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Classical music in Great Britain Teacher of English : N. Vostryukhina School 7, Уеvpatorіa
“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Ludving van Beethoven
Music always played an important role in British cultural life. Musical interests ranged from classical music and opera to pop music and rock music, which are extremely popular, especially among young people. The country`s great interest in classical music is reflected in the large audiences that attends concerts, opera and ballet. In spite of it there are also regular performances for lovers of folk music, brass band music, jazz, light music and choral music.
The term “classical music” emerged in the early nineteenth century, not long after the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence in 1801. Composed music in these islands can be traced in musical notation back to the thirteenth century, with earlier origins. It has never existed in isolation from European music, but has often developed in distinctively insular ways within an international framework. Inheriting the European classical forms of the eighteenth century (above all, in Britain, from the example of Handel), patronage and the academy and university establishment of musical performance and training in the United Kingdom during the nineteenth century saw a great expansion. Similar developments occurred in the other expanding states of Europe (including Russia) and their empires. Within this international growth the traditions of composition and performance centered in the United Kingdom, including the various cultural strands drawn from its different provinces, have continued to evolve in distinctive ways through the work of many famous composers.
17 centuries became for Great Britain time of the important political changes. Falling of a monarchy and a republic establishment became result of revolutions and wars of the middle of 17 centuries. The come to power Protestants did not recognise church music – they burnt notes, destroyed musical instruments. Secular art has been recognised by sinful. In 1660 there was a restoration of a monarchy and on a throne there has ascended Charles II Stewart. Influence of the French emigration has influenced monarch Charles II – at a royal court yard the art and musical life has renewed. The Royal chapel has been opened, representations were given by the Italian opera troupe. During this period performances of musicians, singers, instrumentalists have begun. The musical life of Great Britain revived. Musicians could get acquainted now with achievements of foreign masters.
Music in the British Isles, from the earliest recorded times until the Baroque and the rise of recognisably modern classical music, was a diverse and rich culture, including sacred and secular music and ranging from the popular to the elite. Each of the major nations of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales retained unique forms of music and of instrumentation, but British music was highly influenced by continental developments, while British composers made an important contribution to many of the major movements in early music in Europe, including the polyphony of the Ars Nova and laid some of the foundations of later national and international classical music. Musicians from the British Isles also developed some distinctive forms of music, including Celtic chant, the Contenance Angloise, the rota, polyphonic votive antiphons and the carol in the medieval era and English madrigals, lute ayres and masques in the Renaissance era, which led particularly to English language opera developed in the early Baroque period. The dominant figure in classical music in the later baroque era, and beyond, was the German-born George Frideric Handel (1685-1759).
George Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel) was born on February, 23rd, 1685 in a Saxon city of Halle (Halle). Since seven years actively was engaged in playing music, from nine — composer activity. The first operas, "Amelia" and "Neron", Handel has written to 1705 . In 1707-1709 the composer travels and studies in Italy where to it the glory of the master of the Italian opera comes. In the 1710 Handel goes to London, then in 1712 has for a short while returned to Hanover where has composed a number of vocal duets for the princess of Carolina (the future queen of Great Britain). Since 1712 the composer almost constantly lives in England. First he spends year in a county Surrey, in the house of the rich patron of art and the fan of music of Barna Elmsa. Then within two years lives on a visit at the column of Burlington near to London — during this period it has two new Italian operas for which queen Anna has welcomed it lifelong pension in 200 pounds sterling.
With 1720 on 1728 Handel holds a post of the director of Royal academy of music. On February, 13th, 1726 the composer obtains the British citizenship. In 1720 and 1730 Handel continues to write many operas, and since 1740 basic place in its creativity occupy oratorios (most known of them — "Messiah"). On a boundary 1750 at the composer sight worsens. On May, 3rd, 1752 to it eyes operate. Unsuccessfully. Illness progresses. In 1753 there comes a total blindness. Handel has died on April, 14th, 1759 in London. It is buried in Westminster abbey. For the life Handel has written a creative heritage about 50 operas, 23 oratorios, set of church chorals, organ concerts, and also a number of products of entertaining character.
In the earlier part of the 19th century the British singers Michael Kelly, Nancy Storace and John Braham were prominent and by their example sustained the international opera and oratorio works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart and their successors in the British arena. Braham, whose career thoroughly spanned the opera stage and concert platform, established a tradition in public recital which was continued by his successors down into the early 20th century. Arias or ballads from the English opera became concert standards in recital. The Irish composer and virtuoso pianist John Field (1782-1837) was highly influential in his style of playing, inventing the nocturne and he is thought to have been an inspiration to Schumann, Chopin and Liszt. Perhaps the most influential composer of the first half of the nineteenth century was the German Felix Mendelssohn, who visited Britain ten times for a total of twenty months from 1829. He won a strong following through the Philharmonic Society, sufficient for him to make a deep impression on British musical life. Not only did he compose and perform, but he also edited for British publishers the first critical editions of oratorios of Handel and of the organ music of J. S. Bach. Scotland inspired two of his most famous works, the overture Fingal's Cave (also known as the Hebrides Overture) and the Scottish Symphony (Symphony No. 3). His oratorio Elijah was premièred in Birmingham at the Triennial Music Festival on August 26, 1846. On his last visit to England in 1847 he was the soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 4 and conducted his own Scottish Symphony with the Philharmonic Orchestra before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A number of British piano students of promise were sent to the Leipzig Conservatory established by Mendelssohn.
Henry Purcell (1659-1695), a prominent British composer, lived in the 17th century. He was the founder of the British Opera. His opera “King Arthur” was very popular with spectators. The main idea of this opera was the struggle for the independence of Britain. The great influence of Henry Purcell is seen today in the works of Benjamin Britten. B. Britten is a well-known British composer (1913-1976). He has composed a large amount of music of all kinds, among them operas and choral works. His music is very expressive. One of his greatest works is the opera “Peter Grimes”. It’s an exciting story about a poor fisherman who was falsy accused and driven out of his native village. Britain also has good traditions of folk music. There are traditional folk clubs in most towns. Modern music is also of great popularity. The most talented and famous composers of contemporary life are John Lennon and Paul McCartney – the founders of the legendary group “The Beatles”, whose music still influences new generations.
Purcell has created for England the first present opera, and thus the ingenious. It has been written on the libretto known then poet N.Teta as the reference for which "Eneida" - the well-known epic poem of ancient Roman classic Vergil Marona has served.
From thirty eight numbers "Didony" fifteen are choruses. Here ability of the composer to combine various genres and expressive means –from the most thin lyrics to juicy and tart national-household language, from realistic pictures of an everyday life to a fantastic fantasy of Shakespearean theatre has especially brightly affected. A farewell song of the heroine - one of the finest arias, when or created in the history of musical art. Englishmen are proud of it.
However the opera “And Enej" has been put Didona in the XVII-th century only once – in 1689, besides not on a theatrical scene, and in boarding house for noble maidens in Chelsea. Then has taken place two performances - one in the beginning and another in the end of a XVIII-th century. Has passed as early as hundred years before this best creation of the greatest composer of England has been taken from archives and has affirmed on English, and then and on a world scene. In a year after a premiere “And Enej" Pyorsell with noble belief in the art and at the same time with bitterness wrote Didony in the preface to the drama of "Diokletsian" set by it to music: "... Music in diapers, but is the promising child. He still will let know, than it in England is capable to become, if only masters of music used here the big encouragement".
Between 1880 and 1887 the London Guildhall School of Music was established. The Royal College of Music, originating in a training school under Arthur Sullivan, was founded (1882-83) under Sir George Grove.The Queen's Hall Promenade Concerts, led by Sir Henry Wood were founded in 1895. A member of teaching staff at the RCM from 1884 and director from 1894 until his death was Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918), who used it as a platform for creativity and a reformation of British music. His own works included the cantatas Prometheus Unbound (1880) and King Saul (1894), and four symphonies, among them the English (1889). His great contemporary was the Irish-born Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), who was professor of composition at the RCM from 1883; conductor of The Bach Choir from 1886 to 1902; was professor of music at Cambridge from 1887 and conductor of the Leeds Philharmonic Society (1897-1909), and of the Leeds Festival (1901 to 1910). These figures had a profound affect on a generation of composers that included Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song; this also influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, which began in 1904, many folk song arrangements being set as hymn tunes, in addition to several original compositions. Vaughan Williams's music has often been said to be characteristically English, in the same way as that of Gustav Holst, Frederick Delius, George Butterworth, and Sir William Walton. In Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination, Peter Ackroyd writes, "If that Englishness in music can be encapsulated in words at all, those words would probably be: ostensibly familiar and commonplace, yet deep and mystical as well as lyrical, melodic, melancholic, and nostalgic yet timeless." Ackroyd quotes music critic John Alexander Fuller Maitland, whose distinctions included editing the second edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians in the years just before 1911, as having observed that in Vaughan Williams's style "one is never quite sure whether one is listening to something very old or very new." His style expresses a deep regard for and fascination with folk tunes, the variations upon which can convey the listener from the down-to-earth (which he always tried to remain in his daily life) to the ethereal. Simultaneously the music shows patriotism toward England in the subtlest form, engendered by a feeling for ancient landscapes and a person's small yet not entirely insignificant place within them. His earlier works sometimes show the influence of Maurice Ravel, his teacher for three months in Paris in 1908. Ravel described Vaughan Williams as "the only one of my pupils who does not write my music."
The Twentieth Century Under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, twenty-six of Ireland's thirty-two counties, including the city of Dublin, wereformally separated from the United Kingdom. While the two countries continued to share a classical music heritage, they would now develop on different lines. In what was now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the outstanding composers of the century included William Walton and Benjamin Britten. Their individual approaches to music and its part in the national identity differed significantly. Walton's work featured fanfares and patriotic themes, including the ceremonial marches Crown Imperial, written for the coronation of George VI, and Orb and Sceptre, for that of Elizabeth II.Britten, on the other hand, made a conscious effort to set himself apart from the English musical mainstream, which he regarded as complacent, insular and amateurish. His works included the operas Peter Grimes (1945), and Billy Budd (1951), as well the instrumental compositions Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar (1964). It is arguable that this trend may have contributed to the revival of interest in early music which has been led, in Britain, by such figures as Arnold Dolmetsch and David Munrow.
Music of the twenty-first century In the present era, classical music in Britain must contend and co-exist with a dominant culture of popular music. Specialist music education at establishments such as the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music and Guildhall School of Music, as well as within British Universities provide world-class music teaching to gifted classical musicians. In this century, music, like most other aspects of society, has become globalized, and it is increasingly difficult to speak of "music of the UK" as a separate entity. Gifted UK musicians train and perform all over the world: conversely, many of the places in UK music schools are taken up by overseas musicians, and most concerts are international in their content and their performers. Notable modern composers include: Peter Maxwell Davies, Julian Anderson, Harrison Birtwistle, George Benjamin, Thomas Ades, Oliver Knussen, James MacMillan and at a more popular level Andrew Lloyd Webber, represent very different strands of composition within UK classical music.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards(and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of Lloyd Webber's musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. According to britishhitsongwriters.com he is the one hundredth most successful songwriter in U.K. singles chart history based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart. Andrew Lloyd Webber is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
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