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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Local Musicians

Local Musicians

(p.79) Chapter 15 Local Musicians
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The unmusical English have taken Johann Sebastian Bach to their hearts and consider Bach the greatest of all composers. It is Bach's intense humanity that endears him to the bourgeois. The proletarians would be too much occupied with their wrongs, and the “governing classes” (if indeed they existed outside the imagination of the New Statesman) would be too much occupied in preserving their rights to have time to be human. The warm human sentiments are reserved for the bourgeois; therefore, of all Bach's works, it is those great choral expressions of his personal and anthropomorphic religion that appeal most to country and small-town folk. The expert can pass from one musical experience to another when once great music has burnt into the minds and souls, and have it for an everlasting possession.

Keywords:   unmusical English, Johann Sebastian Bach, bourgeois, proletarians, governing classes, choral expressions

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