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Sir Edward German (1862-1936)

Born German Edward Jones in Whitchurch, Shropshire, German spent seven years at the Royal Academy of Music, studying harmony and counterpoint with Prout and winning organ and violin as well as composition prizes. Although eventually overshadowed by that of his friend Elgar, German’s music enjoyed great success in the later Victorian and Edwardian periods, ranging from symphonies, suites and concert overtures to ballads and salon pieces. He was also seen as the natural successor to Sullivan, completing the latter’s last opera The Emerald Isle and composing his own masterpiece Merrie England for the Savoy Theatre in 1902. The Romance dates from German’s early years as a professional composer, and was originally one of a pair (of which the other is now lost). The first known performance was by Oscar Street (1869-1923), a pupil of George Clinton, at the Oxford University Musical Union on January 29, 1890.

© Oliver Davies.

Romance has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on The Victorian Clarinet Tradition (CC0022)

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