Donald Macleod maps Howells's compositional roots, from an unprivileged Gloucestershire upbringing right back to the music of the Tudors. The loss of his nine-year-old son Michael to a sudden illness in 1935 cast a lifelong shadow across Howells's music. Donald Macleod explores how music became a release valve for the bereft composer.
Buildings, and their acoustic possibilities, were a constant source of inspiration for Howells. Donald Macleod explores how the composer became a hot property for choral institutions wanting a made-to-measure commission.
Despite lying unheard and unseen for over a decade, Hymnus Paradisi came to define Howells's achievements as an artist. Donald Macleod explores the tortuous gestation of the work.