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English Music

Is there a set of rules that makes English music sound English? Do you have to be English to appreciate it? And do you have to be English to be able to write it?

Does English music have a formula? Think of the stirring 'nobilmente' tunes of Elgar and those melodies and harmonies of Vaughan Williams and Holst which have become inextricably linked with the very notion of Englishness. When did English music begin and is it still being written? In an attempt both to define English music and explain its appeal Tom Service enlists the help of Em Marshall-Luck, founder-director of The English Music Festival.

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30 minutes

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' [adapted R Greaves from opera 'Sir John in love']

    Performer: Daniel Barenboim. Performer: English Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 469274-2.
  • Tansy Davies

    Loopholes and lynchpins for piano

    Performer: Huw Watkins.
    • nmc.
    • NMCD176.
  • Thomas Tallis

    O nata lux de lumine for 5 voices

    Performer: Peter Phillips. Performer: Tallis Scholars.
    • gimmell.
    • CDGIM212.
  • Dizzee Rascal

    Bassline Junkie

    Performer: Dizzee Rascal.
  • Michael Nyman

    A Zed and two noughts - music for the film

    Conductor: Michael Nyman. Performer: Zoo Orchestra.
    • venture.
    • DVEBN552.
  • Brian Ferneyhough

    Missa brevis for 12 voices

    Conductor: James Weeks. Performer: Exaudi.
    • NMC.
    • D231.
  • Percy Grainger

    Country gardens vers. for orchestra

    Conductor: Richard Hickox. Performer: BBC Philharmonic.
    • CHANDOS.
    • CHAN9584.
  • The Dufay Collective

    Sumer is icumen in (Perspice, christicola)

    • chandos.
    • CHAN9396.
  • Edward Elgar

    Pomp and circumstance marches Op.39

    Conductor: Andrew Davis. Performer: BBC Philharmonic.
    • Chandos.
    • CHAN10709.
  • Edward Elgar

    Symphony no. 2 in E flat major Op.63

    Conductor: Adrian Boult. Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • EMI Classics.
    • CDM7640142.
  • Edward Elgar

    The Crown of India - imperial masque in 2 tableaux reconstructed and orchestrated by Anthony Payne

    Conductor: Andrew Davis. Performer: BBC Philharmonic.
    • Chandos.
    • CHAN10570(2).
  • Edward Elgar

    Cockaigne (In London town) - overture Op.40

    Conductor: Sir Mark Elder. Performer: Hallé.
    • Halle.
    • CD HLL7501.
  • Edward Elgar

    Symphony no. 1 in A flat major Op.55

    Conductor: Edward Gardner. Performer: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
    • Chandos.
    • CHSA5181.
  • Edward Elgar

    Concerto in B minor Op.61 for violin and orchestra

    Conductor: Sir Mark Elder. Performer: Thomas Zehetmair. Performer: Hallé.
    • halle.
    • HLL7521.
  • Roderick Williams

    Goodwood by the sea for piano

    Performer: Maria Marchant.
    • somm.
    • SOMMCD 0174.
  • George Butterworth

    A Shropshire lad - rhapsody for orchestra [1912]

    Conductor: Sir Mark Elder. Performer: Hallé.
    • Halle.
    • CD HLL7503.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Noye's fludde - children's opera in 1 act Op.59

    Conductor: Norman Del Mar. Performer: East Suffolk Children's Orchestra. Performer: English Chamber Orchestra.
    • Decca.
    • 478 544 9.
  • Sir Harrison Birtwistle

    The Shadow of night for orchestra

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth.
    • NMC.
    • NMCD156.
  • Brian Ferneyhough

    Carceri d'invenzione II for flute and chamber orchestra [no.4 in 'Carceri' cycle]

    Conductor: Marcello Panni. Performer: Roberto Fabbriciani. Performer: Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI.
    • TACTUS.
    • TC980090.
  • Thomas Adès

    Arcadiana for string quartet

    Performer: Danish String Quartet.
    • ECM.
    • 2453 4812385.

Broadcasts

  • Sun 24 May 2020 17:00
  • Friday 16:30

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Podcast