Vincent Novello

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Vincent Novello

Vincent N. Novello (born September 6, 1781 in London , † August 9, 1861 in Nice ) was an English musician and music publisher .


Vincent Novello was the son of an Italian and an Englishwoman. As a boy he was a choirboy at the Sardinian Chapel on Duke Street , Lincoln's Inn Fields , where he learned the organ. From 1796 to 1822 he was successively organist at churches in Manchester Square , Grosvenor Square and from 1840 to 1843 at St Mary Moorfields . He was a founding member of the Philharmonic Society , the Classical Harmonists, and the Choral Harmonists, and served frequently as a conductor. In 1849 he retired in Nice.

Novello composed a considerable number of works of sacred music , but above all he made unknown works by great composers known in England. The masses of Haydn and Mozart were completely unknown there before he edited them, as were the works of Palestrina .

With his first work, a collection of sacred music such as the one performed at the Royal Portuguese Chapel , he founded the music publisher with which his name is mostly associated. In 1829 his son Joseph Alfred Novello (1810-1896), who started out as a bass, took over the work for the publisher. He moved away from selling through subscriptions and edited inexpensive sheet music editions. From 1841 Henry Littleton assisted the publishing house and became a partner in 1861, whereupon the company was renamed "Novello & Co." When JA Novello retired, he became the sole owner.

Novello was married to Mary Sabilla Hehl since 1808, with whom he had eleven children. Four of his daughters (the youngest of whom, Mary, married Charles Cowden Clarke ) were gifted singers. The most famous was Clara Novello (1818–1908), who with her high soprano voice became a well-known singer from 1833 in opera , oratorio and on the concert stage.

Collection for Maria Anna Mozart and a visit to her and Constanze Mozart in 1829

In 1829 Novello (probably through Thomas Attwood ) received news of the poor living conditions of Maria Anna Mozart (at that time Berchtold zu Sonnenburg was widowed). He organized a collection in their favor and decided to hand over this cash gift in person. On the trip he undertook with his wife (from the end of June to mid-August 1829), which went to Salzburg and Vienna, both spouses kept diaries in which many travel experiences and descriptions of the cities and landscapes they traveled through are recorded, with the musical side ( Concerts, opera performances, attended trade fairs, etc.) occupy a large space. The most interesting part are the descriptions of the encounters with the still living friends and acquaintances of WA Mozart (including Joseph Eybler , Maximilian Stadler , Nanette Streicher , Aloisia Weber ) and his sister and his widow. The travel diaries were found in 1945 by a great-granddaughter of the Novellos, Bona Gigliucci, among family papers. The English edition was published in 1955 and the (edited) German edition in 1959. In her book Nannerl Mozart, Eva Rieger processed several pages of original experiences when the London couple Novello visited Nannerl, or better: Maria Anna Mozart, married Berchtold zu Sonnenburg, shortly before she died.


  • A Mozart pilgrimage. Novello & Co., London 1955.
    • A pilgrimage to Mozart. Boosey & Hawkes, Bonn 1959.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eva Rieger: Nannerl Mozart. Insel Verlag Frankfurt a. M., 3rd ed. 1991, pp. 272, 273.