Friday, July 29, 2016


OK.  After my recent rants, time to get back to some music and I feel in need of something that brings a sense of much needed peace and quiet.  Now, one of the more intriguing of English composers is Peter Warlock, which wasn`t his real name.  He was born Philip Heseltine in the Savoy Hotel, London, in October 1894 and his education (Stone House, Broadstairs - Eton - Christ Church, Oxford - University College, London) - all reflected his family`s wealth and status.

In many ways his rather short life was tempestuous and controversial - he changed his name to Warlock to reflect his interest in occult practices - and he had spells in Wales, Cornwall (where he was befriended of DH Lawrence,) London, Dublin (to escape the possibility of his exemption from military service in the First World War being `reviewed`) and Eynsford here in Kent where he headed a rather bohemian household.   He died  in December 1930 in Chelsea quite probably the result of suicide and in the last year or so it has been revealed that he was the father of the recently departed art critic, Brian Sewell. During his time at Eynsford, he wrote his own, rather potentous epitaph:-

"Here lies Warlock the composer
Who lived next door to Munn the grocer
He died of drink and copulation
A sad discredit to the nation."

But he did leave us with a body of musical work, the most well known probably being the Capriol Suite.   And it`s the Pavane from that piece that provides at least two minutes  of peace and quiet in an increasingly noisy world.   Here it is.......

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