A New English Music

Composers and Folk Traditions in England’s Musical Renaissance from the Late 19th to the Mid–20th Century


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About the Book

The turn of the 20th century was a time of great change in Britain. The empire saw its global influence waning and its traditional social structures challenged. There was a growing weariness of industrialism and a desire to rediscover tradition and the roots of English heritage. A new interest in English folk song and dance inspired art music, which many believed was seeing a renaissance after a period of stagnation since the 18th century. This book focuses on the lives of seven composers—Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Ernest Moeran, George Butterworth, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Gerald Finzi and Percy Grainger—whose work was influenced by folk songs and early music. Each chapter provides an historical background and tells the fascinating story of a musical life.

About the Author(s)

Tim Rayborn is a historian, medievalist, and musician, with a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England. He is a writer on a variety of topics in history and the arts, and lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Tim Rayborn

Foreword by Em ­Marshall-Luck
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9634-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2494-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Em ­Marshall-Luck 1
Preface 2
Introduction 4
1. English Music from the Later 19th Century: A Renaissance and a Revival 11
2. The Revival of Folk and Early Traditions 39
3. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) 60
4. Gustav Holst (1874–1934) 90
5. George Butterworth (1885–1916) 112
6. Ernest J. Moeran (1894–1950) 130
7. Philip Heseltine / Peter Warlock (1894–1930) 149
8. Gerald Finzi (1901–1956) 169
9. Percy Grainger (1882–1961) 190
Conclusion 217
Appendix A: A.E. Housman (1859–1936) 221
Appendix B: Online Resources—Societies and Other Organizations 223
Chapter Notes 227
Bibliography 277
Index 299

Book Reviews & Awards

“copiously documented chapters distill significant amounts of scholarship about the featured composers. Recommended”—Choice.