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Charles Edward Horn

Charles Edward Horn (21 June 1786 – 21 October 1849) was an English composer and singer. He was born in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, to Charles Frederick Horn and his wife, Diana Dupont. He was the eldest of their seven children. His father taught him music; he also took music lessons briefly in 1808 from singer Venanzio Rauzzini in Bath, Somerset. Horn made his singing debut on 26 June 1809 with a performance in the comic opera Up All Night, or the Smuggler's Cave (words by Samuel James Arnold and music by Matthew Peter King) at Lyceum Theatre, London. Horn continued singing, including a well-received turn in 1814 as Seraskier in Stephen Storace's The Siege of Belgrade. He achieved prominence with his portrayal of Caspar in the English version of Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz in 1824.

Horn began composing music soon after his stage debut, writing glees and operas. He helped compose music for Thomas Moore's comic opera M.P., or the Blue Stocking (1811) and the successful 1812 opera The Devil's Bridge. He soon became a prolific composer for the stage; many of his songs for larger dramatic works became popular, including "On the banks of Allan Water" from Rich and Poor (1812), "I know a bank" from The Merry Wives of Windsor (1823), "The deep, deep sea" in Honest Frauds (1830), and "Cherry Ripe" from Paul Pry (1826). The latter became a subject of controversy after Thomas Attwood accused him of plagiarizing the song. Horn was acquitted in court, however; according to one account, he helped his case by personally singing his version and Attwood's version to the jury.

In 1827, Horn sailed to New York City, where he made a successful American debut. In addition to giving singing performances, he staged works by Storace, Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Gioachino Rossini. He briefly returned to London for a few years, overseeing the debut of his Honest Frauds (1830) and serving as music director of the Olympic Theatre from 1831 to 1832, before sailing back to New York. There, he became the music director of Park Theatre, producing and directing performances of his own works and arrangements of works by others. His oratorio The Remission of Sin (1835) may be the first oratorio composed in the United States. After losing his voice due to illness in 1835, he started giving singing lessons. Two years later, he entered into a business partnership and opened a music store on Broadway. In 1842, he helped found the New York Philharmonic Society.

After visiting England for a few years in the 1840s, he returned to the United States in 1847, settling in Boston. There, he was elected director of the Handel and Haydn Society. Horn died in Boston. He married twice, first to a Miss Rae, and in 1838 to Maria Horton (d. 1887) and had one son, Charles, who became a tenor.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 21st, 1786 (London), Died October 21st, 1849 (Boston)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1894 - 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, arranger


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 753 7-in. Before 1895 I know a bank Vocalist(s) (unidentified; Berliner Gramophone Co.) Vocal duet composer  
Victor B-10963 10-in. 9/15/1911 I know a bank Marguerite Dunlap ; Elizabeth Wheeler Female vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor B-13135 10-in. 4/16/1913 I've been roaming Geraldine Farrar Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-14382 10-in. 1/27/1914 I've been roaming Julia Culp Contralto vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-29288 10-in. 1/15/1924 I know a bank Anna Howard ; Laura Littlefield Female vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-39879 10-in. 10/7/1927 I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows Elsie Baker ; Olive Kline Vocal duet (soprano and contralto), with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-40403 10-in. 10/7/1927 I've been roaming Olive Kline Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 39451 10-in. 6/16/1914 Cherry ripe Thamzene Cox Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 45846 10-in. 7/8/1915 I know a bank Grace Kerns ; Mildred Potter Female vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 80235 10-in. 3/13/1922 Cherry ripe London String Quartet String quartet composer  
Columbia 81405 10-in. 12/10/1923 I've been roaming Margaret Romaine Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30112 12-in. ca. 1907-Feb. 1908 Cherry ripe Lillian Blauvelt Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 30791 12-in. 6/23/1911 The banks of Allan Water David Scull Bispham Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 48578 12-in. 2/3/1916 I've been roaming Florence Macbeth Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Brunswick 11704-11706 10-in. 10/23/1923 I've been roaming Irene Williams Female vocal solo, with piano, celeste, and harp composer  
Edison 5716 10-in. 7/30/1917 I've been roaming Amy Ellerman Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Horn, Charles Edward," accessed July 29, 2021,

Horn, Charles Edward. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from

"Horn, Charles Edward." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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