John Law, Composer of MONTESANO
  • Does anyone know anything about John Law, composer of the hymn tune MONTESANO? "Songs of Praise Discussed" (#491, page 261) says "MONTESANO, by John Law, appeared in Songs of Praise (1931)". I assume that means "no earlier printing is known" (as opposed to "it wasn't in the 1925 edition; we just added it") which would suggest that Law was alive in the early 20th century. The tune is also in "The English Hymnal" in the1933 edition (#122) but not in the 1906 edition. Searching for "John Law composer" on the internet gets thousands of hits for the jazz pianist born in 1961.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391
    Are John Law and Arthur Leech-Wilkinson perhaps the same person? Both are listed on as the composer of MONTESANO. Both are listed as being born in 1899. No biographical information is given for John Law, but Leech-Wilkinson has the dates 1899-1964 and the short bio: "Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and organist in Bath, England." According to MONTESANO is Leech-Wilkinson's only published hymn tune. (Could this gentleman also be related to the British musicologist Daniel Leech-Wilkinson?)

    I found MONTESANO in the 1962 (Argentinean) Spanish hymnal Cántico Nuevo, no. 127 Divina Luz, en Claridad. The text is a Spanish translation of a John Mason Neale translation of a Latin hymn.
  • FKulash
    Posts: 79
    Maybe John Law is a pseudonym. "Law" could be derived from the initials "A. L.-W."
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,172
    From - St Mary the Virgin, Bathwick Smallcombe Cemetery Memorial Inscriptions:
    Arthur Leech-Wilkinson (1899-1964)

    No memorial found.

    The birth of Arthur Leech Wilkinson was registered 1899/Q2 Taunton.

    The marriage of Arthur Leech-Wilkinson to Joan Kingdon was registered 1935/Q4 Chelsea.

    List of the biographies of Organists, Composers for Organ and Organ Builders has an entry for Arthur Leech Wilkinson (1899-)

    From the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, in a list of record choice programmes is one entitled ‘Personal Choice’ by Arthur Leech-Wilkinson broadcast on the BBC on 15 May 1938 for which the description is “From local West of England radio, a personal choice by a doctor [identified here as an organist and composer, since broadcasting by identified doctors was then thought to constitute unethical advertising]. ...”

    The marriage of Arthur Leech-Wilkinson to Janet Elizabeth Coombs at St Mary the Virgin, Bathwick was registered 1950/Q2 Bath.
    From the burial order book: Arthur Leech Wilkinson, aged 64, of St Stephens Lodge, Lansdown, Bath, died on 18 Feb 1964, was cremated
    and his ashes buried on 24 Feb 1964. In the index and the death registration the surname is as ‘Leech-Wilkinson’.

    There was an obituary in the British Medical Journal of 1964 p641.