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date: 18 September 2019

Cudworth, Charles [Cyril Leonard Elwell]locked

  • Stanley Sadie


[Cyril Leonard Elwell]

(b Cambridge, Oct 30, 1908; d Cambridge, Dec 26, 1977). English writer on music. Largely self-taught, he worked in various university departments and libraries from 1930; his musical studies were particularly encouraged by E.J. Dent. He was appointed assistant in the music section of the University Library, Cambridge, in 1943 and librarian of the Pendlebury Library at the University Music School in 1946, becoming curator in 1957; in the following year the honorary MA was conferred on him by the University of Cambridge. He retired in 1973.

Cudworth’s interests ranged wide. He lectured and wrote on architecture and local history, and wrote novels and plays as well as librettos for musical treatment by Patrick Hadley (Fen and Flood, 1954; Connemara, 1958). His scholarly interests focussed on the 18th century and especially on British music, where his work on the keyboard concerto and the symphony opened up new areas of study; but he also worked on the links between music and literature, while his careful research on questions of attribution and authenticity solved many outstanding problems (it was he who established that ‘Purcell’s Trumpet Voluntary’ was by Jeremiah Clarke). Cudworth was a prolific writer of criticism and record sleeve notes as well as a frequent and skilful broadcaster. Many generations of Cambridge music students are indebted to him for his generous and friendly assistance and counsel....

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