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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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The Composer in Wartime

The Composer in Wartime

(p.82) (p.83) Chapter 16 The Composer in Wartime
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the composer during wartime. The war will affect the lives of those of generations to come. Is it then not worthwhile even for the most aloof artist to take some stock of the situation, to ensure at least that if and when the war ends he will be able to continue composing, to consider whether the new regime which will inevitably follow the war will be good for his art or bad, and to bestir himself, even at the risk of losing a few hours from his manuscripts to help forward a desirable end? The artist must condition his inspiration by the nature of his material. What will be the musical material on which the composer of the future can count? It will be no use writing elaborate orchestral pieces if there are no orchestras left to play them, or subtle string quartets if there are no subtle instrumentalists available.

Keywords:   composer, war, artist, new regime, musical material, orchestras

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