British Musical Modernism explores the works of eleven key composers to reveal the rapid shifts of expression and technique that transformed British art music in the post-war period. Responding to radical avant-garde developments in post-war Europe, the Manchester Group composers - Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Harrison Birtwistle - and their contemporaries assimilated the serial-structuralist preoccupations of mid-century internationalism to an art grounded in resurgent local traditions. In close readings of some thirty-five scores, Philip Rupprecht traces a modernism suffused with the formal elegance of the 1950s, the exuberant theatricality of the 1960s, and - in the works of David Bedford and Tim Souster - the pop, minimalist, and live-electronic directions of the early 1970s. Setting music-analytic insights against a broader social-historical backdrop, Rupprecht traces a British musical modernism that was at once a collective artistic endeavor, and a sounding myth of national identity.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 508
Weight: 860 g
Dimensions: 243 x 168 x 25 mm
'There are three reasons for its success. Firstly, a huge arc of musical history is investigated. It explores beyond the 'Manchester Group', into areas which have not been adequately studied. Secondly, the extensive bibliography is an ideal place to commence any in-depth enquiry into this generation of composers. Thirdly, the musical works analysed may be challenging, but they are all important and significant contributions to the period. Philip Rupprecht's clever approach to this investigation combines technical details with reception history which makes this book an impressive gateway into this complex, sometimes off-putting, but always thought-provoking musical world. ... This present volume is an essential survey of a generation of British music that has been largely ignored. ... I believe that this book sets the baseline for all research into the 'avant-garde' of the British post-Second World War era.' John France, MusicWeb International (www.musicweb-international.com)
'The book is an indispensable record of British postwar music history, its challenges, key moments, canons, composers, and contexts. Written for academic as well as popular readers, it propels the field of British twentieth-century music miles ahead.' Annika Forkert, CHOMBEC Newsletter