From Jonathan Stallick:
Many of my recollections of Jane echo those of other contributors here. In fact the first time I encountered Jane was by phone. I saw an advert for the International Cello Centre in The Strad Magazine in 1973 and at the time my parents were looking to buy a cello for me. I somehow thought that the ICC was some massive cello warehouse with cellos for sale like a musical DFS furniture store! Her crisp English tones informed me of course that it was a cello school and they didn’t sell cellos.
However I ended up attending some cello clubs at the Ladbroke Grove apartment and was hooked. One of the first things I noticed was Jane’s habit of warmly hugging everyone by way of greeting. So un-English and refreshing.
I joined the Edrom clan in 1977 and Dawn has already told the story of my questioning Jane about the provenance of a WF Bach adagio which I knew to be by Vivaldi. That showed her fiery side that to a newbie was pretty scary. I remember the other students warning me ‘you’re digging your own grave Jonathan’ as I indignantly made my point to them. I quickly dropped the subject and made a note to avoid discussing Vivaldi!
There are a few funny or poignant things I remember.
I remember a random conversation with Jane and a group of us students in the Bird room one evening about Barbara Cartland's Bo-soms (which she pronounced with the accent on the second half of the word). We were all in fits and Jane was in her element. She could be very funny sometimes!
I remember dreamy summer mornings sitting in the circle outside the front door with a ‘1-1-1’ (a drink made with one spoon of coffee, one of chocolate and one of honey.)
One winter, after term had ended, I found myself having to stay at Edrom as I had a bad case of flu. I was alone in the house with Jane and was sweating it out in one of the bedrooms on the first floor. Jane swept in one time and said ‘why is it so stuffy in here? You need fresh air luvvie- you must have the windows open’ She proceeded to open all the windows as the bitter Berwickshire winter wind whipped around the room. I pulled my duvet up around my chin and she swept out. However only an hour later she was back… ‘who opened all these windows? You’ll die of cold luvvie’ she pronounced and down came the windows.
I remember a poignant few hours I spent with Jane another time after end of term. I had a recording of the Bach St Matthew Passion conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his original instruments band. I knew she was highly suspicious of most of the original instrument revival but had only good things to say about Harnoncourt. So I put the records on and we both lay on the floor in the music room and listened to the whole piece in silence. Jane was visibly moved. ‘Oh my’ she said afterwards ‘those Germans can certainly sing.’
I think everyone might agree that whatever Jane’s amazing qualities, cooking probably came a little further down the list. The Rhubarb and Sausage Curry she concocted one evening from anything she could find in the fridge lives long in the memory.
Washing clothes was another speciality. And I remember one or two wool jumpers of mine coming out looking like they belonged to 5 year old Andy Jane.
But putting aside the eccentricities Jane’s purpose on this earth was to wake people to the natural passion of life and music. It wasn’t always a comfortable ride but for sure it was never boring.