How 'English' are English Composers?

One of the most startling questions that is faced by the English people is exactly how "English" are our composers?

Purcell - Italian and French influences.

Handel - German born and bred; until he became naturalised English citizen.

Elgar -  Our most German of English composers. (Listen to his early music.)

Delius - Wrote in the impressionist, French style.

Vaughan-Williams - Murky French, impressionist style (e.g. London Symphony)

Britten - French influences.

Birtwistle - Continental 'avant garde'

Ferneyhough/Finnissy - International 'avant garde'

Oskar Adolf Hermann Schmitz once said that for a [musically] civilised country Britain was"Das Land ohne Musik".  He would have been better off saying it was "Das Land ohne Englisch Komponist"!


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