representations of the Huguenots, Prophète, L'Africaine, William Tell, Faust, besides a whole host of the English and Italian schools, may sound venturesome to those living in Europe, but I assure you that many a worse performance have I seen in London with singers of our rank; and at all times Mr. Lyster has had an excellent orchestra, and the conductors - Reiff, poor George Loder, Siede, and John Hall - have done great things for Melbourne and Sydney. They are excellent artists.

In private tuition I find the young ladies of Australia quite equal to their English sisters. There are excellent schools in Melbourne and Sydney, and the finest education for both sexes, and all classes can be obtained in these cities without sending the pupils to Europe, which is expensive and superfluous. At present I do not see any signs of an Australian composer, but I hope some day we may have a grand music school, and then latent talent may develop itself. We have some admirable instrumentalists in Melbourne, such as Messrs. King. E. King, A. King, Chapman, Gover, Schott, Siede, Lundberg, Hardman, Howard, Tollhurst (Mr. Tollhurst's father - the Chipp of Australia), &c., &c. Our principal pianist, Mr. Buddee, is unrivalled on this continent. Messrs. Pringle and Lee are excellent musicians; in short, there is nothing in any branch of music that cannot be taught in Victoria and New South Wales as well as in England or Germany. Our vocalists should not be passed over. Poor Sara Flower was at their head for many years. The last time I heard her, I conducted St. Paul at the Philharmonic. Her health was then failing, but she was a grand ruin with many traces of true artistic greatness. Amongst our Melbourne lady singers, we have Miss Watson, Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Ellis, the Misses Easdown, as soprani; Miss Liddle, an excellent contralto; and amongst our tenori, Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Ford; and as our bassi, Mr. Amery, Mr. Angus, and Mr. Richardson, so you see we are not without vocal resources for any emergency consistent with our means. In neither city do I pretend that in performances we approach the great capitals of Europe; but, let me ask, what is an English musical gathering, such as at Birmingham, the Three Choirs, or Norwich, but a London festival, performed in a provincial town? Therefore, I hold a country not a century old in time, and not half that period in civilization is entitled to enormous credit, for such a power in interpreting music; and although we love our mother country as much as we ever did, we have a right to ask why our endeavours should be despised, and our efforts considered the efforts of "savages?"

The state of music in Sydney is not so flourishing as in Melbourne; I attribute this to the want of concentration. There are many small societies, which, if rolled into one, might produce a great result, but at present I see no chance of so desirable a consummation. Still, we have in Sydney many very clever artists; amongst the instrumentalists: Cordner, Packer, Hill, Rice, Hodge, &c., &c.; and amongst the vocalists: Cordner, Mrs. Cordner, Madame Reilhoff, Miss James, Miss Wiseman, Messrs. Jackson, Fairfax, Egan, &c., &c. Sydney has one great advantage oyer Melbourne - there is a magnificent organ in the Anglican cathedral. I have given several performances, and have been delighted with the instrument. At present I am organist of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Patrick's, where I have a good organ and a tractable and agreeable choir, chiefly composed of amateurs. The Protestant church music here, and in Melbourne, is at the lowest ebb. Jackson in F, King in C, with Soaper's chants, are considered sublime.

Now, Mr. Editor, I humbly beg your pardon for thus transgressing on your space. If you think fit to publish these remarks, they will do much to forward the cause of music in Australia. We are sending you our superfluity of food, gold, and means of raiment, so send us some of your surplus musical talent - I am sure there must be plenty. But let no one come, who, in every respect, is not able to hold his own against those here. I do not ask for your Bennetts, Benedicts, Slopers, Blagroves, or Sullivans; but I do say that if a few instrumentalists and vocalists of both sexes would come out to Sydney or Melbourne, prepared to live on their own capital for six months, they will soon find ample employment, and can further the progress of the art materially.

In conclusion, it may interest those who "remember me," to hear, that with few exceptions, I have enjoyed the best of health. I have made no fortune. In colonial phrase, I have "no pile," with which to return to dear old home, and end my days in peace and obscurity. On the contrary, I have had reverses both domestic and financial, which might have been fatal to some men. On the other hand, I have had my share of good things in the shape of kind, sympathizing, hospitable, helping friends, who, not hesitating to tell me of many failings, have cheered me in my difficulties, stimulated me to further exertion when success has come, and even, when a stranger seven years ago, in illness and sorrow watched over and tended me as though I were one of themselves. No one could do more; let me thankfully acknowledge this Australian kindness.

My public and private engagements have prevented my writing much, but I hope soon, to send home my Exhibition music, a cantata, a mass, a symphony, two overtures, and three quartets, some piano music and songs. All these have been played here with success. Therefore, although no Orpheus, I may claim to have soothed "the savage breast."

To my brethren, who recollect me, I send the heartiest wishes for the New Year. To those who have sprung up since I left, I wish every prosperity. May they never forget that "art is long, life is short." For my own part, I am happy here. I sometimes yearn after the art treasures, and the art concerts, and, above all, after the social and art life with those so infinitely my superiors; but I have chosen my own path, and, I believe, with some pride that my memory will be cherished in Australia, long after my feeble efforts to promote the progress of our glorious art in this hemisphere have been buried, with their author, in his grave. - Most sincerely yours,
CHARLES EDWARD HORSLEY.
Hunter Street, Sydney, N. S. W. December 31st, 1868.

[We print Mr. Horsley's very long letter because to many of our readers who knew that gentleman in England it will be welcome communication. We regret to see, however, that residence in Australia takes away all perception of banter. Mr. Horsley could once appreciate a joke right heartily, but now he seems to have lost the power. Does he really believe that we believe that Australia is a wilderness, and that the colonists are painted "savages?" If so, and if he represents colonial opinion about English knowledge of his adopted country, we neither wonder at his vindicatory letter nor at the apparition of an Australian Ruth. - ED. M. W.]

ASSOCIATIONS (Melbourne): William Gilpin Dredge (amateur vocalist); William Saurin Lyster (manager); Anthony Reiff (conductor); George Loder (conductor); Julius Siede (conductor); John Thomson Hall (conductor, violinist); Henry John King (organist, violinist, vocalist); Edward King (violinist); Alfred Edward King (violinist, organist); Samuel Chapman (cellist); Henry Gover (violinist, double bass player); James Schott (oboist, pianist); Julius Siede (flautist, conductor, composer); John Lundborg (trombonist); Daniel Hardman (cellist); Julius Buddee (pianist); George Pringle (conductor, organist); David Lee (conductor, organist); Sara Flower (contralto vocalist); Bertha Watson (soprano vocalist); Sarah Fox (contralto vocalist); the Misses Easdown; Maggie Liddle (contralto vocalist); Thomas Ford (tenor vocalist); Edwin Amery (bass vocalist); Silvanus Angus (bass vocalist)

ASSOCIATIONS (Sydney): William John Cordner (conductor); Charles Sandys Packer (conductor, composer); John Hill (organist, conductor, composer); Walter Rice (violinist); Sebastian Hodge (clarinettist); Ellen Cordner (vocalist); Rachel Reiloff (soprano vocalist); George Forbes Jackson; Andrew Fairfax


"MUSIC AT THE ANTIPODES. To the editor of . . .", The musical world (20 March 1869), 194

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Y0PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA194 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - Since "Music at the Antipodes" has been deemed of sufficient importance for you to have inserted an able communication from no less an authority upon the subject than Mr. Charles Edward Horsley, perhaps it will be permitted me to acknowledge the more than ordinary courtesy extended to one who was a mere stranger to him when in a distant country. For his kindness, but more for his candour, I desire to thank him. The reflection forces itself upon me that such a man could ill be spared from England. In the centre of culture and affection amongst his brethren in art surely there should have been a home for the composer of David and Comus. One consolatory thought remains - he will carry the influence of his gifts and attainments with him wherever he may go, and will (nay, has already) become the centre of art growth in a new world. His account of music at the Antipodes cannot fail to interest every one. Both the works mentioned were magnificently performed in Melbourne, Mr. Farquharson being the Goliath in one, Lucy Escott the Lady in the other; and they were produced with full band, organ, and efficient chorus, without regard to expense, by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society. He is the composer of two other great works - Joseph and Gideon; and I saw part of another oratorio, St. Peter, which he was at work upon when I left. Of that school of which Spohr might be said to be the father and Mendelssohn the very aptest pupil, his music is always graceful, and is as refreshing to the perusal of the student satiated with the old choral writers as, for instance, the works of Chopin and Bennett are to the habitual reader of classical pianoforte music. Is it not a wonder that upon the desk of no conductor in the old world should these scores ever have been so much as opened; that a suitable representation of Comus under the direction of the composer should have been reserved for the "Savages" of the Antipodes!

He will not be displeased with me for supplementing his lists of artists by a few others whom he has omitted. Madame Anna Bishop and Miss Catherine Hayes earned golden opinions in Melbourne. Mr. Rutter and Mr. Marsh both distinguished themselves as composers - the former by a grand mass with orchestral accompaniments, and a cantata, The Second Advent, the latter by the production of an opera, The Gentleman in Black. As pianists we had signor Cutolo, an executive artist of the highest rank as well as a clever writer of bagatelles; and M. Boulanger, the well-known Parisian player and composer, who resided alternately at Melbourne and Sydney.

His geographical corrections many will be grateful for; but in placing New South Wales as "hardly less" as a gold producing country than Victoria, he is in error; about one-sixth would have been nearer the truth.* Nevertheless where there is so much that is good it were worse than ill-bred to carp at trifles.

Permit me to hope that we shall be favoured, at his leisure, with a further account through your attractive columns, of music at the Antipodes from his pen; but I hope, also, that no other engagements will hinder his pursuing his higher vocation as a composer.
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.
Maidstone, March 16, 1869.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson (bass vocalist); Lucy Escott (soprano vocalist); Anna Bishop (soprano vocalist); Catherine Hayes (soprano vocalist); George Oswald Rutter (composer); Stephen Hale Marsh (composer); Cesare Cutolo (pianist, composer); Edward Boulanger (pianist, composer)


"IS MAIDSTONE A MUSICAL TOWN", Maidstone telegraph (10 April 1869), 5

"IS MAIDSTONE A MUSICAL TOWN", The musical standard (10 July 1869), 14-15

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0Og2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14 

A CORRESPONDENT sends us the following article from the Maidstone Telegraph:-

In reply to the question, "Is Maidstone a musical town? it has often been asserted that the negative is the truth. Judging from the past, we are inclined to think that the question has been disposed of too summarily and too confidently. In fact, we demur entirely to the decision of the "know-alls" in this respect, and venture to assert that there are few towns of the size of "our" town where more good music is heard than in Maidstone. The very great artistes - Grisi, Pasta, Rubini, Lablache, Thalberg, Bochsa, Nicholson, Lindley of the olden time, and Clara Novello, Braham, Sims Reeves, Chatterton, Richardson, and Arabella Goddard, are among those of a recent period who have invariably found a hearty reception in Maidstone.

The "subscription concerts" were models of what an entertainment of this kind ought to be in every particular. The full orchestra assembled on those occasions familiarised the inhabitants to the very best symphonies and overtures of the best masters; and although the gradual introduction of the "star system," as it has not been inaptly called, has helped to substitute less pretentious concerts for the orchestral performances to which our townsmen were accustomed, we have been visited by more of these "stars" than under any other arrangement would have been possible. If we have had "no orchestra" we have had "more stars" and "more concerts." A good orchestra requires continual reinforcement from the amateur element to be kept up well; and although a good choral association would enable our young people to become better acquainted with the masterpieces of the great vocal writers, the tonic-sol-fa system, in the hands of their efficient teacher, Mr. Richards, promises to do much towards supplying any want that might hitherto have been felt in this direction. The oratorio performances in the town a generation ago were certainly in advance of either Canterbury or Rochester by a long way, though both of these cities possessed the undeniable advantage of a trained cathedral choir. In cathedral cities crowded there is always a certain amount of artistic distinction, or official caste, cultivated, greatly to the disadvantage of a large choral gathering. Maidstone has been free from this disintegrating element; and it is with no more than a proper degree of honest pride that we recall the distinction associated with our town on account of its performances of sacred music a quarter of a century since.

Something very gratifying might be said of the executive talent furnished by Maidstone; some of the leading players both for Rochester and Canterbury musical gatherings being for many years regularly supplied from our town. But more than in any other branch of the art, it is in supplying composers of music that Maidstone is entitled to "honourable mention," both for their number and unquestionable ability. Nearly a century ago one Michael Daubney [Dobney], who was justly held in repute as a teacher of music, led the way by publishing a set of anthems for church use.

He was followed by his favourite pupil, Henry Tolhurst, who about the years 1790-1800 published five books of anthems, services, and psalms, chiefly for country choirs.

Twenty years later Richard Tyrrell, to whom the world is indebted for (in its present form) the justly renowned national air, "The Men of Kent," kept a music shop opposite the Roebuck Hotel, in Week-street, where he published a set of six glees, including, "Come Harmony, Celestial Maid," and the popular "Come, Jolly Mortals, Fill your Glasses," a composition which many who read these lines will remember having often joined in singing. From the same establishment he issued, by subscription, his opera, "The Magician, or the Thieves of the Enchanted Forest," "performed," as its title-page tells us, "with universal applause, at the Theatre, Maidstone." Were our task one beyond that of merely enumerating the works of Maidstone composers, an analysis of this melodious and quaint contribution to the musical drama would no doubt not be without interest.

But we must pass on. Next we had a collection of six songs by Stephen Philpott, which appeared about the year 1837. He was an associate of the Royal Academy of Music (an establishment then in its infancy, and from whence have come many of our most honoured English musicians), and was very highly esteemed here for his musical skill. On the violin as well as on the pianoforte no such professor of music had ever before been located in Maidstone. His compositions were both melodious and scholarly. One beginning "My heart love's spell hath bound" was especially commended in all circles; but his three glees, composed afterwards, shewed even more ability. He died at a comparatively early age, causing in our musical societies a gap which may be fairly said never since to have been (though we have had and still have clever and conscientious musicians amongst us) so efficiently filled up. He was organist of Holy Trinity Church. To his exertions our town is indebted for its first pedal organ. One of his anthems, "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes," was performed with full band and chorus in a most worthy manner shortly before his decease. The next who published his compositions was Mr. W. H. Bensted, who frequently beguiled his leisure hours by songs and dance music - occasionally a concerted piece. One of these, a chorus glee with solos, "Come let us haste away," was received with great delight at the Corn Exchange by a crowded auditory. About this time some half a dozen sets of waltzes were issued by Mr. J. E. Field, a resident professor; and in the same branch he was followed by Gouge, I'erson, and others of lesser note, who occasionally composed and a ballad or waltz.

Between 1840 and 1850 a number of psalm-tunes and a full anthem, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom," were produced by William Henry Tolhurst (Son of Henry), whose exertions in the cause of music in Maidstone received the recognition of a public dinner from his fellow-townsmen.

Henry (son of William Henry) Tolhurst also gave to the world some specimens of psalm-tunes, esteemed wherever they are known, and a number of other works, including two glees far above the average of such compositions - "Fill the bowl with rosy wine," and "As I saw fair Clora." He died in 1864, at the age of thirty-eight. A year previously he led a performance of the oratorio of "St. John," at the Corn Exchange, composed by Walter B. Gilbert, at that time organist of All Saints' Church. This oratorio was published in a handsome folio volume.

In 1846 a comedietta with original music, written and composed by George (a younger brother of Henry) Tolhurst, was performed by amateurs to a crowded auditory at the County Assembly Rooms. He has also published several songs and other pieces, and an oratorio, "Ruth."

In 1864 Mr. H. F. Henniker, from the Royal Academy of Music, known as the composer of many pianoforte pieces, took up his residence in Maidstone, and on the 6th April, 1869, produced [16] at the Corn Exchange, with full band and chorus, his opera, "The Admiral's Daughter."

It will thus be seen that in claiming for Maidstone a fair share of musical talent we have been doing only what we believed was just, in endeavouring to show that the answer to the question, "Is Maidstone a musical town?" might with good show of reason be correctly given in the affirmative.


"NEW MUSIC", Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser (12 April 1869), 4

The number for April of Dr. Fowle's Monthly Musical Journal, a publication issued by a gentleman in Sussex to promote musical taste in the provinces, contains a part song, "Go Lovely Rose," composed by Mr. George Tolhurst, of Maidstone, the composer of the Oratorio "Ruth." The music seems be very smoothly written, and will possibly become popular at penny readings and local concerts.

ASSOCIATIONS: On Thomas Lloyd Fowle (1827-1896), see Biographical dictionary of musicians (1883), 252-53

https://archive.org/stream/biographicaldict00brow#page/252 (DIGITISED)

British musical biography (1897), 150

https://archive.org/details/britishmusicalb00brow/page/150/mode/2up (DIGITISED)

But see also "DR. FOWLE AGAIN. TO THE EDITOR", The musical standard (9 September 1876), 171, and 189, 201, 221, 251

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=rUk5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA171 (DIGITISED)

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=rUk5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA189 (DIGITISED)


"MUSIC AT THE ANTIPODES. To the editor of . . .", The musical world (29 May 1869), 381-82

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Y0PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA381 (DIGITISED)

"Correspondence . . . To the Editor of the . . .", Maidstone Telegraph (26 June 1869), 6

SIR, - As many of your readers are constantly expressing a desire to learn what facts there are bearing upon the controversy that has been pretty steadily kept up since the performance in London my oratorio "Ruth," will you kindly give increased publicity to the subjoined letter written in answer to a communication from Mr. Charles Edward Horsley to the Musical World. The question, which has now assumed rather serious dimensions, is, whether or not foreign music and musicians have been unduly preferred to English. That it can never become a personal controversy removes the necessity for my urging any extenuation of the charge of temerity which might under other circumstances be justly maintained. Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.

MUSIC AT THE ANTIPODES. To the Editor of the Musical World.

SIR, - Being pressed to give a reply to such portions of your Antipodean correspondent's communication as may require correction, allow me do so. It is never pleasant to differ, but in this we mortals do not preside. He compares the streets of Melbourne to Regent Street; there may one house in the new city as large as one of the least in the colossal metropolitan promenade; but the comparison, as a whole, is ridiculous. Such absurd misstatements cannot do any good, but may do much harm. Melbourne is a magnificent city of one hundred thousand inhabitants - about one thirtieth of the population of London. Mr. Horsley is not the first graphiologist who has injured the colony by drawing fancy pictures so very outside the truth as to destroy faith in all other colonial historians. He says at the cathedral the choir have not got beyond "Jackson in F". The best services [and] anthems by Boyce, Croft, Arnold, Nares, Kelway, King, Tallis, Kent, and others, were taken as regular routine; and what could be gained by penning such a description in the one Mr. Horsley has put his name to I am at a loss to conjecture. I do not think it could be cast a slur on the Protestant service; and if merely to make a joke I might "let it pass." But as my position enabled me to know, as well as any one, what was done at the cathedral, and in my official capacity (then the organist of the cathedral), I am requested to state the truth, I do so. The best services by the best composers were constantly sung. Your correspondent then officiated at Richmond, three miles from the cathedral; and as I usually saw him on Sundays, on the road, or railway, going and coming - morning, noon and night - perhaps he will say what occasion he was present at the cathedral service. I not believe, he was ever present during service, or he would have known better than to have made such a mis-statement. Whether it can do any good to himself or anyone else he must be judge.

You will perceive by the enclosed programme that the gentleman described as the "Chipp" of Australia is announced as the leader in a performance including Spohr's "God, Thou are great" and Mendelssohn's "As the hart pants."

Mr. Horsley makes out that he was the "dictator" of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society. This is true. He assumes the responsibility of rejecting Ruth. He also refused to conduct Handel's Acis and Galatea. He performed his own works, Comus and David, regardless of expense. My oratorio was produced at my own cost. I "cleared my feathers." He brought the society he conducted, in an inconceivably short space time, from the proud position of having saved several hundred pounds to the abject humiliation of paying six shillings and eightpence in the pound. He says he took my score home. He certainly did have the piano-score (that was six months after the work had been performed) for a week or two at his lodgings. The full score he never had, except when beating time from it. He made six appointments to call at my house to see it, but never kept one. He states that the profession were against me, yet says they laboured hard for me. Both statements are open to correction. There was only one rehearsal for the concert he conducted, and none of the profession accepted any remuneration for that concert. How all the profession could against me the public must judge. ' Nearly the whole the principal of them voluntarily subscribed one guinea for a copy. Mr. Horsley's statement is a scandal on them. As to their labouring hard for Ruth, I will venture to say that never was a new work of such an extent produced with less labour. Only one rehearsal for the band for each of the performances. Copies all accurate. No trouble whatever. He says he conducted two or three pieces; the actual number was nineteen. He says the "press" was unanimously against me. I send you proof to the contrary, I carefully inspected every paper within my reach, and never found a word against it; on the contrary, quite twenty newspapers were as strongly in my favour as the English language, without positive hyperbole, is capable of being. I will only cite one: "equal to the early works of Handel, Haydn, or Mozart." This task I could willingly have shrunk from; in fact, I have left it as long as I could, but I am so pressed for the truth that I can no longer honestly remain silent. To have further neglected it would have been the plea of guilty to as unjust a series of charges as could possibly be conceived. Further, I may state, that it was because I believed, and was assured, that nine-tenths of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society wanted the work that I offered it to them. The cost of producing Comus and David was from £200 to £300 each. My oratorio was twice produced for £66 - about one-tenth of the expense. Compare the two. One, with all the talents, received literally no notice at all; the other, with a handful, was spoken of as any one who chooses to inspect the Australian files may readily see. There can be no deception. He admits having twenty or thirty rehearsals for each of his works; I had but one band rehearsal. The leading reason for Ruth being first done at Prahran, a suburb Melbourne, was because then there was no room so suitable in Melbourne as the Prahran Town Hall, then recently built. Is it not like a man with a sharp sword in his hand combating one who is armed only with bar of lead? I do not think, even with all this provocation, I should have spoken or troubled you all with any reply, but that your letters and articles are always sure to be copied into other papers, and that has already been the case with respect to the communication in question. And it is only fair to the colony, to the Protestant service there, to the profession, to my friends, to the press, and, lastly, to myself, that I should stand neither in my own light nor in the light of any one else, nor that I should in any way culpably become a party (either by my silence or by my speech) to any hindrance, not even in the smallest degree whatever, that might even for a single moment, or but apparently, arrest the progress of truth in whatever shape it may present itself. Of course I esteem Mr. Horsley's abilities, and his manner was always frank and cordial towards me. He even gave me letter to a distinguished London amateur, describing Ruth as "an oratorio of great merit." These were his own words. I need not assure you, and him, and likewise all interested in the matter, that I have no desire whatever but to learn what is right, and to do it. If any one can point to a blunder, no one will be more grateful than myself for such a correction. But, in the presence of these facts, I am bound to ask what have I done more or less than I was publicly and conscientiously bound to do! Perhaps it will be said I was wrong to compose at all - even a single song. Yet this folly might have been condoned; even part-song might be overlooked; but to dare to write an oratorio, this was indeed a crime. But even for this I might have been pardoned, and allowed to creep back into the obscurity from whence I had accidentally emerged. But a still further enormity has to be recorded. I had actually presumed to write in such a way that the public liked the music, and the press approved. This was unpardonable. Never was heard in these times such daring; and all we can wish in our "heart of hearts" is expressed in the words: "let no one for whom we may have any regard imitate such unpardonable wickedness."

The corrections of figures and names mentioned in former letter need not be again alluded to. Such are the deserving pains taken by journalists to obtain the most exact information upon every possible point that I trust no further apology will be needed for my having endeavoured to contribute an item to the general stock. I beg to thank you for your courtesy, and remain, yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST. Maidstone, May 22nd, 1869.

13 December 1869, first Maidstone performance of Ruth

"THE ORATORIO OF RUTH", Maidstone Telegraph (18 December 1869), 5

On Monday evening last the Corn Exchange was crowded with an enthusiastic audience to witness a performance of Mr. George Tolhurst's sacred oratorio of "Ruth." The principal professional vocalists engaged for the occasion were Madame Rudersdorff, Miss Etta Elphinstone, and Madame Sauerbrey; assisted by Mr. Philip Armes, Mr. W. J. Crowe, Mr. Mason Thomas, Mr. Makepeace, of Rochester, and Mr. John Woollett, of Maidstone. The principal instrumentalists comprised Mr. Webb, Mr. G. Webb, Mr. Parry, and Mr. Thompson, of the Crystal Palace band, Mr. Young (flute), of the Royal Italian Opera, Mr. Greenfield (piccolo), Royal Marine band, Mr. Harcourt, (contra basso), Mr. Lawson (cornet), Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jones, of the Royal Horse Artillery, Mr. Berry, band-master of the West Kent Militia, Mr. Crowe, band-master of the 1st Kent Rifle Volunteers, Messrs. Goodwin, Sclater, G. French, Woolley, and Marshall (violins), Mr. Wood (viola), Mr. Wallis, and Mr. Carter (violoncellos), Mr. Johnson (contra basso), Mr. Parks and Mr. Fancett (flutes). The leader of the band was Mr. T. Watson, of the Crystal Palace, and the oratorio was conducted Mr. G. Tolhurst. Upon the latter gentleman taking the baton in hand he was loudly cheered. The first part of the oratorio consists of the return to Bethlehem of Naomi and Ruth, after the famine had given place to abundance. The second part is the meeting of Boaz with Ruth in the harvest field. The overture was very melodious throughout. The first chorus was descriptive of the time and place, and the persons represented. The first solos, "Then she arose," was given with good effect by Miss Etta Elphinstone, who followed with the air, "For the Lord had visited his people." The chorus, "And they went on their way," was commendably sung by the choir. The foregoing was mere introductory matter. The interest of the piece began with the air, "Go return," sung by Miss Elphinstone amid loud applause. This was followed by a chorus, "Then she kissed them." To Madame Rudersdorff and Miss Elphinstone was allotted the duet, "Surely we will return," which met with well-merited approval. It would be superfluous on our part to detail the various airs and choruses, suffice it to say every piece was vociferously cheered and the greatest enthusiasm pervaded the audience as the oratorio proceeded. Madame Rudersdorff was in excellent voice, and her rendering of the various passages was such as seldom falls to the lot of a Maidstone audience to hear. At the conclusion Mr. Tolhurst received a perfect ovation from the audience. Considering the material upon which Mr. Tolhurst had to work the production of "Ruth" on Monday night was a great achievement, and must necessarily enhance his musical reputation. We hope sincerely that Mr. Tolhurst may have the opportunity of producing his oratorio on a far grander scale, as we feel sure its production under such auspices would quiet the adverse criticism of jealous critics. We must accord the ladies and gentlemen of the chorus great praise for the manner in which they sang, considering that many of them were but recently pupils of Mr. Richards, who appears to be creating a great taste for music in our town.


1870, invention of the Pedaliera

John W. Moore, A dictionary of musical information . . . (Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1876), 152

https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofmusi00moor/page/152/mode/2up (DIGITISED)

Toe Pedals. George Tolhurst, of Maidstone, England in 1870, arranged a set of pedals to an organ, to be played with the toes; he calls this machine "Pedaliera," and has demonstrated that the organ can be played by using the toes as well as the fingers.

1870

[News], The musical times and singing class circular (1 January 1870), 333-34

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3354905 (DIGITISED)

As our opinion on the merits of Mr. George Tolhurst's Oratorio, Ruth, on the occasion of its production in London, was scarcely as favourable as the composer might desire, it is but fair to state that we are informed by a local paper of its triumphant reception in Maidstone, where it was performed on the 13th ult. "Suffice it to say," writes the musical critic of the Maidstone Telegraph, "every piece was vociferously cheered." Although such extremely violent demonstrations of approval must have somewhat interfered with the progress of a sacred work, [334] we cannot but congratulate Mr. Tolhurst on his success. But the composer's friendly reviewer has not acquired the art of knowing when to stop; for he afterwards asserts that if the Oratorio were to be produced on a grander scale, it would, "quiet the adverse criticism of jealous critics." How strongly does this remind us of the unlucky individual who declared that whenever he served upon a jury, it was his misfortune to be associated with "eleven obstinate men."


3 February 1870, oratorio, Messiah, Maidstone

"MAIDSTONE", The musical times and singing class circular (1 March 1870), 408

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=ThBFb2drm84C&pg=PA408 (DIGITISED)

A performance of the Messiah took place in the Corn Exchange on the 3rd ult., with a chorus of 150 voices. The Principal Vocalists were Madame Rudersdorff, Madlle. Drasdil, Mr. Montem Smith, and Herr Carl Stepan. There was a large attendance and the Oratorio went exceedingly well. Mr. Frederic Archer presided at the harmonium, and Mr. George Tolhurst was the conductor. It is nearly twenty years since anything approaching a complete rendering of Handel's Messiah has been attempted in Maidstone; and great credit therefore is due to Mr. Tolhurst for the highly satisfactory manner in which the work was given under his direction.

19 October 1870, second Maidstone performance of Ruth

"THE ORATORIO OF RUTH", Maidstone journal and Kentish advertiser (24 October 1870), 5

The oratorio of "Ruth" was given for the second time in Maidstone Thursday evening. The artistes who were engaged to appear in the performance gave their services gratuitously, and the proceeds are to be devoted to the fund of the National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in the War. The principal vocalist announced was Madame Rudersdorff, but that lady from some cause was unable be present, and her place was most efficiently filled by Miss Susannah Cole. We have on a previous occasion spoken most favourably of Mr. Tolhurst's composition, and a repetition of its performance only confirms the opinion we then expressed. The only fault we have to find was in the execution of it. The band on Thursday evening was much too strong for the chorus, completely destroying some of the most beautiful passages in the work. With regard the solos, trios, and quartettes, they were admirably executed. Miss Cole's singing of "Entreat me not to leave thee" was extremely fine; Madame Sauerbrey was also in fine voice, and most effectively rendered the parts allotted to her. Miss Wallace also sang exceedingly well. Mr. Farquharson and Mr. Woollett were the male artistes. The air "It is the Moabitish Damsel," Mr. Farquharson rendered with great brilliancy. A trio - Miss Cole, Mr. Woollett, and Mr. Farquharson, "At meal time come," and a quartett "Blessed be he of the Lord" - Miss Cole, Madame Sauerbrey, Mr. Woollett, and Mr. Farquharson - were splendidly executed, and the whole performance gave much satisfaction to the audience, which was not a full one, owing to the extreme inclemency of the evening. Mr. Tolhurst conducted. The band of the 7th Dragoon Guards partially furnished the orchestra, and we ought to say that the overture was very finely executed.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson

1871

England census, 1871, Maidstone, Kent; UK National Archives, RG 10 / 944

https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/7619/images/KENRG10_944_946-0134 (PAYWALL)

114 [Week Street] / George Tolhurst / Head / 43 / Professor of Music & Composer, Teacher of musical theory & composition / [born] Kent Maidstone
Ann [Tolhurst] / Wife / 40 / - / [Kent] Marden
John Chas. [Tolhurst] / Son / 12 / - / Australia
Fanny Eliz'th [Tolhurst] / Dau'r / 12 - / [Australia]
Arabella Mary [Tolhurst] / [Dau'r] / 10 / Australia]
Adolphus Henry Tolhurst / Son / 8 / Scholar / Australia
Flora Ann [Tolhurst / Dau'r / 6 / [Scholar] / [Australia]


"CHATHAM", The musical world (11 November 1871), 726

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=gpAPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA726

A correspondent writes from this town as follows: -

Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio, Ruth, was performed at the Lecture Hall, Chatham, on Tuesday evening. The soloists were Miss Ellen Glanville, Miss Florence Ashton, Miss Arabella Tolhurst, and Mr. W. J. Crowe. The chorus consisted chiefly of the members of the People's Choral Society. The orchestra comprised some well-known instrumentalists connected with the military bands of the neighbourhood, besides the local players usually attending the Society's meetings. Mr. T. Douse presided at the pianoforte; Mr. W. J. Christopher, at the American organ. The composer conducted. Some time before the opening of the doors there was a considerable gathering of people in the High Street, where the hall is situated; and before the commencement every available seat was occupied. The oratorio was listened to with rapt attention throughout, every number being applauded. The soprano solo, "Let me find favour in thy sight," tastefully sung by Miss Ellen Glanville, was encored. The attendance was larger than has been known to have taken place in this locality for a considerable time. Miss Florence Ashton possesses a contralto voice of much sweetness, and was very favourably received. Mr. W. J. Crowe was successful in the delivery of both the tenor airs in Ruth, and created a very favourable impression. The choruses, though somewhat lacking in power, were given with excellent precision and spirit, and were received by the audience with evident satisfaction . . .

1872

A scientific view of modern spiritualism; a paper read by Mr. T. Grant to the Maidstone and Mid-Kent Natural History and Philosophical Society at Maidtsone, of Tuesday evening, the 31st December, 1872 (no publication details)

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=QDk9AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA7-PA14 

. . . The second in this group, Psychologic Mediumship, is a very important form. A medium of this class is one who is in a condition to be impressed by a sympathetic spirit with any set of ideas which he desires to represent. It is sometimes done in a pictorial form, when the medium clearly sees and describes scenes which appear to the vision, such as the appearance and movements of an army, a landscape, a congregation in a cathedral, and so forth. These scenes, which are minutely real and life-like, may or may not exist in fact. At other times a medium is perhaps made to plan out a system, in all its details, for the formation of a social community intended to regenerate the human race, which is probably the genuine production of the spirit of some enthusiast. A psychologic medium who has a talent for music may be made the instrument for giving to the world, perhaps, a new oratorio, composed by the communicating spirit or spirits, of which we have had a brilliant instance in this town; I allude to Mr. Tolhurst's oratorio "Ruth," in which case the sheets of music were sometimes presented to the sight and copied off by the medium, at other times his hand was moved to write, generally in the darkness of the night, for which purpose he always had sheets of unruled paper by his bedside, the lines being also done by the spirit-influence; in all cases the sheets came forth complete and perfect in every minute detail . . .


"PROVINCIAL . . ROCHESTER", The musical world (13 January 1872), 28, in this volume see also 45, 145, 170, 545

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=AJgPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA28 

A correspondent has sent us the following:-

A performance of Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio, Ruth, took place at the New Corn Exchange, Rochester, on Wednesday, 27th December, before a numerous audience. The principal vocalists were Madame Clara Suter, Miss Florence Ashton, Miss Worth, Miss Arabella Tolhurst, Mr. Herbert, and Mr. Armes. Principal violin, Mr. Millen; the composer conducting. The accompaniments were rendered with great success by the orchestral band of the Royal Engineers, from [?]compton, under the able direction of their well-known bandmaster, Herr Sawerthals, who himself conducted the overture to the oratorio with excellent effect . . .

January 1872, second edition of Ruth

[Advertisement], The musical world (27 January 1872), 62

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=AJgPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA62 

Second Edition, Published by Subscription.
"RUTH," A SACRED ORATORIO, By GEORGE TOLHURST.
PRICE ONE GUINEA.
Music Folio, Cloth, Gilt Lettered, 196 Pages.

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

The work was extremely well received, - Choir.

The airs are melodious and effective, and the choruses are pleasing. - Derby Mercury.

Mr. Tolhurst has grappled with the greatest of all musical undertakings.- London Paper.

From what we have seen of the work we rather like it. The music is good. - Chatham Observer.

The production of Ruth on Monday night, was a great achievement. - Maidstone Telegraph.

It abounds in fresh and melodious airs, and displays otherwise very considerable talent. - Nonconformist.

Ruth has been twice performed in Maidstone, the composer's native town, with signal success. - Athenaeum.

Some of the choruses are peculiarly attractive, and all are composed with true musical feeling. - Maidstone Paper.

That Ruth is the work of an earnest man no one can doubt, evidence being found on every page. - Yorkshire Orchestra.

We cannot but congratulate Mr. Tolhurst on his success. * * * The work was extremely well received - Musical Times.

Several of the airs for solo voices are very fine. Many of the choruses evince great originality. The enthusiasm during the entire performance was very great. - London Paper.

The usual custom of restraining applause at a sacred performance was broken through on this occasion, almost every number being welcomed with hearty demonstrations of approval. - Musical World.

The composer's musical conceptions in this work are bold, vigorous, and original; there is an endless variation of the most delightful melody, which charms and rivets the attention of all who hear it.- Sussex Gazette.

Ruth is full from first to last of original, striking, and graceful melody. That is precisely the character which makes it totally unlike anything of its kind which has been offered to the notice of the public for some time past. - Correspondent of the Musical Standard.

In the opinion of competent judges the work evinces great originality of treatment, particularly in the choruses, while many of the airs are singularly beautiful, and the overture is a most vigorous composition. We congratulate Mr. Tolhurst on the result.- South Eastern Gazette.

The overture is a very effective prelude. Of the Oratorio generally, we can not do otherwise than speak most favourably. It is written evidently with great earnestness, and is throughout well constructed and melodious. The composer was received with most enthusiastic applause. - Maidstone Journal.

Ruth is a regular Oratorio. When the words themselves indicate their treatment, the composer is often eminently successful; as, for example, the beautiful well-known phrase, "Entreat me not to leave thee." This is the best morceau in the work, being melodious and expressive. - Illustrated London News.

The work presents abundant evidence of thought, of laborious application, and of a seeking after new and striking effects. The overture is vigorously written. "It bath fully been shown me" is a morceau of surprising merit. This melody is continuous, flowing and eminently satisfactory. There is an unquestionable independence about Mr. Tolhurst's music, and he boldly strikes out a path for himself. - Era.

The performance of that class of musical composition known as the Oratorio flourishes more in England than in any other country in the world, although the supply of original works has hitherto come almost invariably from foreign sources. The exceptions have been so insignificant as only to prove the rule. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Spohr, and Mendelssohn, were all Germans. Such a reception as that accorded to Ruth has never before attended any English Oratorio by any English composer. There was a good attendance, and it is scarcely possible that any musical work of such a character could have been received with a more appreciative enthusiasm without seriously checking that calm continuity so essential to the onward progress and uninterrupted enjoyment of a great sacred work. Although Ruth takes three hours in performance, no impatience was manifested; the latter numbers, especially a trio, "At meal-time come," and a quartet, "Blessed be he of the Lord" being listened to with all that wrapt attention so honouring alike to both composer and executants. - Musical Standard.

SUBSCRIBERS' Names received by MESSRS. DUNCAN DAVISON & Co., 244, Regent Street, W., and by MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, 28, Waterford Terrace, Fulham Road, London, S. W.

N.B. The orchestral parts can be obtained in MS., on hire, from the composer.

"Ruth. A Sacred Oratorio", The monthly musical record (1 June 1872), 88

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b4hTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA88

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1woVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA88 

Ruth. A Sacred Oratorio. The words selected chiefly from the Holy Scriptures. The music composed by GEORGE TOLHURST. (Second Edition.) London: Duncan Davison.

OCCASIONALLY, in the history of art, instances are to be met with of an original genius that, entirely ignoring all recognised forms and canons, strikes out a perfectly new path for itself, and succeeds in producing a work totally unlike anything else of its kind. Such a composition is the oratorio now before us. We are perfectly certain that nothing like it was ever written before; and we very much doubt whether anything similar will ever be produced hereafter. Both in conception and treatment it is absolutely unique. Mr. Tolhurst is, we have no doubt, a self-taught man; and his disregard of all conventional rules sometimes borders on the sublime in its audacity. We almost despair, without the aid of type illustrations, of giving our readers any adequate idea of this extraordinary work; but we will endeavour to point out a few of its leading features.

The libretto is almost entirely taken from the Book of Ruth; and the opening chorus shows at once that the composer is a man of a most original turn of mind. Feeling, probably, that the customary method of setting narrative passages as recitatives is liable, where (as in his libretto) narrative predominates, to produce an effect of heaviness, Mr. Tolhurst boldly sets such texts mostly as full choruses, but occasionally as airs, and in one instance as a trio. The result is most singular, and sometimes, to unaccustomed ears, even ludicrous. As an instance of the composer's way of dealing with his subject, we will give at full length the words of the first chorus, with the various marks of expression, indications of the voices, &c., premising that it is marked andante maestoso (alla recitative), and that it goes straight on, mostly with a syllable to a note, without any repetition, till we reach the last phrase, which recurs several times. The words are as follow: -

(Tutti, forte) "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled (piano) there was a famine in the land; (forte) and a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab; (fortissimo, unison) he, and his wife, and his two sons; (tenor and bass, piano) and the name of the man was Elimelech, (alto and tenor, piano) and the name of his wife was Naomi; (tutti, forte) and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, (unison) Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. (Fortissimo) And they came into the country of Moab, (piano) and continued there. (Forte) And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; (piano) and she was left, and her two sons. (Basses, forte) and they took them wives of the daughters of Moab; (alto, piano) the name of the one was Orpah, (treble, piano) the name of the other Ruth. (Tutti, forte) And they dwelt there about ten years. (Piano) And, Mahlon and Chilion died also, (forte, unison) both of them, and the woman was left of her two sons, and her husband."

When to this description we add that the music is quite as original as the method of treatment, our readers will readily agree with us that we have here a chorus of no common order.

Nor is the promise of the opening belied in subsequent numbers. Throughout the work the same individuality of style is clearly manifested. The composer is evidently desirous that the chief facts of the narrative should be well impressed on the minds of his hearers. Thus we find a chorus of seven pages on the words, "And they went on the way to return unto Judah," and another of six pages to the words, "And they lifted up their voice and wept again." But the most remarkable instance of this tendency of the composer is to be found in the opening chorus of the second part, the words of which are, "And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz." This is one of the most elaborately treated, and also one of the most original numbers of this very original work; and in it the words "a mighty man of wealth" recur seventeen times, while the phrase "and his name was Boaz" is repeated no less than twenty times. The hearers of the oratorio would be in very little danger of forgetting the name of the kinsman of Naomi's husband!

Space does not permit us to describe at length some of the other choruses, which are fully equal in originality to those we have noticed; such, for instance, as that most remarkable movement, "And she went and came" (No. 30), which contains some very striking passages, totally unlike anything to be met with in the whole range of music. We must pass on, and say a few words about the solos, which, in their way, are quite as unique as the choruses. There is so much marked individuality in their treatment as to render it exceedingly difficult to give the palm to any one movement; but if we must make a choice, we think we should select the air (No. 41), "Let me find favour in thy sight," both for the wonderful originality of the opening phrase, which contains an arpeggio in semiquavers of nearly two octaves on the chord of the dominant seventh, and for the perfectly unapproachable way in which the words "for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaiden" are set to music. No one of a less independent turn of thought than Mr. Tolhurst could have conceived the passage we refer to. Hardly less striking is the following trio, "At meal-time come thou hither; and she sat beside the reapers, and he reached her parched corn." This movement, however, we can merely refer to; it is one of those pieces to which no verbal description can possibly do justice. It must be heard to be appreciated.

Mr. Tolhurst, we know not on what authority, appears to have conceived of Boaz as a peppery, hot-tempered individual: for his principal air, "Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence; but abide here fast by my maidens," is a presto agitato in the fierce key of F minor, in the course of which Boaz breaks out at intervals, like King Lear in the thunderstorm. It is to be hoped that Ruth was not nervous!

Naomi appears to have been a greater physiological curiosity than the "Two-headed Nightingale," judging from the following indication of the score (Nos. 47, 48): - Recitative: "And Naomi said unto her daughter-in-law" - Quartet (!!) "Blessed be he of the Lord," &c.

But we must draw our notice to a close. The oratorio, as will be seen from our remarks, is pre-eminently an original work, written (to quote Dryden) "with Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before." It is undoubtedly eccentric; but we are deterred from expressing an opinion as to the mental condition of the composer, by the recollection that no less a musician than Weber is said, after hearing Beethoven's symphony in A, to have pronounced its author ripe for a madhouse. We certainly do not hold a similar opinion of Mr. Tolhurst; but he has such a supreme disregard for all rules, that it is difficult to measure his oratorio by ordinary standards. We will only say in conclusion that we shall always prize Ruth, as without doubt the greatest curiosity in our musical library.

"TOLHURST'S RUTH. To the Editor of . . . ", The monthly musical record (. . . 1872), 100-01

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b4hTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA100

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1woVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA100 

SIR, - Notwithstanding your notice of my Ruth being the justest that has yet met my eye, I cannot refrain from noting your objections all lie against the words and the way they are mated. In this matter the only two choruses you have singled out are but, as it were, introductory; one at commencement, the other opens part [101] second. The necessity for repetition of words requires grave consideration. There is not one grand chorus extant at which it would not be possible to cast the same scorn. The composer, if he conceives his music fugally, must repeat his words many times. If he be at a mere part-song the case is not parallel. Then it is not the "heads" that are "lifted up" many times (to quote a well-known case), but the picture to the mind of the attendant glories. So it is not that "Boaz" needs repetition; but "a man of wealth," upon which everything here turns, is "imitated" in the "scene" resultant from this agreeable enunciation. It is the "joy" at this recollection as well as the name (about as important a one as any human name existing, any one who has travelled or seen life knows full well), that here described, always finds response. Then to make a witty allusion at my faithfulness in causing the single voice to utter the "blessing," the quartett afterwards acquiescing, only needs me to point out that the leading voice travels into the concerted music first, in exact accordance with the narrative, to show you that this appeal for something like justice is not altogether undeserving your generous consideration. -
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST.

[We have much pleasure in printing Mr. Tolhurst's letter, and are very glad that he considers our notice of his oratorio the justest that has yet met his eye. We certainly desired, as far as was in our power, to do him full justice. His comparison of "his name was Boaz" to "Lift up your heads" is certainly a very happy one; it had not occurred to ourselves. But we fear we hardly understand his remarks as to the fugal treatment of the words, "a mighty man of wealth," and "and his name was Boaz." That our readers may judge for themselves, we think it the fairest course to Mr. Tolhurst to quote two of the passages we referred to.

Again:

Surely Mr. Tolhurst does not call these "fugal' passages! With respect to our "objections" to the setting of the words, we had certainly no intention of objecting. That is of course a matter in which every composer has perfect liberty to please himself. We simply stated that the effect of the way in which the words were set was (to unaccustomed ears) sometimes ludicrous. Whether this is so or not, we have now, in simple justice to Mr. Tolhurst, allowed our readers the opportunity of deciding.- ED. M.M.R.]


"HEARING THE DEAF. To the Editor of . . .", The musical world (20 April 1872), 255-56

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=AJgPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA255 

. . . GEORGE TOLHURST, 28, Waterford Terrace, S. W., 1872.


[News], The musical times and singing class circular (1 September 1872), 593

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3354250 (DIGITISED)

A SACRED Concert took place at the British School Room, Lower Norwood, on the Evening of Tuesday, the 30th July. The choruses consisted of selections from the Musical Times, with the addition of Kent's "Blessed be Thou." There was a good attendance. The principal vocalists were Mrs. Bishop, Mrs. Fincham, Miss Tasker, Mr. Haig and Mr. Coppin. Amongst the solos were "O rest in the Lord," "Nazareth" (Gounod); "Consider the lilies" (Topliff); "Abide with me" (Tolhurst); and a new song, by the same composer, written expressly for the occasion, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee." Two trios "Lift thine eyes" (Elijah) and "Orpah left Naomi" (Ruth); were also included in the programme. Conductor, Mr. Carter; harmonium, Mr. George Tolhurst.


"Reviews", The monthly musical record (1 November 1872), 164

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b4hTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA164

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1woVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA164 

"There's sunshine in the sky," Song, by GEORGE TOLHURST (London: Duncan Davison & Co.).

Mr. Tolhurst seems to be attracted by eccentric words, like a fly by a pot of treacle. The refrain of this song, written by Dr. Charles Mackay, is:

"Grub, little moles, grub underground,
There's sunshine in the sky."

The effect towards the end of each verse of the repetition of the words, "Grub, little moles," is exceedingly droll. The music has considerable spirit, and a slight dash of vulgarity. The harmony is sometimes most peculiar. Mr. Tolhurst's chords are like the wind: we cannot tell whence they come, or whither they go.

1873

28 May 1873, concert, Lower Norwood Institute

"Table Talk", The musical standard (7 June 1873), 362

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=x-g2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA362 (DIGITISED)

Mr. George Tolhurst's choir, meeting at the Lower Norwood Institute, performed on the 20th ult, a part of his oratorio "Ruth." The pieces were extremely well received. The programme was made up of solos and part songs, &c., amongst them Gounod's six-part song, "Little Celandine," excited much next week. Messrs. W. and J. Bowyer, joined the conductor in a very satisfactory rendering of one of Haydn's trios for violin, violoncello and piano, and Mr. W. Bowyer played a solo on the violin with good effect. Miss Kate Worth, Miss Jennie Brown, Mr. Carter, and Mr. Copping were the principal vocalists.

1874

"THE WAGNER CONTROVERSY. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The musical times and singing class circular 16/374 (1 April 1874), 459

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3354354?seq=1 (DIGITISED)

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Y3EPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA459 (DIGITISED)

SIR, - To whatever the recent phase of the Wagner discussion may not have led, it has certainly been productive of one patent result. It has enabled musical people to listen to some really exuberant unfoldings of views and ideas, upon subjects hitherto esoteric, with gratitude not altogether unmixed with expectation. That some good must come from all this stirring of the waters, no one can doubt. Points long held in abeyance now crop to the surface. The musical community is being awakened. Those who have hitherto held in quiet security apparently invincible heights, find their position untenable. They can no longer say to the waves of public opinion: "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther." The addition of a seventh string to the lyre aroused opposition. Similar obstructiveness attends every progressive effort. The very strife yields fruits of peace. This is expressed in your recent review of a "letter" from Wagner, as well as tacitly acknowledged by the spirit of Mr. Joseph Bennett's carefully worded contribution on the same subject, in the Number of your ably edited Journal for March. The leading article temperately approaches the very pith of the whole matter, and candidly sets forth the new views. Yet permit me to add I do not think he has made a single hit at the great musician. All that he says - and says so eloquently and so well - only rivets in my mind the continuously growing and deepening conviction that Wagner is right, and that his opponents do not understand him. It is not my province to reintroduce invective. But let me be allowed simply to state that in my view all your conclusions are foregone. It is to me as clear as sunlight that music must grow. To utter over again the oft repeated words of adverse parties would be irksome; still, I cannot help saying, in briefly stating the case as it occurs to my mind, where I deem Wagner's opponents in error.

All he says of Beethoven is truly said. The composers dismissed as having "nothing to tell," are justly dismissed. To the project of separating the "man" from his "theory," I say, "No." That music without poetry is but half an arch, "Yes." Our programme makers know this fact so well, that they will, if they cannot find a legend attached to an instrumental piece, invent one and tack it on. It may be the "Lion in love," to a concerto of Beethoven; or the "Shake of the evil spirit," to a violin solo. Some line of poetry, legend, story, they must and will have. Illustrations flow ad infinitum. Do composers work in a comatose state? "Yes." Beethoven knew what he did? "No." Beethoven left no record of his struggles? I say, "Yes, he did." Why not write more choral symphonies? "Straight jacket would have resulted." Instrumental music incomplete? "Certainly."

Other allusions I am compelled to pass by, though I could, with perhaps more pleasure to myself than to others, expatiate on each head of the question at considerable length. I should not now have written did I not believe the subject of paramount importance in the pursuit of art to every one, as well as to
Yours very truly,
GEORGE TOLHURST. MUS. DOC.
March 7th, 1874.


[Advertisement], The era (28 June 1874), 16

ST. GEORGE'S OPERA BOUFFE COMPANY. - Artistes -Miss Alexina Anderson, Mdlle. Zerlina Zerbini, Messrs. W. Courtney, Collini, Harrington, Rugby, Polini, Willanz, and Thos. D. Yorke. Conductor, Dr. Tolhurst. BRIDLINGTON (Return Visit), Six Nights.

1875

[Advertisement], Weston mercury (10 April 1875), 4

ASSEMBLY ROOMS, WESTON-SUPER-MARE, On TUESDAY, April 12th, 1875,
MR. JOLLY NASH, Assisted by the following Talented Artistes . . . MR. GEORGE TOLHURST, MUS. DOC., Solo Pianist and Accompanist . . .

1876

"NEW MUSIC", Watford observer (29 July 1876), 4

"Pray without Ceasing." Sacred song, the words by G. J. Pixey, the music by George Tolhurst. Mus. Doc., composer of the oratorio of Ruth, &c. London: T. Broome, 15, Holborn Bars. Those who delight in sacred songs will find in this production considerable pleasure; the music is very suitable for the words.



Obituaries (1873, 1877)

Public Record Office Victoria (image above)

https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/61315/images/07591-p0002-000009-0530-00001 (PAYWALL)

12 March 1873, death of William Henry Tolhurst, Prahran

"DEATHS", The Argus (13 March 1873), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5849858

TOLHURST. - On the 12th inst., at his residence, Prahran, William Henry Tolhurst, aged 74 years.

18 January 1877, death of George Tolhurst, Barnstaple, Devon, England

"THE CASE OF SMALL POX", North Devon Journal (25 January 1877), 5

We are sorry to report that the case of small-pox recorded in our last issue has had a fatal termination. The victim, it will be remembered, was the pianist who was travelling with Mr. Jolly Nash's Company - Dr. Tolhurst, who had attained some eminence in his profession by the ability with which he was gifted. Only a few days before his visit to this town he had been revising the proofs of an oratorio, entitled "Ruth," which he had composed, and which was the on the eve of publication - a consummation which the author did not live to witness. He is supposed to have taken the infection at Bristol, and, unfortunately for him, the malady was in his case of a most malignant type, for although he was performing at the Grecian Hall on the Monday evening, and was not removed to the small-pox hospital until the following day, he died on Thursday - only two days subsequently. Mrs. Tolhurst was in London, and being apprised of the fact of the serious nature of her husband's illness, she, with a true wife's devotion, hastened to join him, braving all risk of infection in her determination to minister to him in his sad condition. It was naturally thought advisable that, being in such close contact with the disease by the bedside of a sufferer, she should be vaccinated, but we understand that she was unable to avail herself of this precaution in consequence of the impossibility, notwithstanding that every effort was made, of obtaining vaccine, the lymph famine having extended to Barnstaple and the neighbourhood. However, it is satisfactory to know that she shewed no symptoms of suffering from the danger she had incurred, for on Saturday, the funeral having taken place in Fremington churchyard on Friday afternoon, she returned to London. We regret to say that the circumstances of the poor widow are those extreme straitness, and it was only the kindness of our worthy Mayor (who gave half-a-sovereign, and solicited other 30s. from a few friends) which enabled her to pay her fare hack to Norwood. We have seen a note which his Worship has since received from her, in which, after gratefully acknowledging his generosity, she represents that the unlooked for and almost sudden death of her husband has left her and her five children in absolute penury. While she does not presume to solicit further assistance, the kind-hearted Mayor is so moved by the painful case that he offers to head a subscription for Mrs. Tolhurst and her family's relief with the sum of £2 2s.; and, if there should be any generous persons in the town willing to compassionate the case of a destitute stranger, who has no special claim upon their consideration except in the fact that her husband came to so sad an end among them, we shall be happy to take charge of any donations which may be left at our office for her, and will see that they are properly appropriated. - As to the disease, we are happy to say that no other case has been reported, and without halloaing before we are out the wood, for the sad instance under notice affords a warning against doing that, we may express a hope that in Dr. Tolhurst the epidemic has had the last of its victims here.

"MUSIC", The illustrated London news (10 February 1877), 18

Mr. George Tolhurst, whose death was recently recorded, was chiefly known by his oratorio of "Ruth," which has been performed in London and elsewhere, and found many admirers. A new edition of this work, with the composer's latest revisions, is about to be published in cheap and portable form. We believe Mr. Tolhurst left many works in manuscript, in various elaborate forms of the art.

"MR. GEORGE TOLHURST", Norwood news (10 February 1877), 3

It is our painful duty to have to record the almost sudden death of George Tolhurst, Mus. Doc. The sorrowful event took place on the 18th January, at Barnstaple, North Devon (whither he had gone to fulfil a professional engagement), after an illness of only a few hours; the immediate cause of dissolution being exhaustion from loss of blood consequent upon the rupture of a blood-vessel. As a musician, it is not too much to say he was thoroughly imbued with a love for his art; but, as is too often the case, his great talents, though so highly cultivated, were too little known and appreciated. His numerous compositions, songs, quartets, sonatas, symphonies, and, above all, his oratorio Ruth, which, probably, is even yet destined to be acknowledged by the profession as a masterly work - are all marked with a flow of melody so refreshing because so scarcely met with in these days, and proves the ring of true genius. During the last few years of his life struggle - and such it most assuredly was - the one cherished object he had in view, and for which he toiled so incessantly, laboured so earnestly, and sacrificed so much, was the production of an edition of this oratorio in a portable form and at a popular price, and at the time of his passing away he was actually engaged in revising the proof sheets. It is proposed to publish this edition by subscription. A list will shortly be opened, and we trust many will avail themselves of this opportunity to possess a copy of a truly great work, as well as indirectly to render some assistance to a family entirely unprovided for.

[News], The musical times and singing class circular (1 March 1877), 130

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3354731 (DIGITISED)

The recent death of Mr. George Tolhurst, which occurred somewhat suddenly at Barnstaple, North Devon, has painfully shocked the many who knew and respected him as an able musician and an earnest worker in his art. Although a prolific composer, his Oratorio "Ruth" is the work which has been brought most prominently before the public, and upon the publication of this composition in a popular form, we understand, he was busily engaged up to the time of his decease.

"THE LATE MR. GEORGE TOLHURST. CONCERT", Norwood news (3 March 1877), 3

On Saturday evening a grand concert was given at the Institute, as a tribute of respect to the memory, and for the benefit of the family, of the late George Tolhurst. The hall was well filled with a very fashionable audience, and their appreciation of the concert was testified by the loud applause with which the artists were greeted. The expense of getting up the concert had greatly been reduced through the kindness of Messrs. Novello, Ewer, and Co., who printed all the bills, tickets, and books of words gratuitously; whilst Messrs. Broadwood, the well known pianoforte makers, sent down from London a very fine specimen of their grand piano, which they most considerately conveyed to the hall and back, and lent for the use of the concert free of charge. The programme, a very long one, opened with a pianoforte solo by Mrs. Sampson, "Alice, where art thou?" which was most brilliantly executed. Miss Jeannie Malraison, R. A. M., sang "When the heart is young" with much taste, after which Mdlle. Mina Stecher and Mrs. Marie Fincham sang the duettino by Smart, "My boat is waiting here for thee." Mr. W. Webster, a gentleman who possesses a remarkably fine voice, was successful in his rendering of the song by Cummings "Love's Vigil." The song is by no means an easy one, and Mr. Webster was justly entitled to the encore he received on the conclusion of his song. Mrs. Marie Fincham did her utmost in Lover's ballad, "What will you do, Love." Mr. W. H. Cummings sang the recitative "Deeper and deeper still," and the air "Waft her, angels," from "Jephtha," in faultless style, in fact we have never heard this gentleman to better advantage. Herr H. Progatzky's contrabasso selection was a fantasia from Bellini's opera, "Sonnambula," which was received with loud applause. Mr. W. H. Cummings sang one of his own compositions, "Star-gazing," for which he gained a most enthusiastic encore, in response to which he gave "Tom Bowling." Mdlle. Stecher sang "The last Rose of summer" very fairly, Mrs. Sampson following with a fantasia for the pianoforte, "Traviata" (Verdi), which she played very nicely. This brought the successful concert to a close, and we trust that the receipts have far exceeded the expectations of Messrs. Fincham and Dubber, to whom great credit is due for their admirable arrangements in connection with the concert.

[News], The athenaeum (3 March 1877), 296-97

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=xFdDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA296 (DIGITISED)

The late George Tolhurst, the composer of the oratorio "Ruth," and other works, left a widow and family without provision, and a concert in their aid was given at the Norwood institute on the [297] 24th ult., under the direction of Mr. Cummings, the tenor.

"DEATHS", The Argus (18 April 1877), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5918847

TOLHURST. - On the 18th January, at Barnstaple, Devon, George Tolhurst, Mus. Doc, of Lower Norwood, London, formerly of Melbourne, son of the late William Henry Tolhurst, of this city, and brother of the Rev. F. Tolhurst, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., and J. K. Tolhurst, Church-street, Brighton.

In the estate of George Tolhurst, musician, deceased, intestate; affidavit of administration; Public Record Office Victoria

https://www.ancestry.com.au/imageviewer/collections/61315/images/00028-p0000-000186-0880-00000 (PAYWALL)

. . . I, John King Tolhurst of Bourke Street East in the City of Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria draper make oath and say . . . 1./ . . . I believe he died Intestate . . . 2./ . . . that . . . amongst all the papers of the said deceased in the Colony of Victoria . . . the deceased left no will . . . 4./ . . . that the said [Ann Tolhurst and their children] . . . are the only persons entitled to a distribution from the Estate of the said deceased. 5./ That I am applying for administration . . . as Brother and only next of kin except Ann Tolhurst the mother of the said deceased in the Colony of Victoria him surviving . . . 6./ That the said deceased died possessed of property in the Colony of Victoria of personal estate only . . . 6./ . . . which . . . does not exceed in value the sum of Two Hundred and forty five pounds . . . [sworn 8 May 1877]

And an afterword

[News], The Referee (13 May 1888), 3

Poor Miss Menk Meyer! I wonder who is responsible for her professional visit to London as a pianist? A somewhat similar ease occurred about twenty years ago, when a young Australian, named George Tolhurst, was persuaded that he was a great composer, and that he had only to come to Europe to make his fortune. He came, his music was laughed at, and, having ruined himself, he died - I believe of a broken heart. I sincerely trust it will not be the with Miss Menk Meyer, who is a pretty, and evidently an intelligent girl. But she should at once place herself under a proper instructor, and not give any more such extraordinary exhibitions as that in the Princes' Hall on Monday, until she has learned to play pieces which every schoolgirl in London knows by heart.

ASSOCIATIONS: Florence Menk Meyer (Australian pianist)




Musical works

KEY: Extant works (published or MS); Lost works (or no copy yet identified)

William Henry Tolhurst

Duet and chorus (anthem, text unidentified, 1835)

"ORATORIO", South Eastern Gazette (17 February 1835), 4

. . . A trio composed by Mr. S. Philpot (of Maidstone), and counter-tenor duet with a chorus, by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst, were also performed . . . The duet was beautifully sung Messrs. C. F. Tolhurst and King, and appeared a very sweet and pleasing piece of composition. The chorus was also well executed, and these two pieces seemed to have been done full justice to by the choir . . .

"ORATORIO AT ZION CHAPEL, MAIDSTONE", South Eastern Gazette (23 February 1836), 4

We hear that an oratorio of sacred music will take place on next Tuesday, at Zion Chapel, when selections from Mehul, Hadyn, Perry, Rodwell, Pergolesi, Beethoven, Handel, Weber, Moore, &c. &c., under the direction of Mr. Tolhurst, (with a duet and chorus of his own composition), will be performed.


Although the fig-tree shall not blossom (full anthem, c. 1840s)

"IS MAIDSTONE A MUSICAL TOWN", The musical standard (10 July 1869), 14-15

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0Og2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14 

. . . Between 1840 and 1850 a number of psalm-tunes and a full anthem, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom," were produced by William Henry Tolhurst (Son of Henry), whose exertions in the cause of music in Maidstone received the recognition of a public dinner from his fellow-townsmen . . .


The heart that's true (1857)

The heart that's true, poetry by Eliza Cook; music by W. H. Tolhurst; in The illustrated journal of Australasia (June 1857), 273-74

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=dIwuAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA273 (DIGITISED)

The heart that's true, poetry by Eliza Cook; music by W. H. Tolhurst; in Williams's musical annual and Australian sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 19-20

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-171567316/view?partId=nla.obj-171570402#page/n28/mode/1up (DIGITISED)

Synthesised sound file in Wikipedia article on his son George, incorrectly attributed to George:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heart_That%27s_True_1857_George_TOLHURST.ogg 

Accordion performance (Hamish Darby)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kukElZZcqLQ 

ASSOCIATION: William Henry Williams, the publisher, was an amateur vocalist and also a member of the Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society


The Manners Sutton bridal march (1868)

Unpublished MS; NO COPY IDENTIFIED

"THE ALFRED MEMORIAL CONCERT", The Argus (26 May 1868), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5817302

. . . The first part of the programme concluded with a march, entitled "The Manners Sutton Bridal March," by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst. The principal theme of this composition is good, but not original. The march is a stage march of the "Blue Beard" character, and is well scored . . .

George Tolhurst

The batchelor (song, 1845)

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South Eastern Gazette (11 March 1845), 4

. . . Mr. G. Tolhurst, who presided at the piano-forte, gained an encore in "The Batchelor," a song written and composed for the occasion . . .


Jubilee hymn (1845)

Jubilee hymn, words written by J. Brown; music composed by Geo. Tolhurst, Week Street Chapel, Maidstone; in The juvenile missionary magazine 2 (1845), 142-43

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924007275849&view=1up&seq=336 (DIGITISED)

First line: "Hark! Hark! the glad sound, 'tis the trumpet of Jubilee"; words dated at end "Maidstone, April 21 1845"


England the land of the free (A Christmas song and chorus, 1845; new edition, 1851)

England the land of the free, a Christmas song and chorus, written and composed by G. Tolhurst (Southwark: For the author by J. & S. Blackman, [1845])

Copy at the British Library

"MAIDSTONE MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", South Eastern Gazette (23 December 1845), 4

A concert was given to the members of this institution, on Tuesday last [16th], in the County Assembly Room . . . "The British Anchor" was well sung Mr. Cornell, as was also Christmas song by Mr. G. Tolhurst, composed himself, which gained an encore . . .

"MUSICAL REVIEW", The illustrated London news (27 December 1845), 411

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HtBCAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA411 

ENGLAND, THE LAND OF THE FREE, AND A NEW CHRISTMAS SONG. Written and Composed by George Tolhurst. Blackman.
WHERE THE FLOWERY KNOLLS INVITE, NEW FAIRY GLEE. Composed by J. Stone. Williams.

These patriotic and seasonable effusions - the latter in two flats three four time, and the former two sharps six four measure - are chiefly remarkable, as regards the combination of poet and composer, but neither the words nor the music rise above the average quality of such inspirations. As first productions they are creditable . . .

"NEW MUSIC", Glasgow Herald [Scotland] (1 December 1851), 3

A CHRISTMAS SONG AND CHORUS. Written and composed by George Tolhurst. London J. Lawson, 198 Tottenham Court Road.

THIS is a delightful Christmas song. The melody is simple, graceful, and appropriate to the words - and the chorus, for treble, alto, tenor, and bass, while it is equally simple like the song, is rich, harmonious, and finely in keeping with the subject. It is not a custom in Scotland to bold Christmas as a festival; and we are sorry to have to state that concerted vocal music is not a feature of even the few holidays we enjoy . . .


The amusement night (comedietta, play with music, 1846)

"Maidstone. MECHANICS' INSTITUTION" Kentish mercury (28 February 1846), 3

Tuesday night last was the amusement night of the discussion class . . . and that night have been appointed in reading, in character, of a comedietta, written by Mr. G. Tolhurst, entitled "The amusement night," and having reference to the institution . . . The piece is of a lively cast, and contains some scenes of a highly ludicrous character, which were spiritedly performed by members of the institution. Although containing many imperfections and cordences of unpractised composition, it yet indicates in the writer a degree of originality and inventive power which is worth sedulously cultivating. The applause was most enthusiastic.

"IS MAIDSTONE A MUSICAL TOWN", The musical standard (10 July 1869), 14-5

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0Og2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14 

. . . In 1846 a comedietta with original music, written and composed by George (a younger brother of Henry) Tolhurst, was performed by amateurs to a crowded auditory at the County Assembly Rooms . . .


Set of quadrilles (unidentified, 1846)

"MAIDSTONE . . . APOLLONIAN SOCIETY", West Kent guardian (28 March 1846), 6

This society gave another excellent concert on Friday last. The band performed in good style, two overtures, a quartette, the "cricket" polka, and a pleasing set of quadrilles Mr. G. Tolhurst . . .


The little moles (song, 1848, 1849)

Life's companion (song, 1849)

[Advertisement], Hampshire advertiser (18 November 1848), 4

Royal Victoria Assembly Rooms, Southampton.
ON MONDAY EVENING, November 20th, and TUESDAY, 21st . . . New Song, by Mr. Tolhurst, "England, the Home of the Free!" and other favourite compositions.
Mr. G. TOLHURST will preside at the Pianoforte, and sing "The Dream of the Reveller," "Little Moles," "Blue Beard," and a "Wife Wanted" . . .

"MUSICAL NOTICES", South Eastern gazette (3 July 1849), 5

1. "The Little Moles." Song, by Charles Mackay; music by George Tolhurst.
2. "Life's Companion." Song by Charles Mackay; music by George Tolhurst. (J. Blackman.)
These are two of the best of Mackay's songs, the arrangement of which is highly creditable to Mr. Tolhurst as composer. The subjects are bold, striking, and generally original. Perhaps the best set of the two songs, is "Life's Companions," the air of which is singularly appropriate and the accompaniment pleasing and effective . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Mackay


Where there's a will, there's a way (song, 1849)

Where there's a will, there's a way; song, written by Eliza Cook, composed by G. Tolhurst (London: C. Jefferys, [1849]

Copy at the British Library


I remember (song, 1857, 1858)

I remember, poetry by Thomas Hood, music by J. Tolhurst [sic], in The illustrated journal of Australasia 2 (May 1857), 216-17

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=dIwuAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA216 (DIGITISED)

I remember, poetry by Thomas Hood, music by G. Tolhurst, in Williams's musical annual and Australian sketchbook for 1858  (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 17-18

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-171567316/view?partId=nla.obj-171570181#page/n26/mode/1up (DIGITISED)


O, call it by some better name (song, 1857, 1858)

O, call it by some better name in The illustrated journal of Australasia 3 (October 1857), 176-78

O, call it by some better name (song; words: Thomas Moore) in Williams's Musical Annual and Australian Sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 28-30

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-171567316/view?partId=nla.obj-171570181#page/n37/mode/1up (DIGITISED0


God preserve our sovereign's viceroy (song/anthem, 1858)

God preserve our sovereign's viceroy, [unattributed] in The illustrated journal of Australasia 3 (December 1857), 276-, , , ,

God preserve our sovereign's viceroy, composed for The illustrated journal of Australasia [unattributed], in Williams's musical annual and Australian sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858),

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-171567316/view?partId=nla.obj-171571613#page/n39/mode/1up (DIGITISED)

Identified at George Tolhurst's composition in The musical times July 1858; premiered, probably correctly at Prahran, in the presence of the governor, Henry Barkly, early in 1858; later also republished separately by Joseph Wilkie

[13 April 1858] "MELBOURNE", The Musical Times (1 July 1858), 275

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3371034?seq=4 (DIGITISED)

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=820PAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA275 (DIGITISED)

By a letter from a correspondent dated, April 13th, we learn that there have been performances of sacred music during the previous month, in aid of the Indian Fund, at Melbourne, at Prahran (a suburb of Melbourne), and at Geelong. At the last-named, Sir H. Barkly, Governor of Victoria, was present, and an anthem, "God preserve our Sovereign's Viceroy," composed by Mr. George Tolhurst, was performed for the first time . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1859), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5679929 

THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM. "God Preserve Our Sovereign's Viceroy." Price 1s. Wilkie, Collins-street.


John Littlejohn (song, 1861)

[New], The Argus (5 September 1861), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5703806 

On Tuesday evening last a musical entertainment entitled "An Hour's Gossip with Music and Musicians" was given, in connexion with the Brighton Mechanics' Institute, by Mr. Tolhurst, and was numerously attended. The lecturer illustrated his remarks by singing a variety of pieces by modern composers, amongst which "Mamma is so very particular," and "John Littlejohn," the latter being a composition of Mr. Tolhurst's, were rapturously encored. At the conclusion a vote of thanks was unanimously awarded to the lecturer.

WORDS: John Littlejohn (words by Charles Mackay)


The spilt pearls (part song, 1862)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (12 July 1862), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155010469 

"The Spilt Pearls" is the name of a four-part song which has just been published by Mr. George Tolhurst, of St. Kilda, by whom also the music is composed. The words are by Mr. R. G. French [sic]. It will no doubt form a welcome addition to the musical collections of our fair friends.

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (6 August 1862), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244229321 

We have received from Mr. G. Tolhurst, a copy of "The Spilt Pearls," a four-part song, for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices which has been lithographed by Mr. H. Friend and published by the author. The name of R. C. Trench, the well known writer and poet, as the author of the words is a guarantee that the verses selected by the composer of the music are above the usual average of modern ballad literature. It is one of the ballads from Oriental sources which the composer, wisely or otherwise-ly, has denuded of the concluding stanzas in order to bring the poem within the orthodox limits of an ordinary four-part song. The music, both in melody and harmony, progresses smoothly enough to produce a very favourable impression on the listener, and we hope that one of our musical associations will give the work a fair trial, so that if found worthy it may be produced for the judgment of the public.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Friend (amateur musician, lithographer)

WORDS: The spilt pearls (by Richard Chenevix Trench)


The post galop (1864)

The post galop, composed expressly for the "Illustrated post," by George Tolhurst, in The illustrated Melbourne post (25 June 1864), 16

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/21825052 

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-172835728 (DIGITISED0


Christmas in Australia (song, 1864)

Christmas in Australia; prize song, written by J. B. T., and composed by George Tolhurst, for "The illustrated post", in The illustrated Melbourne post (24 December 1864), 16

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/21825167 

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-172831399 (DIGITISED)

Christmas in Australia; prize song, written by J. B. T., and composed by George Tolhurst, for "The illustrated post", in The Illustrated Sydney News (21 January 1869), 14

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63514381 (DIGITISED)

Synthesised sound file (Hamish Darby)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z1fstggEzQ (STREAMED)


Ruth (oratorio, 1862-1864; revised with additions, 1865; published, January 1868; second edition, 1872; further revisions, 1877)

Ruth, the words selected from the holy scriptures, the music composed by George Tolhurst (London: Published by George Tolhurst, [1868])

Copy at Bayerische StaatsBibliothek digital (copy also archived at IMSLP)

http://mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb11134916-4 (DIGITISED)

http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ReverseLookup/328610 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Listed subscribers to the original edition included Silvanus Angus; Charles Henry Compton; Theophilus Dredge; Charles Elsasser; Edwin Exon; William Firebrace; Samuel Kaye; George Pringle, Frederick Thomas Sargood, and Frederick James Sargood

Ruth, a sacred oratorio . . . second edition (London: For the author by D. Davidson, [1872]

Copy at University of Glasgow Library

Ruth . . . newly revised vocal score, reportedly in proofs at time of Tolhurst'd death in 1877

? Unpublished; NO COPY IDENTIFIED

Sound file, recorded performance, BBC Radio 3, 1 April 1973, "Musical curiosities"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mzLci4pKnk (STREAMED)

See also modern editions of extracts - "And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's"

https://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/And_Naomi_had_a_kinsman_of_her_husband's_(from_Ruth)_(George_Tolhurst) (DIGITISEDI

And - "And she went and came"

https://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/And_she_went_and_came_(from_Ruth)_(George_Tolhurst) (DIGITISED)


Go lovely rose (song, 1869)

Go lovely rose; in ? monthly musical journal (April 1869)

NO COPY IDENTIFIED

"NEW MUSIC", Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser (12 April 1869), 4

The number for April of Dr. Fowle's Monthly Musical Journal, a publication issued by a gentleman in Sussex to promote musical taste in the provinces, contains a part song, "Go Lovely Rose," composed by Mr. George Tolhurst, of Maidstone, the composer of the Oratorio "Ruth." The music seems be very smoothly written, and will possibly become popular at penny readings and local concerts.

"AUSTRALIAN COMPOSER", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (10 June 1869), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244918644 

Mr. George Tolhurst, known to the Victorian public as the composer of the oratorio of "Ruth," performed in Melbourne some years ago, has just written a part song, called "Go, Lovely Rose" expressly for Dr. Fowle's monthly musical journal. The words are by Waller and Kirke White.

"MELBOURNE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", Bendigo Advertiser (12 June 1869), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87919900 

. . . Seeing that Waller was of the Charles First and Second period, and Henry Kirke White is of the nineteenth century, this is a rather curious melange of name and somewhat an anachronism . . .


Fear thou not for I am with thee (song, c. ? 1870)

Fear thou not for I am with thee; a whisper by M. Farningham, composed by G. Tolhurst (London: George Tolhurst, [c. ? 1870])

Copy at University of Oxford


I will lay me down in peace (anthem, 1873)

I will lay me down in peace, anthem for evening service, psalm 4, ver. 9, [by] George Tolhurst, composer of the oratorio Ruth; in Anthems special and general . . . edited by T. Lloyd Fowle, M.A. (London: Dr. Lloyd Fowle, 1873), 305-10

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=VFgezO9ahE8C&pg=PA305 (DIGITISED)


The little brown jug (song arr., 1875)

The little brown jug . . . symphonies and accompaniments by G. Tolhurst (London: George Tolhurst, [1875])

Copy at the British Library


The mill wheel (song arr., c. 1875)

The mill wheel, German Volkslied, English version and accompaniments by G. Tolhurst (London: T. Broome, [c. 1875])

Copy at the British Library


Pray without ceasing (sacred song, 1876)

Pray without ceasing, sacred song, the words by G. J. Pizey, composed by G. Tolhurst (London: T. Broome, [1876])

Copy at the British Library; probably also song (words: George John Pizey) documented Adelaide May 1878

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (1 May 1878), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29601887




Bibliography and resources

BDM 1883

Biographical dictionary of musicians (1883), 592

https://archive.org/stream/biographicaldict00brow#page/592/mode/2up (DIGITISED)


BMB 1897

"Tolhurst", in James D. Brown and Stephen S. Stratton, British musical biography: a dictionary . . . (Birmingham: S. S. Stratton, 1897), 414

https://archive.org/stream/britishmusicalbi005704mbp#page/n425/mode/2up

Tolhurst, George, composer and organist, was born in 1827. He was a teacher in London, and for some time acted as organist of Melbourne Cathedral. He died at Barnstaple, January 18, 1877. WORKS. Ruth, oratorio, Melbourne, 1867. Christmas, song and chorus, 1846. Songs: England the land of the free, Fear thou not, for I am with thee; Little brown jug; Pray without ceasing; There's sunshine in the sky; Where there's a will.

His father, WILLIAM HENRY TOLHURST, who was born on October 23, 1798, conducted the first performance of "Ruth" in Melbourne. He died there in 1873.

HENRY TOLHURST, brother of W. H. and uncle of George, was born on April 19, 1778. Died after 1820. Composer of "Six Anthems and six Psalms, for use of country choirs"; Chart Sutton [1810]; Glee, As I saw fair Clora," etc.

NOTE: Henry above was father of William Henry, not his elder brother, and therefore George's grandfather

HENRY TOLHURST, violinist and composer, born London, September 24, 1854, son of HENRY TOLHURST, brother of GEORGE [born September 6, 1825, died at Maidstone, May 28, 1864] is conductor of the Lee (Kent) Philharmonic Society. Author of Cramer's Rudimentary Tutor for the violin [1891]; Gavottes, Berceuse, Andante, Allegretto, etc. for violin; also songs, etc.


Scholes 1947

Percy Scholes, The mirror of music, 1844–1944: a century of musical life in Britain as reflected in the pages of The musical times (London: Novello & Co, 1947), 95, 97


OCAM 1997

Royston Gustavson, "Tolhurst, George", in Warren Bebbington (ed.), Oxford companion to Australian music (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1997), 554


Game 1976

Peter Game, The music sellers (Melbourne: The Hawthorn Press, 1976), 21, 22

. . . In June [1854] a Mr. G. Tolhurst was offered the post of assistant singing master at £300 a year to date from 1 July, on condition that he devoted at least twenty-four hours a week to his duties under George Allan's supervision. Mr. Tolhurst seems to have been a single-minded man with more than ordinary self-esteem: he refused the £300 salary, and when the Board increased the offer to £350, accepted . . . A few weeks later Mr. Tolhurst, exhibiting the same independent spirit . . . resigned because he objected to the denominational system. There is no [other] record of why he so quickly grew disenchanted after agreeing to work for the board.


Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c. 1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), 44, 47, 299, 358, 374 note 2, 530, 531, 569, 571, 572, 580

http://hdl.handle.net/2123/7264 (DIGITISED)


Woodland cemetery 2013

"George and Charlotte Tolhurst", in Michelle A. Day and Gail Chambers, Woodland Cemetery (Cleveland, Ohio: Arcadia Publishing, 2013), 36

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=oc0L2WXQrxwC&pg=PA36 

Also William Henry's son Frederick (1828-1883)


Kent composers 2013

Henry Tolhurst of Langley, near Maidstone (1778-1814), Kent composers, The Marsh Warblers, a West Gallery choir

http://thewarblers.org.uk/Composers.htm#Tol 

http://thewarblers.org.uk/Composers/Tolhurst/HTarticle.htm 


Kirby 2019 (online 2017)

Sarah Kirby, "'The worst oratorio ever!': colonialist condescension in the critical reception of George Tolhurst's Ruth (1864)", Nineteenth-century music review 16/2 (August 2019), 199-227

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1479409817000325 


George Tolhurst, Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Tolhurst 






© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2021