Work of the Fellows: Monographs

British Musical Modernism: The Manchester Group and Their Contemporaries

Rupprecht, Philip (Fellow, 2005-06)

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2022

From the publisher's description:

British Musical Modernism explores the works of eleven key composers to reveal the rapid shifts of expression and technique that transformed British art music in the post-war period. Responding to radical avant-garde developments in post-war Europe, the Manchester Group composers - Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Harrison Birtwistle - and their contemporaries assimilated the serial-structuralist preoccupations of mid-century internationalism to an art grounded in resurgent local traditions. In close readings of some thirty-five scores, Philip Rupprecht traces a modernism suffused with the formal elegance of the 1950s, the exuberant theatricality of the 1960s, and - in the works of David Bedford and Tim Souster - the pop, minimalist, and live-electronic directions of the early 1970s. Setting music-analytic insights against a broader social-historical backdrop, Rupprecht traces a British musical modernism that was at once a collective artistic endeavor, and a sounding myth of national identity.


Subjects: Music; Composers; Modernism; National Identity; Aftermath of World War II; Social History; Music Criticism;