Brighton’s French Music Festival, 1881 (2)

Just a year ago, in my blog about Brighton’s 1881 Music Festival, I stated: “A great part of the success of the Festival does seem to have been due to the excellent organisation by Chérifel de la Grave.”

Should I have been more alive to this newspaper report?

The national press went a little further in criticism of the practical arrangements of the Festival:

Were there flaws in the organisation?  Well, the chief conductor of the participating Orphéon from Châlons-sur-Marne certainly thought so.  His 50-page account of his band’s trip to Brighton is very revealing.

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Brighton’s French Festival of Music (1)

Imagine the grand sight of two thousand musicians and choristers in “a daylight procession [starting] from the Pavilion at six in the evening and having marched with music and banners along the Kings-road to Brunswick-terrace, will return by the same route to the Pavilion grounds.” (Daily Telegraph and Courier).

Grand festival of music

What the advert above does not highlight is that almost each one of these two thousand performers was a Frenchman (with a few French-speaking Swiss and Belgians in the mix for good measure).  Conference delegates descending on Brighton en masse is nothing new, for this event took place in 1881.

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