thu 14/11/2019

Why Kipling Scuppered Elgar's Sea-Songs | reviews, news & interviews

Why Kipling Scuppered Elgar's Sea-Songs

Why Kipling Scuppered Elgar's Sea-Songs

A lost work by Elgar resurfaces on a new recording

The Fringes of the Fleet: the cast of the 1917 premierePhoto by courtesy of the Elgar Museum
Elgar’s flag-waving nautical song-cycle The Fringes of the Fleet was performed to packed houses up and down the country in 1917, then sank virtually without trace for the next 90 years. As the work receives its first professional orchestral recording since Elgar's own, Tom Higgins, the conductor of the recording, explains how the work came into being, and why Rudyard Kipling had it banned.
In October Kipling learnt that his only son was missing in action. He apparently took the view that he did not want his war-poetry portrayed in the music hall

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.