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The Three Choirs Festival: A History
Title Details

552 Pages

24 x 17 cm

149 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Three Choirs Festival: A History

New and Revised Edition

by Anthony Boden and Paul Hedley

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Described in the Radio Times (27 July 2015) as 'A remarkable, unique institution lying at the heart of British life', the Three Choirs Festival celebrated its three-hundred-year anniversary in 2015.
Described in the Radio Times (27 July 2015) as 'A remarkable, unique institution lying at the heart of British life', the Three Choirs Festival celebrated its three-hundred-year anniversary in 2015. Rotating each summer between the English cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester, the Festival is a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, master classes, talks, theatre and exhibitions. At the heart of the modern festival are the daily services of Choral Evensong, representing the tradition of Anglican music and liturgy, and the large-scale evening concerts featuring established favourites of the British classical choral tradition with works drawn from a broader, more international musical canvas. Many special commissions and other works, including compositions by British composers such as Jonathan Harvey, James Macmillan, Judith Bingham and John McCabe, and composers from abroad, such as Gerard Schurmann, Jackson Hill and Torsten Rasch, have received their first performances at Three Choirs.
Originally published in 1992, this revised edition bringsthe history of the oldest surviving non-competitive music festival in Britain thoroughly up to date. It traces the development of the Festival from its origins in the early eighteenth century to its tercentenary in 2015, along the way touching on many musical milestones - premieres by Parry, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Saint-Saëns, Holst, and Howells, among others - and luminaries - Sullivan, Stanford, Dvorák, Delius, Bax, and Britten, to name but a few - associated with it. British music enthusiasts especially will find this new edition invaluable.

ANTHONY BODEN is a writer with particular interests in music and literature. In 1989 he was appointed as Administrator of theGloucester Three Choirs Festival, a post he held until his retirement in 1999. In 1995 he became the founding Chairman of the Ivor Gurney Society, of which he was elected President in 2015. His other books include Thomas Tomkins: The Last Elizabethan (2004) and The Parrys of the Golden Vale (1998).

PAUL HEDLEY is a partner in Exart Performances, an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, has a PhD in theoretical linguistics, and spent five years as Chief Executive of the Three Choirs Festival.
Origins
A Fortuitous and Friendly Proposal
A Numerous Appearance of Gentry
'The Musick of my Admiration Handel'
The Gentlemen and the Players
Avoiding Shipwreck
Prima Voce
Favourites and Flops
Sacred and Profane
Froissart
The Unreasonable Man
The Dream
Beyond These Voices
An Essentially English Institution
The Elgar Festivals
Dona Nobis Pacem
Recovery
Association
A New Epoch
Jubilee
Theme with Variations
Houses of the Mind
A Gold-Plated Orchestra
A New Millenium
Reorganisation
An Invitation to the Palace
Appendix: Three Choirs Festival Timeline
"Today the festival remains one of very few with the major choral repertoire at its heart, and amongst its distinguishing features has been its consistent fostering of contemporary British music, with a natural emphasis on composers with local links, headed by the remarkable cluster of Parry, Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams and Howells." BRIO
"One of the many joys of the book is the large number of contemporary reviews covering every aspect of the Festivals...a treasure trove of detail...it must now be the 'really definitive' history of one of the 'Essentially English Institutions'." THE ORGAN
"Beautifully written and lavishly illustrated, this history is laden with compelling insights, many of them as amusing as they are revealing. We are treated to beguiling pen portraits of diverse characters whose creative work is part of our national consciousness...this human aspect above all makes the book hard to put down." SPIRITED, THE GAZETTE OF THE ENGLISH MUSIC FESTIVAL
"What better way to celebrate such a resilient and quintessentially English musical institution than by acquiring this comprehensive historical account of the Three Choirs Festival...this handsome book will appeal particularly to British music enthusiasts." GRAMOPHONE
"This book, makes for fascinating reading and is an invaluable book, for not only musicians, music lovers, festival attendees, but anyone really interested in the musical arts of Britain." Peter Byrom-Smith, THE BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY
"[A] scrupulously detailed history of The Three Choirs Festival...Priceless!" BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
"Brings us truly up to date with the ups and downs of an institution already more than three centuries old -- and fortunately there are more ups." BIRMINGHAM POST
"Highly readable...The product of evidently thorough research. An absorbing and invaluable record of one of Europe's most distinguished music festivals." MUSICWEB

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9781783272099

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Title Details

552 Pages

2.4 x 1.7 cm

149 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press