A survey of new trends in English musical life 1910-1914
The years I9IO to 1914 were not a period of turmoil which gradually degenerated into war, neither were they merely an extension of the Edwardian era of peace and stability. They were a time of upheaval, development and revitalisation, the changes precipitated by which have been largely overshadowed by the more radical disturbance of the Great War. The unsettled mood of these four years is reflected in contemporary social, political and artistic life, nowhere more clearly than in the realm of music. This was an enormously rich and prolific period in the history of English music; musical life was flourishing on a hitherto unprecedented scale, and there were more and better composers to be found in England than at any period since the seventeenth century. The enrichment of English music brought about by the late nineteenth century renaissance was revitalised by the appearance of the second generation of renaissance composers, and the machinery of musical life was stimulated into further activity. This thesis examines the nature of the innovations that characterised early Georgian artistic activity, outlines the early history of the English musical renaissance, makes a detailed examination of the music composed in England during the four pre-War years and describes the flourishing musical life of London and the provinces at the time. From this factual evidence it emerges that there was much that was new about early Georgian English music and musical activity; the abundance itself was new, but there were also innovations and developments which look forward to post-War practice. In artistic and musical terms, the year I9IO marks as important a watershed as the year 1914.