Sullivan composed The Lost Chord whilst watching at his brother Fred's bedside during his last illness. The manuscript is dated 13 January 1877 and Fred Sullivan died five days later.
The success of the song was immediate and stupendous. The song became particularly associated with Mrs. Ronalds who often sang it at society functions, and none other than the Prince of Wales was said to have remarked that he would travel the length of his future kingdom to hear her sing it.
Sullivan later commented: "I have composed much music since then, but have never
written a second Lost Chord," and Dame Clara Butt, many years later, would
opine: "What we need now is more songs like The Lost Chord. There is something
of the grandeur of Beethoven in it."
Recording: Reed Miller,
Edison Blue Amberol 2106; Edison Amberol 202. (1913) Restoration by Adam Cuerden.