Tuning Up - No. 4 February 2024
Echoes of Romanticism - Introduction to the video playlist.
|By William Lloyd
This article is intended to be read in conjunction with the video playlist, 'Echoes of Romanticism', (below, at end of article) which uses 100 artworks and photographs to place George Lloyd's music in the context from which it emerged. The introduction is not essential, but it provides explanations for the significance of the images, many of which have a direct and personal connection with the composer and his family. The interests, ideas, pre-occupations and history of George Lloyd’s immediate family in St. Ives marked them out as products of the Romanticism which had dominated European culture since the Enlightenment. The family exhibited many of characteristics of that movement, not merely as observers or followers of fashion, but as practitioners and innovators.
That background had a lasting effect on the young composer, whose unusual temperament and unorthodox education allowed him to master a traditional musical language which was then transformed by a strong individuality. He kept one foot in Romanticism and the supernatural fairy world, while planting the other in solid technique and practical application.
George Lloyd’s music is not ‘Romantic’, or even ‘post-Romantic’. Both those genres are usually associated with the early and late 19th century, whereas his music is without doubt 20th century music, but it ‘sounds like’ music from an earlier period because throughout his life George Lloyd remained loyal to conventional notions of melody, harmony, and counterpoint. He repudiated atonality, serialism and the avant-garde composition techniques which came to dominate classical music during the last century.
Echoes of Romanticism – a summary of playlist themes and images
Video playlist: Echoes of Romanticism
Download image catalogue as PDF:
An index of the images in the video,
with information about the artists and sources.
Download image catalogue as PowerPoint slideshow:
With audio: Lento from Piano Concerto No 3,
Kathryn Stott, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.