Novello's Octavo Choruses

typical cover and partial list ca.1900



This British series, similar to Novello's Octavo Anthems, started in the 1870s, and reached No.850 by 1910. The choruses were extracts from oratorios and cantatas, such as Haydn's Creation and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. Roughly half the items were by Handel, see here.

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)

Arrangers and Editors




24. O Father, whose Almighty power, from Judas Maccabaeus (Handel, George Frideric)
90. Disdainful of danger, from Judas Maccabaeus (Handel, George Frideric)
107. The Gipsy Chorus, from The Bohemian girl (Balfe, Michael William)
118. Then round about the starry throne (Handel, George Frideric)
149. Zadok the Priest, HWV 258 (Handel, George Frideric) (8-part)
150-159. The Creation (Haydn, Joseph)
158. The heavens are telling, from "The Creation" (Haydn, Joseph)
160-168. Third Mass. (Haydn, Joseph)
169A. I waited for the Lord, from The hymn of praise (Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix )
172. Happy and blest are they, from St. Paul (Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix )
186. The night is departing, from Lobgesang (Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix )
196. Hallelujah!, from Christus am Ölberge, Op.85 (Beethoven, Ludwig van)
197. Kyrie eleison. Masses K. Anh. 232 (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus)
198. Gloria in excelsis. Masses K. Anh. 232, (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus)
238. Be gracious, O kind heaven, from Seasons (Haydn, Joseph)
238-249 Seasons (Haydn, Joseph)
268. Come ye hither (last Judgement) (Spohr, Louis)
275. Rejoice, my countrymen, and Sing, O ye heav'ns, from Belshazzar (Handel, George Frideric)
278. When the ear heard her : (Funeral anthem). (Handel, George Frideric)
290-301. First Mass. (Haydn, Joseph)
347. Dixit Dominus (Leo, Leonardo)
348. In Exitu Israel. (Wesley, Samuel)
350. Jehovah, Lord God of Hosts. 3 Psalmen. Op. 85. No. 1 (Spohr, Louis)
351 O God, who in Thy heavenly Hand, from Joseph and his brethren (Handel, George Frideric)
353. I wrestle and pray Ich lasse dich nicht (Bach, Johann Christoph)
348. In exitu Israel. (Wesley, Samuel)
359. Insanæ et vanæ curæ, from Ritorno di Tobia. (Haydn, Joseph)
362. Be not afraid, BWV 228 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
369. Twine ye the garlands, from Ruins of Athens (Beethoven, Ludwig van)
438. Kyrie, from Mass in B-flat (Hummel)
438. Kyrie, from Mass in D (Hummel)
497. Kyrie, from Mass in E flat D. 950 (Schubert, Franz).
515. Father, forgive, from Passion (Haydn, Joseph)
535. Christians, be joyful, from Christmas oratorio (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
538. Come and thank Him, from Christmas oratorio (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
561-563. Mese (Gounod)
564-567. Communion (Gounod)
569. Gloria in excelsis Deo : Qui tollis, from Mass in B♭ (Farmer, Henry)
596.The Lord great wonders, from Song of Victory (Hiller, Ferdinand)
597. Praise O Jerusalem, from Song of Victory (Hiller, Ferdinand)
598. He in tears that soweth, from Song of Victory (Hiller, Ferdinand)
599. Praise ye the Lord, from Song of Victory (Hiller, Ferdinand)
600. Praise the Lord, from Song of Victory (Hiller, Ferdinand)
601-606. Nala and Damayanti Op. 150 (Hiller, Ferdinand)
603. Hail,fearful king, from Nala and Damayanti Op. 150 (Hiller, Ferdinand)
647-648. Erl-King (Gade)
649-652. Zion (Gade)
653-660. Crusaders (Gade)
661. Blessing, glory, and wisdom, and thanks J. Sebastian Bach (Wagner, Georg Gottfried)
669. Ill-fated boy-begone, from May Queen (Bennett, W.S.)
670. A Calm Sea and a Prosperous Voyage (Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt) Op. 112. (Beethoven, Ludwig van)
673-677. Second Mass. Hob. xxii/9. (Haydn, Joseph)
678. Meek, as thou livedst, hast thou departed. An Elegy, Sanft wie du lebtest, hast du vollendet. Op. 118 (Beethoven, Ludwig van)
687. Lo! star-led chiefs, from Palestine (Crotch, William)
694. Blest be the Man, from Joseph and his brethren (Handel, George Frideric)
695. Alma virgo (Hummel, Johann Nepomuk)
696. The Lamb that was slain for us. Ich hatte viel Bekümmerniss (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
698-700. Psyche (Gade)
701-708. La rédemption (Gounod)
706. Unfold, ye portals, from La rédemption (Gounod)
711. Masses. K. 257 (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus)
712. If this Man were not an Evildoer., from Johannespassion (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
713. Ere to Dust is chang'd thy Beauty, from The Triumph of Time and Truth (Handel, George Frideric)
714. Godhead, throned in Power eternal, from Thamos, König in Ägypten Chorus. (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus)
720. Behold, a star appeareth, from Christmas Eve (Gade, Nils)
722. At Dawn of Day, from Sleeping Beauty (Cowen, Frederic H.)
723-741 Mors et Vita (Gounod)
743. O gladsome light, from The golden legend (Sullivan, Arthur)
744. The night is calm and cloudless, from The golden legend (Sullivan, Arthur)
763. Now th'impetous torrents rise, from David and Saul (Jenkins, David)
765 Gloria Patri, from Nisi Dominus. (Handel, George Frideric)
766. As from the Pow'r of Sacred Lays, from Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (Handel, George Frideric)
767. Cheer her, O Baal, from Athalia (Handel, George Frideric)
769. With drooping wings, from Dido and Aeneas (Purcell, Henry)
774. The Challenge of Thor, from King Olaf, Op.30 (Elgar, Edward)
775. It comes from the misty ages, from The Banner of St. George, Op.33 (Elgar, Edward)
782. Descend, ye Nine, from Ode on St Cecilia's Day (Parry, Charles Hubert Hastings)
789. Weep for the glorious dead, from Dream of Jubal (Mackenzie, Alexander Campbell)
785. Britons, alert! , from Caractacus (Elgar, Edward)
802. Now for the dance the shepherd's drest, from La damnation de Faust (Berlioz, Hector)
803. Epilogue. Lord! hearken to me!, from Meg Blane (Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel)
804. A little bird in the air, from King Olaf. (Elgar, Edward)
805. Prologue, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, from The apostles (Elgar, Edward)
817. Abide with me, from Woman of Samaria (Bennett, William Sterndale)
822. Zadok the Priest, HWV 258 (Handel, George Frideric) (4-part)
824. Cum Sancto Spiritu , from Second Mass (Cherubini, Luigi)
825. Te decet hymnus, from. Requiem (Schumann, Robert)
827. The march triumphal thunders, from Caractacus, Op.35 (Elgar, Edward)
828. All Flesh doth perish. from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
830. Blest are they that mourn. from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
831. Blessed are the dead... from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
836. Ye who now sorrow. from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
837. On this Earth. from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
855. Bless the Lord thy God (Roberts, John Varley)
858. Forward through the glimmering darkness, from "War and peace." (Parry, Charles Hubert Hastings)
862. O ye priests, from The kingdom (Elgar, Edward)
864. Lord, make me to know. from Requiem. Op. 45 (Brahms, Johannes)
865. Hiawatha's Farewell, from Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha. Op. 30. No. 2. The Death of Minnehaha (Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel)
866. Benedicite, from Nebuchadnezzar (Dyson, George)
867. The naiads' music : (Come, ye sorrowful) : from Lie strewn the white flocks (Bliss, Arthur)