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152 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
to me in a letter, shortly before his death, these words: ' I have composed much music since then, but have never written a second " Lost Chord."'"
Apropos of Antoinette Sterling and the " Lost Chord," a rather amusing incident happened at a concert given by Sims Reeves. Sullivan was again at the piano, and Sir John Stainer at the organ. Everybody was waiting for the song to begin, when suddenly Stainer was seen gesticulating wildly from the organ - loft. It appeared that the water which worked the bellows had never been turned on, and the instrument naturally remained dumb. The defect was soon remedied, but many of the audience thought that the whole thing had been arranged for dramatic effect to illustrate the chord which was lost and couldn't be found.
The lasting popularity of the " Lost Chord' was never in doubt for a single moment, a fact which adds considerable piquancy to the following comment culled from a musical paper of the period :—
"'The Lost Chord,' a new song by Arthur Sullivan, possesses great sameness, and is not equal to many of his earlier songs ! "
Though I have dealt with this song first in this chapter, chronologically speaking it