Lalla Rookh as concert music for choir and orchestra
From the 1840s, industrialization and bureaucratization led to an expanding institutionalization of music, as observed by Paul Rodmell. Concert music really came into its own. As music societies and clubs grew in individual size and in overall number, they took a proportionally larger role in the dissemination and performance of music. This creates a change of emphasis in the formats Moore’s poem inspired, with a move from songs to cantatas and large-scale oratorios, performed in the increasing number of public concert spaces. Music societies might produce their own series of concerts, or participate in the large choral festivals held at Gloucester or Birmingham, to name two prominent examples.
Whereas previously an artist or writer might have been dependent on a select number of patrons or even a single patron, societal changes in the Victorian period opened up a much wider network of supporters to them. It was in the interests of the publishing industry to facilitate the activities of these musical organisations.
Robert Schumann’s oratorio, Das Paradies und die Peri, is the most widely disseminated large-scale musical work to be derived from Moore’s Lalla Rookh. Within a few years of its premiere in 1843, it had achieved performances in various German and American centres; in the 1850s it was performed in Dublin (10 February 1854) and London (23 June 1856); in 1869 (from 6 December) in Paris (as an opera).
In addition to Schumann's ambitious and challenging work, Moore's Lalla Rookh inspired cantatas written expressly for the amateur choral society market. John Francis Barnett, a British composer who had studied in Leipzig, wrote a cantata on the subject of Moore's Paradise and the Peri. This made its premiere at the Birmingham Triennial Festival in 1870, and was revived at Crystal Palace (London) in 1871; the Musical Times tracks its various public performances and presence in the programme of (British) choral societies through to the early 2oth century. Frederic Clay, another British composer who had studied composition in Leipzig, wrote a cantata Lalla Rookh which premiered at the Brighton Festival in 1877. This work had a particular hit in a winsome solo for Feramorz, "I'll sing thee songs of Araby", which the poet addresses to Lalla Rookh. Youtube features a few recorded examples of this, most from the early years of the 20th century.