The turn of the 20th century was a time of great change in Britain. The empire saw its global influence waning and its traditional social structures challenged. There was a growing weariness of industrialism and a desire to rediscover tradition and the roots of English heritage. A new interest in English folk song and dance inspired art music, which many believed was seeing a renaissance after a period of stagnation since the 18th century. This book focuses on the lives of seven composers--Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Ernest Moeran, George Butterworth, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Gerald Finzi and Percy Grainger--whose work was influenced by folk songs and early music. Each chapter provides an historical background and tells the fascinating story of a musical life.
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