English music in Germany

Havergal Brian

Selected and annotated by Malcolm MacDonald

In many ways the personal-paragrapheer of the popular press annoys me. When the subject is an English musician, I am certain to see references to the acclamation with which his works are received on the continent. The speaker does not permit my using the one word necessary to describe such suggestions. I read foreign musical magazines, but I seek mostly in vain for the names of English musicians; and in World Radio for a month Bantock only was down, for a solitary movement from his English scenes. Die Musik, apart from its having been founded by Richard Strauss, is an excellent paper both from the quality of its contributors and the meticulous care with which it is edited.

I think that a true indication of the position of English music on the continent may be found from its yearly index of the names mentioned in connection with concerts, music reviews, articles, &c. The list of English names is deplorably and, I think, unjustly small; but here it is, the figures indicating the number of times mentioned. Bax (2), Beecham (l), Bliss (2), Bridge (1), Delius (2), Dent (2), Foulds (1), Holst (4), Mackenzie (1), Vaughan Williams (3). Purcell reaches 7. There is no reason to suppose that this is other than a fair yearly average: but it doesn't warrant the assumption that any English composer or his works is widely acclaimed on the continent. Let us hear the truth, though the heavens fall.

On the other hand, by La main gauche

Musical opinion, January 1932, p. 304