The 1990s work of six British composers forms the focus of this collection of essays, arising from a conference that took place at University of Surrey Roehampton in February 1999. The composers whose music is discussed are James Dillon, Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Harvey, Edwin Roxburgh and Sebastian Forbes. Reflecting the aims of the conference, this volume brings together composers and musicologists to discuss significant works from the last decade of the twentieth century, and also some of the wider issues surrounding British music. Arnold Whittall and Julian Johnson provide perspectives on the plurality of contemporary British music. Edwin Roxburgh offers a personal account of 'The Artists' Dilemma', whilst the essays that follow explore aspects of musical form and structure in a variety of works. The second half of the book comprises interviews with most of the composers whose music is discussed in Part I, adding a further dimension to our understanding of the preoccupations of British composition at the end of the twentieth century.
'Full marks to editor Peter O'Hagan, publishers Ashgate and the contributors for their fearless entry into the arena.' Classical Music 'A worthy volume for composers, musicologists, 20th-century specialists, and all devotees of new music.' Choice 'This book will likely appeal not only to those interested in composition, analysis, and British contemporary music, but also to all musicians who grapple with the important issues of our time: changing aesthetics, public music education, artistic influence, and the creative process.' Music Educators Journal 'Throughout this book, there are some intriguing hermeneutic windows… valuable reflections on individual composers' worlds…' Music and Letters
Contents: Introduction, Peter O'Hagan; Essays: James Dillon, Thomas Adès, and the pleasures of allusion, Arnold Whittall; Multiple choice? Composing and climate change in the 1990s, Julian Johnson; The artists' dilemma, Edwin Roxburgh; In the shadows of song: Birtwistle's Nine Movements for String Quartet, Robert Adlington; Precarious rapture: the recent music of Jonathan Harvey, Julian Johnson; Perception of structure: Sonata Rondo for piano (1996), Sebastian Forbes; Interviews: A conversation with Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Adlington; An interview with Jonathan Harvey, Julian Johnson; A conversation with James Dillon, Keith Potter; An interview with Edwin Roxburgh; Caroline Potter; A conversation with Sebastian Forbes, Ates Orga; Index.