About the book
Banks of Green Willow (Cappella Archive, 2nd ed. 2016) places the life and music of George Butterworth (1885-1916) in the cultural and political context of late Victorian and Edwardian England. It considers the intellectual and ideological origins of the folk-music movement, in which he was a central figure. It looks, too, at his close friends, the lives of many whom were sacrificed on the battlefields of the First World War.
The author has had access to a hitherto unpublished collection of Butterworth's correspondence, and other materials, deposited in the Bodleian Library by members of George Butterworth's family. Together with more recent documentation concerning his friends, they not only provide invaluable biographical detail, but also illustrate his single-mindedness of character, whether at Eton or Oxford, as an enthusiastic collector of folk-songs or a Morris dancer and, finally, as a very brave soldier.
Butterworth's music compositions are considered informatively but so as not to deter the general reader. Using extracts from his own diary, letters, and the regimental diary records of the Durham Light Infantry, the book concludes with an account of George Butterworth's war years, in which he was recommended three times for the Military Cross.
- A significant and eminently readable study of a composer and champion of folk-music and dance.
- Thoughtful and informative biography. Anthony Murphy has done us a fine service in telling us how this musical chysalis turned into a hero.
- This handsome volume adds much to our understanding of the Edwardian revival of English music.
- An elegant book, engagingly written and pleasingly produced. It covers the life, music and times of Butterworth evocatively and with feeling... very good on the social background and splendid for the inclusion of many Butterworth letters. A good read.
- Impossible to wish for anything better. A wonderfully detailed account of his life and music; a real labour of love. 5 stars.
How to order a copy
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