The last weekend of MAy saw the fifth English Music Festival held over four days at Dorchester on Thames. The purpose of the Festival is to celebrate English and British composers – mostly tonal and mostly from the first half of the C20th – whose music has been forgotten, was never performed or recorded, or is generally unknown. This year’s Festival featured music by Parry, Capel Bond, Lambert, Rawsthorne, Sullivan, Bainton, Stanford, Bowen, Howells, as well as more famous names such as Elgar, Holst, Delius and Vaughan Williams.
The closing concert was of particular interest to me because it featured a world premiere of a choral work by Vaughan Williams, a setting of Swinburne’s famous poem ‘The Garden of Proserpine’. I wrote an article on this piece for the Vaughan Williams Society Journal and an extract from it featured on the CD sleeve for its release on albion records. You can read the sleeve note if you go to www.albionrecords.org and look for the album sleeve. The English Music Festival also has a website.