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Joachim Andersen: Fantaisie caractéristique Op. 16. Edith Penville, flute; Roland Revell, piano. Recorded 19 December 1930.
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Edith Penville Edith Penville was an active and successful soloist and recording artist in the first half of the twentieth century. A number of works for the flute were dedicated to her. Edith Penville has long fascinated me, but I have been unable to discover much about her life. I consulted many players of an earlier generation, including Gareth Morris, Richard Adeney and Patricia Lynden, all of whom knew of her but could offer no information. Some years ago I planned to ask Geoffrey Brooke about her. Geoffrey, a truly lovely man, was an enthusiastic flute player then in his nineties. Sadly, before I got around to asking him, he passed away. Some months later his widow asked me to find homes for his instruments, one of which was a Rudall Carte flute he had bought from Edith Penville, and which was probably the flute she used in the recording on this website. Geoffrey would have known all about Edith Penville, and it is a matter of great regret to me that I did not ask him about her. I would be delighted to have any information about this splendid musician. Robert Bigio. Mike MacMahon supplied this information (15 December 2012): Edith was born Edith Pidgeon in October 1881 in Bilston, Staffordshire; she lived to almost 100, dying in March 1981 in Pinner, a suburb of London. She married a businessman, John Bawden Crabb in London in 1917. (Her surname alternates between 'Penville', 'Pidgeon' and 'Crabb' in official documents, although for professional purposes she always used 'Penville'.) She is mentioned in print in 1907 in reviews of concerts at the Royal Academy of Music. There are then numerous references to her in the radio listings in The Times up to January 1939. Attempts are being made to track down members of her family to discover more about her professional life and the reasons for her disappearance from the flute-playing world.
Christopher Steward’s early flute recordings
Edith Penville from Rudall Carte’s Photographs of Well- Known Flute Players (second edition, 1938).
Edith Penville playing the piccolo. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Library of Congress, Washington.
Edith Penville Edith Penville