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Chamber Music

(London, 1913-1916)

Prepared by Richard Kitson
Online only (2022)

Chamber Music: A Supplement to The Music Student Appearing Alternate Months [RIPM code LCM] was printed by Whitehead & Miller, Leeds, from June 1913 to November 1916, with no issued published for August of each year. Although advertised as consisting of twenty-three issues, numbered from 1 to 22 with a final issue numbered 22a, issue number 6 (March 1914) was incorrectly given as no. 7, thus reducing the entire run to twenty-two numbers. The numbering of the pages in each issue varies: in 1913 nos. 1 and 2 are numbered 1 to 28, while issues 3 through 9 are numbered 1 through 100. Following this, page numeration resets with issues dated September, though no volume numeration is declared. All pages are printed in two-column format.

The General Editor of The Music Student was Percy A. Scholes, with Walter Wilson Cobbett assuming the general editorship of the supplement. Cobbett was an amateur violinist, patron and lexicographer. His lasting interest in chamber music is often credited as an influential part in the English musical renaissance of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In fact, Cobbett subsidized publishing the chamber music supplement. From the twenty-two issues of LCM, the efforts of a small staff and a great many well-known writers on music as contributors, Cobbett prepared the important two-volume Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music in 1929. Among the contributors to LCM are many writers on music active in England in the pre-First World War period, including Ernest Newman, T. Lea Southgate, Thomas F. Dunhill, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Ralph Vaughan Williams, Georges Jean-Aubry, Montagu Montagu-Nathan, Richard H. Walthew, John Alexander Fuller Maitland, Felix Salmond, Marion M. Scott and Catherine Egger.

Individual issues of LCM are given titles which indicate the type or form of chamber music to be featured, beginning with duo compositions in the first issue and concluding with the eleventh British chamber music number of November 1916. Typical topics are string and piano trio, string quartet, piano quartet, string and piano quintet, sextet, septet and octet numbers. Of particular interest are ten British chamber music numbers.

The series of issues featuring British chamber music is extensive. T. Lea Southgate discusses the rise and development of English concerted instrumental music; Cobbett explores the historical foundations of British chamber music in works of Henry Purcell. J. A. Fuller Maitland discusses Hubert Parry’s chamber music; Thomas Dunhill examines Charles Villiers-Stanford and W. Y. Hurlsone’s chamber music and Felix Salmond gives a summary of Frank Bridge’s contribution to the genre; A. von Ahn Carse studies the chamber music of John B. McEwen; Harold Samuel deals with the several phantasies of James Friskin, while Ernest Walker and J. A. Fuller Maitland take on the phenomenon of the modern British phantasy. Cobbett reports on the International Competition for a string quartet, won by Frank Bridge. He also discusses publication problems of chamber music compositions. A summary of W. H. Harris’s Presidential Lecture before the British Chamber Music Society is given.

Beyond financial support for the LCM, Cobbett himself contributes considerably to the journal, including writings on compositions for various instrumental combinations, columns titled “A Chamber Music Causerie” (informal talks) and “Obiter dicta” (incidental remarks) on a variety of topics, a review of a Schoenberg string quartet performed by the Flonzaley String Quartet, and articles on the Klinger String Quartet’s complete Beethoven quartet cycle and the string quartet composition competition.

Nicolas Gatty reports on Leo Orenstein’s “futuristic” music for the piano and strings. Montagu Nathan-Montagu provides a series of articles devoted to chamber music by French composers, including Vincent d’Indy, Albert Roussel, J. Guy Ropartz, Gustave Samazeuilh, Gabriel Grovlez, Albéric Magnard, Paul Dupin, and Darius Milhaud. Nathan-Montagu also discusses the Russian publisher Belayev’s Friday evening meetings with Russian composers. Georges Jean-Aubry reports on chamber music in France and the works of Florent Schmidt and Gabriel Dupont. Alexander Cohen gives and analysis of Ravel’s String Quartet in F.

Women’s activities as chamber music players and composers are discussed by Marion M. Scott and Catherine Eggar and include a report on Mary Keene’s chamber music “afternoons,” chamber music concerts organized by women, and string quartets featuring women players in Britain and on the Continent.

This RIPM Index was produced from a copy of the journal held by the Library of Congress.