Monday, 25 June 2018

British Works submitted to the International Society for Contemporary Music, Sienna, 1927

In the Framlingham Weekly News (3 March 1928) a syndicated article appeared enumerating the works selected by the British Music Society for the 1928 International Society for Contemporary Music [I.S.C.M.] to be held in Sienna. The list of works makes an interesting list.

‘FESTIVAL MODERN MUSIC The annual festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music will this year be held at Siena, Italy. These festivals. which are held year by year at various European centres, consist of performances of by works living composers.
The programmes are selected jury whom are submitted compositions that have been chosen by committees established in the countries represented worthy of performance at the festivals.
The British committee, which has its headquarters with the British Music Society, has just made its selection of British compositions from the many which had been sent in for this adjudication.
The works that have been recommended to the Festival Jury are follows; “Facade” (W.T.Walton) for reciter and various instruments (poems by Edith Sitwell); 'Ephemera' (Patrick J Hadley), for soprano or tenor voice and woodwind, string quartet, and pianoforte; Oboe quintet (Arthur Bliss); String quartet [No.3] (Frank Bridge); Pianoforte Trio (Rebecca Clarke): Petite suite for oboe and ’cello (Lennox Berkeley); Fantasy sonata for viola and harp (Arnold Bax); Variations, for pianoforte (B Van Dieren); Sonatine for pianoforte (John Ireland); and Suite for pianoforte (Arthur Benjamin).’

The two works that finally made it thorough to Sienna were William Walton’s Façade and Frank Bridge’s String Quartet No.3. There are many recordings of the former piece and a handful of the latter. Works that did not survive into our own time include 'Ephemera' by Patrick J. Hadley, for soprano or tenor voice, woodwind, string quartet, and pianoforte, and the Variations, for pianoforte by Bernard Van Dieren. The other works have had at least a single recording.

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