1st Edition

Musical Visitors to Britain

By Peter Gordon Copyright 2006
    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    Britain has attracted many musical visitors to its shores. A varied and often eccentric collection of individuals, some were invited by royalty with musical tastes, some were refugees from religious or political oppression, some were spies, and others came to escape debt or even charges of murder.

    This book paints a broad picture of the changing nature of musical life in Britain over the centuries, through the eyes and ears of foreign musicians. After considering three of the eighteenth century’s greatest musical figures, the authors consider the rise of the celebrity composer in the nineteenth century, and go on to consider the influence of new forms of transport which allowed travel more freely from the Continent and the USA.

    Musical Visitors to Britain also charts the new opportunities presented by the opening of public halls, the growth of music festivals, and the regular influx of composers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, ending with the impact of new musical forms such as jazz.

    As much a social as a musical history of Britain, this book will be of interest to anyone studying or working in these fields, as well as to general readers who want to discover more about our musical heritage.

    Illustrations, Acknowledgements, Introduction: seeking pastures new, 1 ‘Brothers in the art or science of music’: sixteenth-century visitors, 2 The Restoration: new music, new faces, 3 Handel (1): first among visitors, 4 Handel (2): an Englishman by choice, 5 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: ‘I am a dyed-in-the-wool Englishman’, 6 Haydn in London: ‘a constellation of musical excellence’, 7 Interlude: the London Pianoforte School, 8 ‘That’s Weber in London!’, 9 Felix Mendelssohn: a genius recognized, 10 Berlioz and Wagner: a meeting of minds, 11 Frédéric Chopin: ‘my good Scottish ladies’, 12 Liszt and the wandering years, 13 Antonin Dvofiák: an English celebrity, 14 ‘This quite horrible city’: Tchaikovsky in London, 15 Richard Strauss: trouble with the censor, 16 Bartók and the BBC, 17 The émigré composers: ‘His Majesty’s most loyal internees’, Epilogue: minstrels of the modern age, Notes, Bibliography, Index


    Peter Gordon

    'This is a lively and enlightening book on how Britain has attracted and even stimulated many of the greatest composers over the past 500 years...The use of telling quotations from diaries, letters and other records not only offer insights to the various distinguished composers, but also gives vivid portraits of the England they visited.' - BBC Music Magazine, December 2005