F.S. Kelly’s Lost Sonata Found After 80 Years

Keeping HTBS going with articles almost daily demands a lot of reading, researching, and writing. Of course, this means that one feels close to some of the rowers and scullers; they become favorites, or even ‘rowing heroes’. The other day the good fellow Tim Koch sent an e-mail with a link to an article from last year’s spring about one of these ‘heroes’, Frederick Septimus Kelly (1881-1916), who was born in Sydney. Kelly was an eminent oarsman, but also a pianist and composer.

At the outbreak of the First World War, he signed up in the British 63rd Royal Naval Division and belonged to the Hood Battalion. According to the article in ABC News in Australia in May, 2011, during the Gallipoli campaign, he composed a violin sonata for a young female violinist, Jelly D’Aranyi, whom Kelly had met and played with in London. He was killed at the end of the Battle of the Somme, on 13 November, 1916. D’Aranyi played the sonata at his memorial service.

The sonata was lost for more than 80 years, but writes ABC News, “it has been rediscovered thanks to years of detective work by Chris Latham, a violinist and director of the Canberra International Music Festival”. Read the interesting article and view a short film clip about the ‘rediscovery’ here.

Jelly D’Aranyi (1893-1966) became a famous violinist. Listen to D’Aranyi playing a piece by Brahms here below:

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