On 1 June 1922, the Iffley Glee Club performed another light opera by Sir Edward German: Tom Jones. Based on the novel by Henry Fielding, the work was commissioned in 1907, the bicentenary of Fielding’s birth. It was another success for the composer. The music critic and cricket commentator Neville Cardus later wrote:
Next morning I heard over and over again in my head most of the melodies… I savoured the orchestration… I returned to ‘Tom Jones’ night after night; I sold several of my precious books to obtain admission.
There is a recording on cd conducted by David Russell Hulme (Naxos, 2009), and various excerpts may be found on YouTube.
German produced a concert version in 1913, which was the version used by the club. This met with some criticism from the reviewer in the Oxford Chronicle, who called it ‘a curiously inconsequent medley of excerpts from the opera of that name’.Continue Reading