Title graphic: Encyclopedia Entries
Composers and Music: 3

For those intent on studying abroad rather than with Corder or Stanford, Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory, Frankfurt, became the preferred master, teaching Roger Quilter (1877-1953), Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877-1950), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), and the Australian Percy Grainger (1882-1961). Both Quilter and Balfour Gardiner were essentially Edwardian composers; their best works - in Quilter's case, songs, in Gardiner's such orchestral pieces as Overture to a Comedy (1906) or A Berkshire Idyll (1913) - hardly transcend their period. By contrast, Scott, for a time, earned himself the reputation of a modernist. However, it was Grainger's openness to sounds, be they natural or man-made, heard in the music hall or produced by newly invented instruments, that was indicative of a more radical aesthetic. However, interest in his serious works was for some time hindered by the popularity of such folksong settings as Molly on the Shore (1907) and Country Gardens (1918).

Apart from Quilter, several other composers of his generation specialized in song-writing, including Ivor Gurney (1890-1937), whose considerable poetic talent was nurtured by an abiding love for English literature, particularly the Elizabethan and Georgian poets. Gerald Finzi (1901-56), too, could encapsulate the essence of the text he was setting in distinctive music, especially in response to Hardy's and Shakespeare's words, and in the ecstatic song-cycle Dies Natalis (1926, 1939), for high voice and strings. Finally, the songs of Peter Warlock (1894-1930) exhibit a wide range of feeling, from the rumbustious "Rutterkin", via the jolly, uncomplicated "Pretty Ring Time" and quietly instrospective "Sleep", to the bleak despair of "The Curlew".