Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Wenlock Edge, Recorded in 1917

This is a fascinating recording that I discovered this evening via Michael Monroe on Twitter:

On Wenlock Edge #1-3 (On Wedlock Edge, From Far, From Eve and Morning, and Is My Team Plowing?)
Gervase Elwes, tenor
The London String Quartet
Frederick B. Kiddle, piano

Recorded in 1917 by the Columbia Gramophone Company

From the Wikipedia entry on the accompanying career of Frederick Kiddle:
As the permanent accompanist for the Queen's Hall proms, naturally Kiddle accompanied almost everybody, but his great work in this role (demanding the highest standards of musicianship) is particularly remembered through his permanent connection with the tenor Gervase Elwes. In the early 1900s, when he was also organist of the parish church of St Marylebone in London, he was invited by Elwes (then just beginning his professional career) to act as his accompanist. Elwes regarded him as a most conscientious musician, and the two worked together throughout Elwes's career, until his death in 1921, often working several hours a day. Elwes instructed Kiddle in the meaning of the words of songs in French and German, so that there should be a unity of purpose in their performance, and he invariably brought Kiddle forward to share the applause at his concerts.
Kiddle's association with Elwes naturally brought him closely into the world of Roger Quilter's music, which he played with great verve and rhythmical insight. Quilter dedicated one of his Nora Hopper songs, 'Blossom-time', to Kiddle in 1914. Kiddle's playing as accompanist is heard on most of the recordings of Gervase Elwes, including the 1917 Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge set with the London String Quartet. He can also be heard in recordings with Lionel Tertis, Albert Sammons or the tenor Hubert Eisdell.
Alas, Gervase Elwes met an untimely end in Boston in 1921. He was struck by a train while attempting to pick up a fallen overcoat from the platform.


  1. "Wedlock edge"? Hahaha.

  2. OMG that was the worst typo ever. Thanks for the heads-up, 151.