Reading today’s review of the new Hallé recording of Bax’s In Memoriam prompts me to point out a serious error in the late Michael Kennedy’s programme note. The orchestral work is not an orchestration of the chamber work: they are musically quite different. In Memoriam for orchestra—the first known piece of music commemorating the Easter Rising—was finished in short score on 9 August 1916, and the full score had been completed by 19 March 1917. The work for cor anglais, harp and string quartet, which is the one originally entitled Irish Elegy and later renamed In Memoriam (1916), was not even begun until about 16 November 1917. These dates derive from the manuscripts and from some of Bax’s letters to Harriet Cohen. It is a pity that the note Michael Kennedy wrote in 2014 was not checked for accuracy before being reproduced in the CD booklet.
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