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Whom the Gods Love: The Life and Music of George Butterworth (Composer) [Paperback]

Michael Barlow
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 July 2009 Composer
The career of the composer George Butterworth was cruelly cut short by a sniper's bullet at the Somme. His name is kept alive by the popularity of his orchestral tone-poems, such as The Banks of Green Willow and A Shropshire Lad, and his songs. In this book, the first full-length study of Butterworth, Michael Barlow traces his brief life: from preparatory school through Eton and Oxford, a teaching post at Radley, study at the Royal College of Music, a period as a music critic for The Times - and his enlisting in August 1914 which, two years later, led to his heroic death at the Somme. All of Butterworth's surviving compositions are discussed, and important chapters examine his Housman settings and his friendship with Vaughan Williams. Butterworth was also prominent in the folksong revival, and chronicled here for the first time are his extensive activities as a folksong and dance collector. The book also includes some of Butterworth's own writings on music.

Frequently Bought Together

Whom the Gods Love: The Life and Music of George Butterworth (Composer) + Butterworth - Banks of Green Willow, etc + The Complete Butterworth Songbook
Price For All Three: 39.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Toccata Press; New edition edition (17 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907689434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907689430
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Barlow writes well (...) Recommended.CLASSICAL.NET --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Michael Barlow --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superbly detailed,under the circumstances 29 July 2010
After reading the first chapter of this biography,I must admit to being a little disapointed.The first twenty years of Butterworth's life were described in such brief (if not,vague) detail,that I began to wonder if I'd spent my money wisely.By the time I'd finished the entire book,I realised why so little could be discovered of the composers school years - all of his contemporaries would have perished (as did he) in the Great War,and there would have been no surviving memories left for anyone to unearth. It is neccesarily from Chapter Two,therefore,that Michael Barlow's truly expert knowledge and musical research really come into their own.Although comparatively small in extent,all of Butterworth's compositions are examined in small but fascinating detail;and reveal hidden insights into the man himself. I was of the opinion that I knew Butterworth's works well;but this book has made me realise how little I actually knew and how much I had missed,and made me listen to all his recorded music again with the book as a companion.So much clever and hidden detail that Butterworth put into his work;and so much skill has Mr Barlow in being able to discover (or uncover) it all. He goes on to minutely document Butterworth's passion for Folk Song and his extraordinary fondness for Morris Dancing;together with uncovering a plethora of photographs of the man himself. Butterworth ultimately comes across as a rather sharp individual (as critical of himself and his own works as he was of other people); but also a man of staunch patriotism,who went off in good spirits to fight at the battle of the Somme,absolutely convinced of the moral rectitude of his duty,and the certainty of ultimate victory. This not just the portrait of a composer,but of an entire (destroyed) generation! Read more ›
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a biography 24 Nov 2013
By V. Pyle
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So disappointed to find this researched well for compositions and discography, but left knowing almost nothing about the man - nothing about relationships with parents and family or friends (other than who they were). Did he ever have a romantic relationship? - not even mentioned! What did he think about politics with a large or small P. What about his personality - we don't know except he was "forthright". What we know is that he was interested in folk songs and folk dancing, but why? We don't know. There are several small photos of him yet a full page of Beecham.
His death I think is covered in a sentence. Not at all good enough. I cannot believe there are no letters from or to Butterworth preserved, or that no one wrote about him in a more detailed way, particularly since his death was recognised as a tragedy at the time, and people were interviewed on radio and articles written lster, but we know nothing much about what was said.
I really don't think I know more about Butterworth than before buying the book and don't think anyone should call this a biography. Should have been issued as a small pamphlet and at an appropriate price. Absolutely frustrating and insignificant.
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