Novello, Vincent


b St Marylebone, London (Middx) 1781, d Nice, France 1861. The son of a Piedmontese pastrycook who settled in London with his English wife and wanted the best possible education for their children. He became a teenage chorister under S Webbe the elder at the Sardinian Embassy Chapel in London. At the age of 16 he was then appointed Organist at the Portuguese Embassy Chapel in South St, Grosvenor Sq, following his tutor and where his elder brother Francis was principal bass. Vincent held this post for some 25 years, 1797–1822, during which time the music of Haydn and Mozart was frequently enjoyed there. His own home became a meeting-place for musical, artistic and literary friends, who are lightly portrayed in one of Charles Lamb’s Essays of Elia (‘A Chapter on Ears’, 1823). In 1811 he published A Selection of Sacred Music under his own name, thereby founding the family firm which has lasted for nearly 2 centuries (see notes in Grove). He also printed some mss from Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum as The Fitzwilliam Music, and made copies of Purcell’s mss at York, the originals of which were destroyed in a fire a year later. Between 1835 and 1843 he issued 4 vols of Psalm tunes, The Psalmist. In 1848 he retired to Nice for the sake of his wife’s health and remained there until his death 4 weeks short of his 80th birthday. No.607.

Tunes and arrangements by Novello, Vincent

Tune Name