ELGAR, Sir Edward (1857-1934). Composer.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to his publisher, Leslie [Boosey], 2½ pages 8vo, Worcester, 9 January 1931. Denying authorship of 'The Narrow Seas', which may have been confused with his 'Fringes of the Fleet' because Kipling had written the words for both.
'The Fringes of the Fleet' was a set of four songs for four baritone voices, first performed in 1917 as part of his patriotic contribution to the war effort. The songs were performed as a music hall turn, first at the London Coliseum (where they shared the bill with W C Fields). They had a very successful run with Elgar conducting from the pit and then went on a regional tour of the country, again with Elgar conducting.
Kipling had severe misgivings about the performances and had to be persuaded by his friends to let the run continue. The regional tour was too much, however and after a short time he flatly refused his permission for the performances to continue, leaving Elgar to comment bitterly that Kipling had denied him a good chance to make a lot of money.
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