Lectures on Musical Life

October 2006
10 black and white illustrations
192 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Music in Britain, 1600-2000
ISBN: 9781843832720
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC AV, 1D, 2AB, 3JH

Lectures on Musical Life

William Sterndale Bennett

William Sterndale Bennett

Edited by Nicholas Temperley, Yunchung Yang

Lectures by leading Victorian conductor and composer reveal much about musical life at the time.
An annotated critical edition of twelve lectures by William Sterndale Bennett [1816-75], the foremost English musician of the mid-Victorian period, principal of the Royal Academy, and conductor of the Philharmonic Society. Delivered at the London Institution and Cambridge University between 1858 and 1871, they are valuable both as representative of the Victorian understanding of musical history, and for Bennett's astute comments on the state of music and musical life at the time. They include admonishments to the British government for failing to offer adequate financial support to the art; interesting and often surprising views on many contemporary composers; and discourses on his own experiences as a professional musician.
The lectures are presented with annotations which identify the persons, institutions and compositions referred to in the text. An extensive introduction sets the lectures in context and reflects on their significance to English musical history and to Bennett's personal career.
NICHOLAS TEMPERLEY is Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Illinois.

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Table of Contents

On the State of Music in English Private Society and the General Prospects of Music in the Future
On the Visits of Illustrious Foreign Musicians to England
On the Vocal Music of England
On the General Prospects of Music in England
[Dramatic Music] [Early Forms of Opera] On the Music for the Theatre by Belgian Composers
On the Music for the Theatre Composed by Natives of Italy
On the Music for the Theatre Composed by Natives of France
On the Music for the Theatre Composed by Natives of Germany
Music of the Present Time
Fashions in Music
Bach and Handel
Appendix: Music for the Sheffield Lectures


A masterful achievement...deserves to be read...as a model of editorial method...greatly enriching our understanding of British musical culture. MUSIC & LETTERS
A fine edition...valuable both as an indication of the current state of musical knowledge in the Victorian era, and for [Bennett's] comments on the contemporary musical scene. MUSICAL TIMES
Adds considerable substance and potency to [claims that]...Bennett laid the foundations of the 'English musical renaissance...Eminently readable, elegantly presented and scrupulously scholarly. AD PARNASSUM [Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald]
Well-produced and meticulously researched...well worth seeking out for the information and insight it contains about a period of musical and social history increasingly remote from us today. BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWS [John Talbot]

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