Kaikhosru Sorabji's Letters to Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock): 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Kaikhosru Sorabji's Letters to Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock)

1st Edition

Edited by Brian Inglis, Barry Smith


166 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138478435
pub: 2019-06-27
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Two extraordinary personalities, and one remarkable friendship, are reflected in the unique corpus of letters from Anglo-Parsi composer-critic Kaikhosru Sorabji (1892-1988) to Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock) (1894-1930): a fascinating primary source for the period 1913-1922 available in a complete critical edition for the first time.

The volume also provides a new contextual, critical and interpretative framework, incorporating a myriad of perspectives: identities, geographies and personalia, style construction, and mutual interests and influences. Pertinent period documents, including evidence of Heseltine’s reactions, enhance the sense of narrative and expand on aesthetic discussions. Through the letters’ entertaining and perceptive lens, Sorabji’s early life and compositions are vividly illuminated and Heseltine’s own intriguing life and work recontextualised. What emerges takes us beyond tropes of otherness and eccentricity to reveal a persona and a narrative with great relevance to modern-day debates on canonicity and identity, especially the nexus of ethnicity, queer identities and Western art music.

Scholars, performers and admirers of early twentieth-century music in Britain, and beyond, will find this a valuable addition to the literature. The book will appeal to those studying or interested in early musical modernism and its reception; cultural life in London around and after WW1; music, nationality and race; Commonwealth studies; and music and sexuality.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations, Tables and Musical Examples

Acknowledgements, credits, editorial and biographical notes

Foreword by Judith Weir



Part I: Letters and documents 1913-1914

Part II: Letters and documents 1914-1917

Part III: Letters and documents 1920-1922/1929

Appendix 1: Philip Heseltine’s ‘Some Reflections on Modern Music Criticism’ 1913

Appendix 2: Kaikhosru Sorabji’s ‘Sexual Inversion’ 1921

Appendix 3: Heseltine’s writings on Sorabji

a Sorabji and the ‘mind’s ear’ 1923

b Dictionary entry 1924

Appendix 4: Sorabji’s obituary for Philip Heseltine 1931



About the Editors

Brian Inglis is Senior Lecturer in Music and BA Music Programme Leader, Department of Performing Arts, Middlesex University UK.

Barry Smith is a former Organist and Master of the Choristers at St George’s Cathedral Cape Town and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Music at Cape Town University. He is President of the Peter Warlock Society.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General