British Musical Modernism

British Musical Modernism : The Manchester Group and Their Contemporaries

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British Musical Modernism explores the works of eleven key composers to reveal the rapid shifts of expression and technique that transformed British art music in the post-war period. Responding to radical avant-garde developments in post-war Europe, the Manchester Group composers - Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Harrison Birtwistle - and their contemporaries assimilated the serial-structuralist preoccupations of mid-century internationalism to an art grounded in resurgent local traditions. In close readings of some thirty-five scores, Philip Rupprecht traces a modernism suffused with the formal elegance of the 1950s, the exuberant theatricality of the 1960s, and - in the works of David Bedford and Tim Souster - the pop, minimalist, and live-electronic directions of the early 1970s. Setting music-analytic insights against a broader social-historical backdrop, Rupprecht traces a British musical modernism that was at once a collective artistic endeavor, and a sounding myth of national identity.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 13 b/w illus. 93 music examples
  • 1139033352
  • 9781139033350

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Between nationalism and the avant garde: defining British modernism; 2. Post-war motifs; 3. Manchester avant-garde: Goehr, Davies and Birtwistle to 1960; 4. A Manchester generation in Paris, London, and Rome: Musgrave, Maw, Crosse, and Bennett; 5. Group portrait in the sixties: Davies, Birtwistle and Goehr to 1967; 6. Instrumental drama: Musgrave and Birtwistle in the sixties; 7. Vernaculars: Bedford and Souster as pop musicians; 8. The incurably heterogeneous Tim Souster: between Elektronische Musik and pop; Epilogue.
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About Philip Rupprecht

Philip Rupprecht is Associate Professor of Music at Duke University. He has published widely on twentieth-century British music and his books include Britten's Musical Language (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and two edited volumes, Rethinking Britten (2013) and Tonality 1900-1950: Concept and Practice (2012). He is also the recipient of fellowships from the NEH, the National Humanities Center, and the Wolfe Institute, Brooklyn College.
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