Posted: 03 April 2007
Ashgate Publishing is offering a 15% discount on the two recent books on Alan Bush for the next two months if bought through Ashgate online. After two months, the discount will be reduced to 10%.
The Correspondence of Alan Bush and John Ireland, 1927-1961
Compiled by Dr. Rachel O'Higgins. Full price: £60.00.
Dr. Rachel O'Higgins writes about her book: "This book is an edition of the known letters between John Ireland and Alan Bush, most of which were bequeathed to the British Library in Alan Bush's will. The correspondence extends over a period of more than thirty years and comprises 160 letters in all.
There are several main themes which emerge from the Bush-Ireland correspondence, the most significant of these being the close personal relationship that developed between the two men until Ireland died in 1962. Bush had formed a close friendship with Ireland while he studied with him from 1922 to 1927. The correspondence, which begins after Bush ceased to have regular lessons with Ireland, reflects the admiration and warm affection which Bush had for his former teacher. Ireland, for his part, in his many letters to his former pupil, show a solicitude and friendship towards the younger man. The second theme concerns financial transactions between them particularly in the Inter-War period, when Ireland came to be dependent financially on Bush in several ways. The third theme is the fact that the letters provide a useful social document, illustrating, as it does, the daily lives of two working composers and the ways in which they earned a living. The fourth theme, linked to the previous theme, was the way in which the two composers helped each other in promoting their professional lives. The fifth theme was the political dimension - the views expressed by Ireland and Bush on politics. In their political outlook, Bush and Ireland were very different; Ireland was an old-style liberal and Bush from the mid-1930s, a member of the British Communist party. Yet throughout their long friendship, they respected each other's point of view. Finally, the sixth theme provides interesting comments by both men on other contemporary British composers, in particular, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett - their views, for the most part, were often critical."
Timothy Bowers, Senior Lecturer in Academic Studies, Royal Academy of Music, London, writes that "The book is essential reading for devotees of Ireland and Bush and, beyond that, it gives a vivid picture of British musical life during the period concerned. Rachel O'Higgins provides scholarly footnotes and an illuminating commentary which highlights the professional and ideological undercurrents of this fascinating and ultimately endearing relationship."
Alan Bush. A Source Book
Compiled by Professor Stewart Craggs. Full price: £55.00.
Professor Craggs writes about his book: "Born in 1900, Alan Bush, the English composer, conductor and pianist, studied with Corder and Matthay, at the Royal Academy of Music, and privately with John Ireland. Alan Bush was appointed Professor of Harmony and Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in 1925, a post he held until 1978. In 1929-31, he continued to study musicology and philosophy at Berlin University and had piano lessons with Moiseiwitsch and Schnabel.
The present Source Book documents his works (many of which reflect his Communist sympathies) and his many arrangements of music by other composers. A wealth of detail is provided, including printed scores, CD recordings, bibliographical material and manuscript scores and their locations, the majority of which were deposited shortly after Alan Bush's death in 1995 in the British Library by the Bush family. A chronology of the composer's life draws on many sources including letters and scrapbooks."