Melodies foraged from the hedgerow
n the 19th century the Germans called Britain das Land ohne Musik – the land without music – with good reason. In a century when Germany had produced Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner and Mendelssohn it took us until the late 1880s to have a composer of note, Hubert Parry: and he owed no small debt to the German greats, notably Brahms. When, in the 1890s, Britain at last had in Elgar a composer recognised abroad as a true master, he, too, smelt of Germany.
Thus, in the early 20th century, composers sought a “national music”, led by two men whose discoveries are captured on a new CD from Albion Records, I Love My Love: Cecil Sharp