Novello's Octavo Anthems

typical cover ca.1900



This British series started in 1875, and reached No.700 by 1900 and 1200 by 1940.

Octavo refers to the paper size, which is 10 X 6.5 inches. This size is between modern ISO 216 sizes (adopted in Germany in 1922, in the rest of Europe and U.K. by 1970) B5 (9.84 X 6.93 inches) and A4 (11.27 X 8.27 inches). This is smaller than usual sheet music, which is 31 X 23cm. (12.20 X 9.05 inches). It was chosen by Novello for their cheap editions in the 1850s and has remained the standard for choral music to the present.

Many items were issued additionally in tonic sol-fa notation. A sample of Handel's Halleluja Chorus in this notation can be seen here (section 2.7.1)

Composers were chosen very widely:

Renaissance polyphony: Byrd and Gibbons;
18thc verse anthems: Purcell, Attwood, Greene, Boyce;
18th century oratorios: Bach and Handel;
Viennese Classics: Beethoven, Mozart Haydn;
Early Romantics: Mendelssohn, Spohr;
later Romantics: Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Brahms.

However, the majority of works were by contemporary British composers:
S.S.Wesley, Maunder, Stainer, Ousley, Parry, Stanford etc.
20th century Gardiner, Bairstow, Elgar and others.

Texts were always in English regardless of the original language, suggesting that the audience was mainly from the Anglican and Non-conformist traditions. The series attests to the dedication and high musical standards of the average amateur church choir between 1870 and 1970.

Arrangers and Editors




4.This is the Day which the Lord hath Made (Turle, James).
10. My God, my God, why, O why hast Thou forsaken me : Psalm XXII Mendelssohn.
15. Blessed be the God and Father (Wesley, Samuel Sebastian)
42. O Give Thanks unto the Lord (Goss, John).
58. If Ye Then be Risen with Christ (Naylor, John).
60. O Give Thanks unto the Lord (Wesley, Samuel Sebastian)
86. The morning stars sang together : verse anthem for Christmas day John Stainer.
108. Make me a clean heart, o God : Joseph Barnby.
125. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem : Jeremiah Clark ;
133. O clap your hands : Dr. Greene.
145. Rejoice in the Lord Alway, Z.49 (Purcell, Henry) -
148. In Thee, O Lord : anthem for four voices ... Psalm xxxi. 1-6 John Weldon ;
154. I Will Mention the Loving-Kindnesses (Sullivan, Arthur)
169. Sing praises to the Lord :Dr. Croft.
176. Out of the deep. Naylor, John.
225. O most merciful! : Ernest Bullock.
264 Who is Like unto Thee (Sullivan, Arthur)
324 There were Shepherds (Vincent, Charles)
455. Jesus Christ is Risen Today (King, Oliver)
460. My Heart was Glad (Carnall, Arthur)
462. This is the Day (Marchant, Arthur William)
499. Hallelujah! Christ is Risen (Steane, Bruce) .
533. Christ is Risen from the Dead (Roberts, John Varley)
534. The First Day of the Week (Steane, Bruce)
538. When Christ, Who is Our Life, Shall Appear (Roberts, John Varley)
569. O Come, Let Us Sing (Foster, Myles Birket)
577. Praise the Lord, o Jerusalem : anthem for harvest J.H. Maunder.
591. I Will Go unto the Altar of God (Harris, Cuthbert) -
593. The Glory of the God of Israel (Adams II, Thomas)
612 Now is Come Salvation (Harris, Cuthbert).
621. This is the Day (Lemare, Edwin Henry)
623. I am He that Liveth (Adams I, Thomas)
655. In Heavenly Love Abiding (Parker, Horatio)
660. When the Sabbath was Past (Foster, Myles Birket)
672. Far from the World, O Lord, I Flee (Parker, Horatio)
684. The Angel Said unto Them, Fear Not (Brown, Arthur Henry)
685 There Shall Come a Star out of Jacob (Harris, Cuthbert)
695. Now Late on the Sabbath Day (Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel)
696. The Lord Liveth (Marchant, Arthur William)
718. Now I know that the Lord (Foster, Myles Birket)
729. Alleluia! the Lord Liveth (Harris, Cuthbert)..
740. Save us, O Lord : Edward C. Bairstow.
743. I was glad when they said unto me C. Hubert H. Parry.
760. I Will Magnify Thee, O Lord (Bell, William Henry)
761. Sing Ye to the Lord (Lloyd, Charles Harford)
762 The Promise which was Made unto the Fathers (Bairstow, Edward Cuthbert)
785. Worthy is the Lamb (Thorne, Edward H.).
788. Jesus Christ is Risen Today (Gaul, Alfred Robert)
789. If Ye then be Risen with Christ (Atkins, Ivor).
814. Christ is Risen from the Dead (Sydenham, Edwin Augustus)
830. Lord, we leave thy servant sleeping Brahms (Begräbnisgesang).
867. How long wilt Thou forget me? : Jeremiah Clark ;
873. The Lord Our Righteousness (Blair, Hugh)
900. O Lord, Thou art My God (Wesley, Samuel Sebastian)
922. Come, with High and Holy Gladness (Blair, Hugh)
923. Arise, Shine, Op.7b (Cobb, Gerard Francis)
935. A Song of Joy (West, John Ebenezer).
971. Jesus Lives! (Foster, Myles Birket)
991. Sing Ye to the Lord (Bairstow, Edward Cuthbert).
1072. O God, who hast prepared. John Mudd
1117. If we believe that Jesus died, Bunnett, Edward.
1154. O worship the King. Anthem ...
1229. All the Ends of the World ... . Edited by E. Bullock.
1254. Psalm 150 Organ Arrangement by H. A. Chambers.