Loder, Edward James (DNB00)

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LODER, EDWARD JAMES (1813–1865), musical composer, the son of John David Loder [q. v.], was born at Bath in 1813. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Frankfort to study music under Ferdinand Ries, with whom his father had been intimate. After a visit to England in 1828, he went back to Germany in the following year with the intention of studying medicine. He soon, however, abandoned this project, and put himself again under the musical tuition of Ries.

On his final return to England he was commissioned by J. S. Arnold to compose music for his drama 'Nourjahad,' which he wished to convert into an opera for the opening of the 'New Theatre Royal, Lyceum, and English Opera House' (the present Lyceum Theatre), which was then being rebuilt after the fire of 1830. The opera was produced in July 1834, and the music considered vastly superior to the libretto.

At this time Loder entered into an engagement with Messrs. Dalmaine & Co., music publishers, to furnish them with a new composition weekly! In order that a number of these pieces should be heard in public, an opera-libretto, on the subject of 'Francis I,' was written to incorporate them. This farrago was produced at Drury Lane in 1838, and met with no success, although one of the songs, 'The old House at Home,' became very popular. Loder was for many years engaged as musical director at the Princess's Theatre, and subsequently in the same capacity at Manchester, but his unbusinesslike habits and want of punctuality told against him. About 1850 he was overtaken by a cerebral disease which incapacitated him for work. He died in London on 5 April 1865.

His dramatic compositions, of which the earlier were much the best, include: 'Nourjahad,' 1834; 'The Dice of Death' (opera, libretto by Oxenford), 1835; 'Francis I,' 1838; an opera, 'The Foresters, or Twenty-five Years Since,' and a Scottish opera,' The Deerstalkers,' 1845; an opera, 'The Night Dancers,' produced at the Princess's Theatre in 1846, revived there in 1850 and at Covent Garden in 1860; 'Puck' (ballad-opera), additions to 'The Sultan,' and 'The Young Gerard,' all three produced at the Princess's in 1848; 'Robin Goodfellow,' 1849; an opera, 'Raymond and Agnes,' produced at Manchester in 1855, and at St. James's Theatre, London, in 1859; and the following operas, which were never produced: 'Little Red Riding Hood' (composed for the opening of Drury Lane, under Hammond's management, in 1839); 'Pizarro,' and 'Sir Roger de Coverley' (libretto by Desmond Ryan). He also revised the 'Beggar's Opera.'

He composed a cantata, 'The Island of Calypso,' for the national concerts at Her Majesty's in 1850; but as the concerts fell through it was not performed till the institution of the concerts of the New Philharmonic Society, when it was unfavourably received, owing to its inferiority to its composer's earlier works. His music at its best appears to have been melodious and his orchestration skilful.

He published three sets of 'Songs,' London, 1837-8; an 'Improved and Select Psalmody,' London, 1840; 'Sacred Songs and Ballads' (the poetry by Desmond Ryan), dedicated to Sterndale Bennett, London, 1840; 'Divine Lyrics' (a collection of sacred songs), London, 1841; a setting of Dr. Watts's ' Sacred and Moral Songs,' London, 1841; a set of 'Vocal Duets,' London, 1846; and many separate songs and ballads, of which 'The Brave Old Oak,' and an 'Invocation to the Deep' were among the most popular. He also wrote some string quartets (which were never published) and pianoforte pieces.

He was the author of 'First Principles of Singing, with Directions for the Formation of the Voice,' London, 1838, and of a 'Modern Pianoforte Tutor,' of which a 'new and revised edition' was published in London in 1870.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, ii. 158, iv. 705; Brown's Biog. Dict. of Music, p. 393; Musical Recollections of the Last Half Century, ii. 255; Musical World, xliii. 241; Gent. Mag. 1865, i. 668; Records of the Madrigal Society; British Museum Catalogues.]

R. F. S.