Author Topic: 10 favourite British Composers  (Read 50492 times)

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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2016, 07:27:33 PM »
Of course he's a Brit. How can a British citizen not be a Brit? Or why not say both - I don't mind that either. But to say he cannot appear on a British list seems very strange.

Honestly, this question is far more appropriate for the Russian thread, where composers lived in a different country (Soviet Union) or in countires that exist today that did not when they were born/lived.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Wanderer

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2016, 08:59:30 PM »
Citizenship and nationality do not always coincide, especially in Europe with its complex history and strong cultural identity of nations. Medtner, for instance, may have lived all over Europe after his leaving Russia (he lived for sizable amounts of time in Germany and France, as well as England) but there's no doubt that he was considered (and the most important criterion, he always considered himself) a Russian.

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2016, 09:25:02 PM »
That is an interesting point you bring up, Wanderer, as I have Macedonian heritage. Now, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the fact that Yugoslavia even existed has not changed the cultural or national identity of people living in the area; my family has always considered themselves as Macedonian, for example. Even though my family's past has been centred around Bitola and definitely within the borders as they are known today, there are people who consider themselves Macedonian whose families have lived for centuries on farms and in towns in the neighbouring countries.

This also reminds me of Ligeti; the place he was born in is now in Romania even though I am quite sure he is of Hungarian background...

This kind of history of changing borders in Europe and how it clashes with cultural/national identity can't really be treated in any black and white kind of manner with anyone really!

Offline Jo498

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2016, 09:50:09 PM »
You can't say "of course he IS a Brit" because he became one. Of course Handel BECAME a British citizen and he spent more than half of his life there. But he also lived and composed a long time before that and his upbringing and musical education were German and Italian. (I think Einstein (the musicologist) once wrote that Handel was the greatest of the Italian high baroque composers...). So nothing is obvious here.

Do we say that D. Scarlatti was a Spanish composer? Stravinsky French or American? Zelenka German, Clementi British?
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline ritter

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2016, 12:00:57 AM »
He was a Swiss-born Frenchman. :)

Yep, born in Switzerland's main seaport, Le Havre... :D...
ritter
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« Je me suis rarement perdu de vue ; je me suis détesté, je me suis adoré ; puis, nous avons vieilli ensemble. »

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2016, 12:27:24 AM »
Yep, born in Switzerland's main seaport, Le Havre... :D...
Nothing is impossible for the fanciful. In the same decades, 1920 til 1944 to be precise, Hungary was actually led by an admiral! (Miklós Horthy)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline ritter

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2016, 12:45:33 AM »
Nothing is impossible for the fanciful. In the same decades, 1920 til 1944 to be precise, Hungary was actually led by an admiral! (Miklós Horthy)
And his widow was later known as Frau Donaudampfschiffahrtsadmiralswitwe, I presume... ;D
ritter
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« Je me suis rarement perdu de vue ; je me suis détesté, je me suis adoré ; puis, nous avons vieilli ensemble. »

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2016, 05:04:16 AM »
And his widow was later known as Frau Donaudampfschiffahrtsadmiralswitwe, I presume... ;D
:) Of course he was an admiral in the former Austro-Hungarian fleet, based in Trieste. BTT we Could ask, if we consider another emigré, Tibor Serly (1901-1978), a Hungarian or a British composer.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline some guy

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2016, 05:33:02 AM »
Interesting in this regard that no one has mentioned Gerhard's ancestory or birthplace, though two of us have mentioned him as a favorite British composer.

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2016, 06:15:41 AM »
Interesting in this regard that no one has mentioned Gerhard's ancestory or birthplace, though two of us have mentioned him as a favorite British composer.
On my shelves, he's filed under Catalonia.  :) :
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Andante

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2016, 08:16:47 PM »
You can't say "of course he IS a Brit" because he became one. Of course Handel BECAME a British citizen and he spent more than half of his life there.
If he is not a Brit what is he?     If you become something then that is what you are.  ;) ;)
Andante always true to his word has kicked the Marijuana soaked bot with its addled brain in to touch.

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2016, 10:05:56 PM »
If he is not a Brit what is he?     If you become something then that is what you are.  ;) ;)
In the 18th Century, in most European countries "citizenship" was confined to your ties with a specific city or town, but there was not such a thing as "national citizenship". I think Händel was a citizen of Hamburg first and he later became a Londoner.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2016, 10:13:56 PM »
In the 18th Century, in most European countries "citizenship" was confined to your ties with a specific city or town, but there was not such a thing as "national citizenship". I think Händel was a citizen of Hamburg first and he later became a Londoner.
This makes more sense now!

Offline Jo498

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2016, 10:45:59 PM »
I don't know anything about 18th century law. But Handel was an employé and presumably a subject of George before the latter became King of Great Britain and Ireland. Still, despite having been a resident of England sind 1712, there was apparently some administrative act necessary to make him a "naturalized" British citizen in 1727.

Whatever, wikipedia says "deutsch-britisch", "German, later British", "compositor alemán, posteriormente nacionalizado inglés", "compositeur allemand, devenu sujet anglais" etc. so everyone seems to recognize a double status.
Usually with artists and composers one recognize the country where he was born, educated, had the cultural roots etc. unless there are very good reason to count him with the nationality he adopted later. Whereas I'd hesitate to call Stravinsky anything but Russian (Russian-French-American seems to be the official one), I admit that for Handel it is not a clear case and German-British might be appropriate.
Nevertheless, unless there are very good reason I usually group with country of origin although there are cases even more doubtful than Handel, e.g. Joh. Chr. Bach who spent all of his adult life in Italy and London.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2016, 11:17:17 PM »
Perhaps in the end we will all simply be known as 'citizens of the world'

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2016, 12:06:18 AM »
Perhaps in the end we will all simply be known as 'citizens of the world'
History moves in the opposite direction: never before was nationality and restricted citizenship so decisive.

BTT, in general, it's only possible to define 'British composers' since the 1800s and that's why most of us list mainly 20th Century composers here.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Jo498

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2016, 12:48:16 AM »
I don't agree. It's true that it is difficult to apply 19th century notions of nationality to the German states, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire of the 18th century. One has to get very regional or very broad.

But not for Britain and France. They were distinct nations and France was centralized and the culturally dominant nation of the 17th century.
The other difference is that in that time there were such things as recognized "Italian" (actually several: Venice, Rome and Naples were all different and they were different "nations" as well) and "French" musical styles that were the most important ones in the 17th and 18th century
And there were also some traceable regional traditions in German music. The latter usually centered on church music in (northern/middle) Lutheran vs. (southern/Austrian) Catholic regions. So there are *musical* styles connected with these regions and while they were not internationally important they are for us now because several of the composers we recognize as supreme today like Schuetz, Buxtehude, Händel, Bach... were raised in these traditions.

But Britain appears to have been somewhat isolated and despite several great (and distinctive) composers in the Elizabethan Age and a few (like Purcell) in the restoration time, in Handel's time almost all of the famous composers were "imports" (usually from Italy). And this continued, despite a few minor figures (e.g. Arne and Boyce) in the mid 18th century, around 1800 we find Haydn, Clementi, Pleyel in London, nothing "homegrown", even less stylistically distintinctive. And they kept importing: Ries, Weber in the 1820s, Mendelssohn in the 1830s...

Somewhat distinctive British composers only emerged again at the end of the 19th century. So this seems a more probable reason than unclear nationalities in the 18th century.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline some guy

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2016, 09:39:47 AM »
On my shelves, he's filed under Catalonia.  :) :
Well, at least he's on your shelves. That's a plus, right there!

But I have a modest request on behalf of my friends who happened to have been born in Barcelona. Change your file name to Catalunya. That's how people here write it, anyway. :)

Offline Christo

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2016, 12:58:07 AM »
Well, at least he's on your shelves. That's a plus, right there!

But I have a modest request on behalf of my friends who happened to have been born in Barcelona. Change your file name to Catalunya. That's how people here write it, anyway. :)

"Catalunya" is how I happen to have spelled it, because I spelled all nation states and regions 'their own way' (hence e.g. also Éire, Cymru, Haiastan, Sakartvelo, Euskadi) on my music shelves. But Catalonia is of course the accepted English (because: Latin) spelling.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 01:02:38 AM by Christo »
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline some guy

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Re: 10 favourite British Composers
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2016, 12:08:29 AM »
So it's your sensitivity to your English speaking friends here, eh?

Well, OK then.

(I tend to say the local pronunciations of names to my English speaking friends, thus coming off as a pretentious prick. It may well be because I am a pretentious prick. Your solution is one I should adopt!!)