Thursday, 25 October 2012

Banks of Green Willow

Our Congratulations to Tony Murphy, from St Mary’s Choir, whose Book ‘BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW: The Life and Times of George Butterworth’ is published in November. Butterworth, who has strong Yorkshire connections, died in the Trenches of the Somme, and his orchestral work, ‘The Banks of the Green Willow’, is rightly regarded as a high point of early 20th Century English Music, and continues to be among many people’s favourite works.

 From the Publishers description:

The Banks of Green Willow 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 of whom were sacrificed on the battlefields of the First World War.

The author has had access to an hitherto unpublished collection of Butterworth's correspondence, and other material, deposited in the Bodleian Library by members of George Butterworth's family.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 and Oxford, or 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 so as not to deter the general reader and uses 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.