last modified:2006-06-19
~British Piano Music Series~


I first really encountered 20thCentury British Piano repertoire whilst as a student at the Royal Academy of Music and nurtured in me an abiding interest and fondness for this period of British Neo-Classical music and it's composers. Composers such as Lennox Berkeley and Arnold Bax, had in fact been professor's at the Royal Academy and so I felt a strong connection and association.
Subsequently, since leaving the Royal Academy I have immersed myself in the study of a number of these composer's and their music and especially as I have chosen to base myself in the U.K., the varied and numerous research sources have proven indispencable. Whether it be from the many musical societies, archives, and B.B.C. Documentary sources,e.t.c..., all of which I have been able to benefit from in order to advance my knowledge and enjoyment of this repertoire.

A major aspect of 20thCentury British music repertoire, is the liturgical choral music tradition, whose legacy on British music cannot be overestimated. The works of Stanford, Parry, Howells, Elgar, and Vaughan-Williams,(The"Three Choirs" Festival) and say, William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast", amongst others, cast a long shadow indeed. The Choral works of this period by these and other British composers, for Cathedral, Church, and University Choirs, form a sizeable and fundamental basis to much of the British music canon, right up to the present day.
Prior to England's musical Rennaisance in the19th and 20thCentury, the18thCentury, musically speaking, England saw a scarcity of any substantial works and was viewed as having nothing much to offer, eclipsed as it was in Europe by Beethoven and the New-Romanticist movement.

Further back however, during the16th and the17thCentury, England did produce some other great notable composer's such as, William Byrd, John Dowland, and Henry Purcell, all whom were to define and shape British music and it's traditions right through to the19th and 20thCentury.

Describing this 20thCentury British music repertoire solely by way of words is unfortunately quite inadequate, impossible really, to encapsulate all the qualities that make this music so special and unique... my advice is simply to listen and experience it! I will leave the last words to Ralph Vaughan-Williams....., " Music will enable you to see past facts to the very essence of things in a way which science cannot do. The arts are the means by which we can look through the magic casements and see what is behind."

Kumiko Ida.

last modified:2006-06-19
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