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English Pastoral MusicFrom Arcadia to Utopia, 1900-1955$
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Eric Saylor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041099

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041099.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020



(p.177) Afterword
English Pastoral Music

Eric Saylor

University of Illinois Press

The disparate approaches to English pastoralism considered within this book—whether evoking scenes and characters from classical poetry, depicting an imaginary past or a hoped-for future, responding to the landscape, commenting on contemporary social and political challenges, providing spiritual sustenance for the living, or eulogizing the dead—firmly banish outdated clichés of it as little more than folky-wolky roister-doistering. Instead, pastoralism stands revealed as a subtle and flexible expressive mode capable of transcending the circumstances and surroundings of its creation, conveyed by a distinctive and highly adaptable array of stylistic traits. But in the wake of Finzi’s death in 1956 and Vaughan Williams’s only two years later, English pastoral music fell into relative obscurity. Composers who had written pastoral works in previous decades (including Howells, Ireland, and Bliss) had either largely turned away from the idiom or limited it to certain smaller-scale or niche contexts (such as church music, in Howells’s case). Meanwhile, the rise of both a prominent British avant-garde musical movement during the later 1950s and an extraordinarily vital pop music scene in the following decade made it difficult for the older, less demonstrative pastoral style to hold the public or critical imagination....

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