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.
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