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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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Who Wants the English Composer?

Who Wants the English Composer?

(p.38) (p.39) Chapter 7 Who Wants the English Composer?
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Nobody wants the young English composer; he is unappreciated at home and unknown abroad. Indeed, the composer who is not wanted in England can hardly desire to be known abroad, for though his appeal should be in the long run universal, art, like charity, should begin at home. If it is to be of any value it must grow out of the very life of himself, the community in which he lives, the nation to which he belongs. It is perhaps this misunderstanding of the very essence of the vitality of any art that makes the English composer a drug in the market. Modern music is in a state of ferment. Composers all the world over are trying new paths, new experiments. There are hardly any great composers, but there can be many sincere ones. There is nothing in the world worse than sham good music.

Keywords:   composers, abroad, England, community, art, music

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