The Lost Chord

PDF Print

The Lost Chord

Titanic Historic Recordings

Enrico Caruso the famous tenor was born in Naples in 1873 and made his debut there in 1895. His last performance was at the Metropolitan Opera House on Christmas Eve 1920 and he died the following year. On Monday, 29 April 1912 Caruso recorded this version of The Lost Chord, that evening he would sing it again, at the Metropolitan Opera House at the benefit concert for the families of the victims of the Titanic, appearing 9th after the interval. Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) had composed the music for this Adelaide Anne Procter (1825-1864) poem in 1877 following the death of his brother.

Listen to this recording of The Lost Chord, recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company on Monday 29 April 1912 (Real Audio®) 3:58

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wander'd idly
Over the noisy keys.

I know not what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen,

It flooded the crimson twilight,
Like the close of an Angel's Psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit,
With a touch of infinite calm,

It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love over-coming strife,
It seem'd the harmonious echo
From our dischordant life,

It link'd all perplexed meanings,
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence,
As if it were loth to cease,

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the organ,
And enter'd into mine,

It may be that Death's bright Angel,
Will speak in that chord again,
It may be that only in heaven,
I shall hear that grand Amen,

It may be that Death's bright Angel,
Will speak in that chord again,
It may be that only in heaven,
I shall hear that grand Amen.

 

Samples, Source Material and Transfers
The Lost Chord, Victor, 29 April 1912 (Matrix # C 11942-1)
   Courtesy of the Edison Museum, Menlo Park, New Jersey (© 2001)
Samples reflect the recording methods of the day. This Victor Talking Machine Company recording has been copied using an original 1910 Victor 11. No digital enhancement has been applied.

References
Metropolitan Opera House (1912) Programme for the Benefit Concert for the Families of the Victims of the Titanic. 29 April 1912
Michael Kennedy and Joyce Bourne eds. (1994) Oxford Dictionary of Music. Oxford University Press.

Acknowledgements
Jack Stanley, USA

  • Leave a comment

  • Add a new story to Encyclopedia Titanica

  • Link and cite this article

    Link
    Please link to this page using the following URL
    http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lost-chord-caruso.html

    Or copy the link text below

    Cite
    If you need to cite this page please copy the following and adapt as necessary for your referencing system:
    (1912) The Lost ChordEncyclopedia Titanica (ref: #4821, accessed 23rd April 2014 12:39:38 PM)
    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lost-chord-caruso.html

    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Saturday 8th October 2005, last updated .