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Gustav Holst’s 1911 revival of Purcell’s “Fairy Queen”

 

Surprisingly, it was Gustav Holst, the composer of The Planets, who conducted the first modern performance of Purcell’s Fairy Queen in 1911.

His longstanding friend and fellow composer Ralph Vaughan Williams introduced every number, and this lecture-concert was given by amateurs from London’s Morley College [for Working Men and Women], rather than some top-notch orchestra with a professional [...]

E.H. Fellowes, the scholar and performer who “found” the English composer, John Dowland, and rediscovered the lute song. Part 4 of 4

 

For me, two stories from Fellowes’ 1946 autobiography, Memoirs of an Amateur Musician, stand out: 

Byrd’s Great Service

According to Fellowes, “the greatest thrill in the course of the whole of [his] researches” was finding Byrd’s Great Service, which he stumbled upon while visiting Durham to complete some Gibbons anthems. As soon as he [...]

E.H. Fellowes, the scholar and performer who “found” the English composer, John Dowland, and rediscovered the lute song. Part 3 of 4

 

 Edmund aged 7

Fellowes’ life and legacy

Aided in the churchy sphere by Professor Sir Percy Buck, who was one of his oldest friends (and a teacher of Mary Potts at the RCM), Edmund Fellowes brought about a revolution, albeit a gentle one: he both changed the way in which choral and other early [...]

E.H. Fellowes, the scholar and performer who “found” the English composer, John Dowland, and rediscovered the lute song. Part 2 of 4

  Fellowes’ interpretation of Tudor music 

As a church musician himself, Fellowes recognized that what little Cathedral repertoire there was in his day was usually poorly performed. “The interpretation of Tudor music began to force itself on my attention,” he wrote. “It became increasingly clear that rhythmic irregularity, as an essential feature of this music, [...]

E.H. Fellowes, the scholar and performer who “found” the English composer, John Dowland, and rediscovered the lute song. Part 1 of 4

Reproduced by kind permission of the Dean and Canons of Windsor

Edmund (E.H.) Fellowes (1870–1951) – pictured here with his wife – was made a Companion of Honour in 1944. Always a meticulous man, he compiled an annotated alphabetical list of all the 220 letters of congratulations he received. It includes almost every well-known [...]