Music in the Landscape: How the British Countryside Inspired Our Greatest Composers
'Music in the Landscape' is an exuberant celebration of British composers and the landscape.
The book explores the lives of some of our nation's greatest musical names and sets them within the context of the rich variety of their native countryside - wherein Britain's vast variation of colour, light and contour, from gentle rounded valleys to bleak mountain landscapes and wild coastland, has resulted in great masterpieces that brim with expression and emotion.
Although readers may be aware of Elgar's love of the Malverns or Britten's identification with the Suffolk coast, nearly all British composers of the early- to mid-twentieth century were influenced by the landscapes in which they were born or chose to live, and so this book effectively presents a history of the Golden Renaissance of English music. Marshall delves into particular places that were vital to the inspiration of musical landmarks - such as Tintagel, instrumental to Bax's eponymous tone-poem; Maiden Castle of John Ireland's Mai-Dun; and Egdon Heath, Holst's evocation of the wild Dorset heathland described by Hardy in The Return of The Native.
These works, and many others highlighted in this illuminating volume, epitomise the intimate relationship between nature and music that compels the attention of music-lovers throughout the world.