My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, Op 18 No 3

author of text

Elgar’s first published part-song dates from 1890 and marks the beginning of his association with the publishers Novello. It was a cautious and rather inauspicious start from their point of view; they offered no money to the composer, merely a hundred copies in lieu of copyright. When My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land first appeared, it was said to be ‘crude, ill-written for the voice, laid out without knowledge of the capabilities of the human voice &c &c!’, as Elgar told his friend Jaeger many years later. Yet it is a fine song, despite a conventional setting. In the third verse the melody is given to Soprano and Tenor I, while the other parts sing the words to a repetitive, rhythmic motif – an ‘accompaniment’ device Elgar later used in two of his greatest songs, Death on the Hills and Serenade. One might also note in passing that Lang’s poem has the theme – popular in Victorian times and frequently used by Elgar – of youthful love, often unfulfilled and/or brought to an end by premature death.

from notes by Geoffrey Hodgkins 1998


All in the April Evening
CDH55243Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Elgar: Choral Songs
CDA67019Archive Service
Elgar: Go, song of mine & other choral works
SIGCD315Download only
Elgar: The complete choral songs
CDA66271/22CDs Archive Service


Track 4 on CDA66271/2 CD1 [4'38] 2CDs Archive Service
Track 3 on CDA67019 [4'06] Archive Service
Track 17 on CDH55243 [3'45] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 4 on SIGCD315 [4'11] Download only

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