Who Is Alan Rawsthorne and Where Does He Fit In?

by | Oct 10, 2021 | News | 0 comments

By Tony Pickard

When Alan Rawsthorne’s name came up in conversation during a break in orchestral rehearsals, several older players immediately recognised it and went on to recall some of his music which they had heard during the 1950s and 1960s. Listening to our conversation was a younger player, who asked, ‘Who is Alan Rawsthorne, and where does he fit in?’ Questions that almost anyone could have posed today, given the prolonged neglect of his music. Yet, whenever I have had the opportunity to chat with young professional players after they have performed one of his works, they are full of enthusiasm and cannot under- stand why they were not introduced to his music at college. Rawsthorne was nev- er a ‘niche’ composer; during his lifetime his music was frequently performed in concert halls and frequently broadcast, and many works were commercially recorded, the Street Corner overture and Second Piano Concerto being especially popular with the concert-going public. No wonder that in 2005, his centenary year, the Penguin Guide, reviewing a new recording of his three symphonies (Nax- os 8.557480), asked why his music was so neglected, and continued: ‘His lan- guage is individual and immediately recognisable as his. Anyone who responds to Walton will feel at home in his world.’ (1)

Rawsthorne’s life has been comprehensively covered by Tim Mottershead in his concise biography ‘Alan Rawsthorne: The Fish with an Ear for Music.’2 That gives us the answer to the first question: who is he? The purpose of this article is to try to show where he fits in. I have tried where possible to avoid quoting sources that have already appeared in The Creel or The Sprat.

Rawsthorne’s ‘late start’

The one well-known fact about Rawsthorne is that he studied dentistry, and then architecture, for two years before going to music college; this can lead to the false impression that he had no experience of music beforehand, or that he had to ‘struggle’ in order to study it, or both. Biographers rarely have the luxury of space to quote extensively from primary sources, and I feel that it is important to place the essentials on record for the interest of the reader and the benefit of future writers.

As a child he had cello and piano lessons and composed music from an early age. He was brought up in an Edwardian middle-class home. His father, Hubert Rawsthorne, had qualified as a doctor but did not practise, having a private income derived from a fortuitous succession of family inheritances. Following the First World War the value of this income was much reduced, and he was too old to return to medicine; hence the need to see his son settled in a profession.

)Rawsthorne’s sister Barbara, in a 1972 memoir, recalled how her brother came to study dentistry:

“Our father was not at all unsympathetic to Alan’s desire for a musical career. He himself was interested in music and had much pleasure in listening to it, but at that period a career in music, as in painting, was a very chancy affair unless backed by private means. There was no par- ticular tradition of musical talent in the family and our father had no means of knowing that Alan had it in him to make a real life in music, and he thought that he would be very unhappy if he had to prostitute his art to make a living. Dentistry, he thought, would give him more time than medicine to ‘enjoy music as a hobby’, but when he found that (to Alan) the alternative to devoting his life to music was to shut it out altogether, he realised that music must be his life and it was with his full consent that Alan finally entered the Royal Manchester College of Mu- sic in 1925. However Alan always felt that the late start to his training was a great drawback to him.” (3)

Rawsthorne was being somewhat disingenuous about a ‘drawback’. His father’s caution was surely justified given the family’s circumstances. Rawsthorne could quite easily have been another of those, from a privileged background, who thought that some talent was the sole requirement for a career in the arts. His two years at Liverpool University served to stiffen his resolve to study music, which his father recognised and amicably accepted. He did not make a particu- larly late start, but he may have been a slightly late developer, arriving in the early 1930s in roughly the same position as Britten, who was the best part of a decade younger. One likely factor in this was the profound and lasting effect that the death of his mother in 1927 had on her 22-year-old son.

The 1930s: establishing a reputation

Rawsthorne left the RMCM in July 1929 with diplomas in performance and teaching, together with prizes for both piano and composition. He had achieved success at college concerts, particularly with his Tzu-Yeh Songs, with words trans- lated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley, and his first BBC broadcast came in 1928, when his fellow student Gordon Green played his piano Waltz in C minor. Of his contemporaries, only William Walton (b. 1902) and Constant Lambert (b. 1905) had made any significant impact on the musical world during the 1920s. For Rawsthorne, Britten, Tippett4 and the rest it would be well into the 1930s before they had a similar impact; in the meantime they continued to refine their music in search of an individual voice.

Rawsthorne described this process during a 1962 interview with Malcolm Rayment:

MR: Would you say that you made a late start because you were highly critical of your efforts?

AR: I certainly think that is true. I have, of course, thrown a great deal of stuff away. I suppose many people do that and it certainly took a long time for me to decide exactly which road I wanted to travel in the way of composing. I tried a great many things – imitations of various composers – out of which I have tried to produce something which is individual. But until I felt at ease in this way I didn’t really want to emerge as a composer. (5)

One of the experimental works which he did not destroy is the ten-minute Esquisses for high voice and chamber orchestra (c. 1932). The texts, like those of the much better-known Tzu-Yeh Songs, are taken from Arthur Waley’s transla- tions from the Chinese. There is no record of a performance, but the piece is of interest because it is his earliest surviving work involving the orchestra. Trevor Hold has described it as ‘Less a song cycle than a suite of instrumental dances with a vocal part … the voice is treated like a solo orchestral instrument. The real musical interest lies in the orchestral writing, which is elaborate, colourful and skilful.’6 John McCabe found that ‘The discretion with which the scoring is accomplished shows clearly his natural understanding of the medium and the intriguingly Façade-like touches scattered throughout the score add to its charm. There are occasional hints of Rawsthorne’s mature style … ’7 The composer made a version for two violins and piano and incomplete versions for piano accompaniment, and this hybrid work might have a life as a piano or purely orchestral work. All the manuscripts are held in the Rawsthorne Archive at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Working as a pianist and composer for the School of Dance-Mime at Dartington Hall, Devon, between 1932 and 1934, gave him valuable practical experience with another art form: dance. While there he composed a string quartet (1932) which was performed at Dartington in June 1933 by the Griller Quartet.

1934 was a turning point both professionally and personally. In January the Macnaghten Quartet gave the London premiere of his 1932 string quartet, which Anne Macnaghten recalled in a letter dated October 1993:

Alan later scrapped this work as being immature, but it has something characteristic of him – sensitive and attractive, and different. It received good press notices on that first appearance, in particular from Marion Scott in the Musical Times and Frank Howes in The Times. During the late 1930s we played it many times in Music Club concerts and at least once for the BBC (in the ‘Light Classics’ series!). (8)


Rawsthorne married Jessie Hinchliffe in July 1934. They had known each other since their RMCM days and she had joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra on its foundation in 1930. Moving in Macnaghten-Lemare circles and meeting Jessie’s BBC colleagues must have widened his musical horizons. In November he and Jessie gave the first performance of his Concertante for Violin and Piano, and the year ended with another performance of the 1932 quartet by the Griller Quartet, in a programme which included Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings. The Times noted that ‘Both works declare their composers to be men of promise.’ (9)

BBCSO oboist Helen Gaskell premiered the Oboe Quartet in 1935, and principal clarinettist Frederick Thurston the Clarinet Concerto in February 1937. Thurston also gave the first broadcast performance of the Concerto in De- cember of the same year; this was the first of Rawsthorne’s works to be broadcast by the orchestra. His Viola Sonata was premiered in a broadcast BBC concert, also in 1937. With fellow BBCSO violinist Kathleen Washbourne, Jessie gave the first performance of the Theme and Variations for Two Violins in January 1938. This was the work that was to propel him to international recognition.

Although Rawsthorne was eight years older than Britten, their careers span roughly the same period of about forty years from 1932, the year of Rawsthorne’s String Quartet and Britten’s Phantasy String Quintet, until Rawsthorne’s death aged 66 in 1971. Britten died, aged 63, in 1976. Both works were withdrawn by their composers. The Britten Quintet was not performed again until June 1983 at the Aldeburgh Festival. The Rawsthorne work was recorded by the Flesch Quartet along with the 1935 Quartet and the three published Quartets (ASV CDCCA 938), but not released because ‘space has not permitted this to be included on the CD’. (10)

Britten, despite having well-established contacts with the BBC and music publishing, could not make a living from music in the economically depressed 1930s, and in 1935 applied for a staff job at the BBC. Fortunately for him, they put him in touch with the GPO Film Unit, where he wrote music for documen- tary films. This would have been at the same time as Rawsthorne was freelancing as a copyist and arranger for the BBC. It seems likely that the two composers first met at the Macnaghten-Lemare concerts and, despite Britten dividing his time between Lowestoft and London, must have got to know each other reasonably well, as Britten’s diary for Friday, 21 February 1936 records that after rehearsing Frank Bridge’s Piano Trio No. 2 on a bitterly cold morning, he had ‘Lunch at nearby Express – and then walk to Alan Rawsthorne’s (Belsize Park) to borrow a copy of “L’Isle Joyeuse” which I hope to play on Sunday … ’11 Britten played the trio two days later at Cambridge, with Irene and Bernard Richards, along with, presumably, the Debussy piece borrowed from Rawsthorne. His diary records his difficulties in bringing his performance up to standard at short notice.

At a Lemare concert in February 1936 Gerald Finzi and Rawsthorne had works premiered. Rawsthorne’s Overture for Chamber Orchestra (since lost) was his first orchestral work to be played in public. While the critics were luke- warm, Finzi ‘was generous about his now-forgotten Overture for Chamber Orchestra, calling it “the most important thing in the concert” in preference to his own Milton Sonnets; after the war he (Rawsthorne) became a regular and respected colleague’. (12)

A number of his other 1930s scores have been lost and a few rediscovered – for instance the Viola Sonata, and more recently the Chamber Cantata for voice, string quartet and harpsichord, first performed in February 1937. At its first performance in modern times, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Oc- tober 2016, it sounded like a valuable addition to the composer’s catalogue. A lost work rarely mentioned is his setting of lines from Robert Browning’s poem ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’ for tenor voice and chamber orchestra which was scheduled to be performed by Steuart Wilson and the Lemare Orchestra in February 1935, but replaced by another work at the last minute. A clue to Rawsthorne’s interest in this text may be found in a footnote to the poem (about Fra Lippo Lippi, a fifteenth-century Florentine painter-monk): ‘ … Browning’s forceful statement upon the relationship of Art to Life … ’ (13) Perhaps the poet’s views chimed with Rawthorne’s at that time. There was an intention to perform the work at some future date, as the following letter from the composer to Iris Lemare, written while on holiday near Vienna in July 1936, shows:

“I saw Maurice Johnstone on Friday at Broadcasting House and had a talk about our scheme and now I have a dreadful feeling that I have let you down [perhaps by agreeing that the work might be performed by someone other than Lemare]. He said that the combination of my work and you and Steuart was such as might not happen in years though each might make an appearance independently at any time … So Johnstone said that I had better send my work to him for a ‘once over’ anyway, and then we will see what is to be done.” (14)

Could this score, like the Viola Sonata, be another manuscript that was not returned and forgotten about? Might the score be filed in the BBC archives?

If the Viola Sonata marked Rawsthorne’s emergence as a composer to be reckoned with, the Theme and Variations for Two Violins (1937) and the orchestral Symphonic Studies (1938) are his earliest works to be mentioned by many writers. Their success at International Society for Contemporary Music Festivals, in London and Warsaw respectively, brought Rawsthorne to international attention, enhanced by Gordon Green’s 1938 broadcast from Oslo of the piano Bagatelles. These three works, together with the Concerto for Piano, Strings and Percussion, first performed in 1939 (later fully orchestrated) became the foundation of his reputation.




Rawsthorne’s burgeoning career, like that of so many others, was disrupted by the outbreak of war; but at the age of 34 it was unlikely that he would soon be re- quired for military service, and, as the BBC had evacuated its Music Department

Alan Rawsthorne, 1941. The Terrells’ house by the cottage in Chew Magna [Somerset]. Photograph and caption by Mollie Barger and Symphony Orchestra to Bristol, he joined them there. As well as composing ‘He also did volunteer wartime work and lectured at Bristol University, teaching English to foreign students and giving lectures on music appreciation.’ (15)

The BBC commissioned a work for an exchange concert with Swiss broad- casting. Rawsthorne set Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ for soli, chorus, strings and percussion, and it was duly broadcast in June 1940. The full score was lost in a bombing raid on Bristol, and despite the entreaties of the BBC and fellow composers to reconstruct the work, he declined to do so. Nearly sixty years later Edward Harper was commissioned to make an orchestration from the vocal score. Rawsthorne had expanded the orchestration of the First Piano Concerto from strings and percussion to full orchestra, and Harper followed this lead with Kubla Khan. This version was first performed at the Bridgewater Hall, Manches- ter, on 30 March 2008. (16) A recording of the concert was issued, showing that this 15-minute work was deserving of a studio recording. Oxford University Press published a well-produced vocal score in 2007.

In 1941 Rawsthorne was conscripted into the Royal Artillery as a gunner in ‘E’ Battery, Watson Unit, Shrivenham, Wiltshire – Edmund Rubbra was in ‘F’ Battery; did they get the chance to try out Rawsthorne’s suite ‘The Creel’ for piano duet, composed in 1940, from which this journal takes its name? Military life with its red tape and rules was never going to be congenial to him, and a posting as a sergeant to the Army Education Corps was probably the best that could be arranged. Even with special leave being granted for composition, life was very restricted, especially when compared to that in the RAF Symphony Or- chestra, which recruited many fine players and gave many concerts. ‘By far the greatest service, however, was to the musicians themselves, since they were able to pursue their own careers and interests provided that they could arrange their engagements so as not to interfere with their service duties.’ (17)

No wonder he felt resentful about this period in his life; most of his com- posing was incidental music for BBC plays or for film. Apart from the fully orchestrated Piano Concerto first performed by Louis Kentner and the LPO with Rawsthorne conducting in July 1942, the Street Corner overture commis- sioned in 1944 by ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) but not performed until September 1945, and his last BBC wartime commission, Cortèges, performed in July 1945, he had little to show for his wartime efforts.


Much has been made of Rawsthorne and Fitzrovia; partly because it is the only group, however informal, with which his name has been linked. ‘The name “Fitzrovia” was derived from the Fitzroy Tavern halfway down Charlotte St. (London W1) and denotes a diffuse, subdivided community of Bohemians and would-be Bohemians, whose composition and character changed all the time as members elected themselves or were extruded [sic – excluded?].’ (18)

Wartime attracted a new generation of Fitzrovians whose world was centred on the BBC. A cross-section would include Dylan Thomas, Louis MacNeice and Stevie Smith as well as Rawsthorne, Constant Lambert, Elizabeth Lutyens, Humphrey Searle, William Alwyn and William Walton.

The new Fitzrovians drank in small groups, and they were drawn to the same pubs mostly by their employment, actual or potential, in or by the Features and Drama departments of the BBC. The geograph- ical boundaries of ‘Fitzrovia’ had been extended to take in both Broad- casting House in Portland Place and the Ministry of Information in Bloomsbury, the other great wartime employer of artists and writers …(19)


Many moved away in 1945 as this temporary wartime employment came to an end. Rawsthorne and MacNeice were among the last of those remaining into the 1950s.

Resuming his career at the age of 40, Rawsthorne had a lot of catching up to do. A string of orchestral and chamber works consolidated his reputation. His music became familiar, perhaps unknowingly, to cinema goers. Among his best-known films are The Captive Heart, Where No Vultures Fly, and, of course the 1952 film The Cruel Sea. His most popular work from this period was the Second Piano Concerto, an Arts Council Commission for the Festival of Britain, which celebrated the centenary of the 1851 Great Exhibition and was a showcase for post-war Britain. In that time of austerity it was spoken of as ‘a tonic for the nation’. As well as showing industrial and scientific achievements, young de- signers were given their heads, resulting in many innovative products, and room was found for whimsy and eccentricity. Rawsthorne reflected that spirit in the Concerto with a cheeky tune in the finale which made it an instant success, and it was soon recorded by Clifford Curzon with the LSO and Sargent; a recording which has rarely been out of the catalogue. When the Concerto was included in a 1984 concert, Ronald Crichton’s programme note concluded:

The finale opens with a rowdy gesture introducing the main rondo theme, whose frank tunefulness distressed some good souls when it was new. Now it sounds like a carnival hit half-remembered by a reveller not quite steady on his feet – the side-slips here are not harmonic but rhyth- mic – Rawsthorne’s tribute, no doubt, to the 1951 festival spirit. But the popular associations do not disguise the finale’s adroit completion of a carefully balanced four-movement structure. This is the only one of the four to end loud, with a bang – or is it, rather, a shrug? (20)

In concert programmes Rawsthorne was now being described as one of the ‘Big Four’ of British music, alongside Britten, Walton and Vaughan Williams. This was not as extravagant a claim then as it would be today. Vaughan Wil- liams was thirty years older than Walton and from an earlier generation; the others had, within fairly recent memory, announced their maturity with a major orchestral work: Walton – 1929 Viola Concerto, Britten – 1937 Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, and Rawsthorne – 1938 Symphonic Studies. The Raws- thorne has been described as ‘one of the most stylish and exuberantly inventive products of British music from the first half of the last century’.21 Another im- portant composer, ten years older than Walton, was Arthur Bliss, who had been much in vogue in the years after the First World War, but who by the late 1940s was beginning to be eclipsed by Walton, Britten and Rawsthorne. At the time of writing, however, he is obtaining some revenge at the latter’s expense: just as Bliss was not mentioned among the ‘big four’ of whom we have just spoken, so Rawsthorne is nowadays not mentioned among the ‘eclipsers’ in the Wikipedia article on Bliss.

The piano concertos greatly contributed to Rawsthorne’s prominence among British composers; in them Michael Kennedy detected a link to Britten and Walton:

Like Walton, Rawsthorne imparts a sub-stratum of tension to his music by ambivalent use of keys, evidenced by the flute melody which begins the second concerto. There is a tranquil adagio and a finale in which the Latin-American rondo theme is used as a text for a most witty dis- play. It is an invigorating work, but its predecessor is better. This was composed in 1939 for strings and percussion and revised in 1942 for full orchestra. It is the piano concerto Walton did not write, having the same electric rhythms and alternations of irony and romance. The three movements are called Capriccio, Chaconne and Tarantella, sufficient pointers to the character of the music. The Chaconne is extraordinarily imaginative, one of the most haunting slow movements of the era, with each variation in a different key. In the finale, a song associated with the republicans in the Spanish Civil War is quoted, giving the work, as will be seen, an affinity with Britten’s Violin Concerto. (22)

Rawsthorne’s ‘low point’

The mid 1950s proved to be a watershed in all three composers’ careers. In 1954 Walton completed his opera Troilus and Cressida upon which he had laboured for six years; Britten completed The Turn of the Screw and the third Canticle, a setting of Edith Sitwell’s ‘Still Falls the Rain’, and Rawsthorne his Second String Quartet (as well as Practical Cats, a work of rather less weight than the others mentioned here). If all three had stopped composing at the end of that year we would still have most of the works for which they are best remembered. In April 1955 Britten told Edith Sitwell that The Turn of the Screw and Canticle III made him feel ‘on the threshold of a new musical world’ and that he was taking the following winter off to do some deep thinking.23 William Alwyn, an exact contemporary of Rawsthorne, who had known him at least since the wartime Fitzrovian days, recorded in his diary for 3 December 1955:

A delightful evening at the IMA (International Musicians’ Association) with Richard Farrell. (Alan) Rawsthorne joined us. A pity he has let himself run to seed; he is still an amusing and charming companion, with the bohemian aura of the Café Royal still clinging to him, evoking the shades of Constant Lambert and E. J. (Jack) Moeran; but now he always gives the impression of being slightly fuddled. Alan is a fastidious composer. His output is small compared with Benjamin Britten and minute compared with the prodigal output of Malcom Arnold. (24)



This is a valuable snapshot of Rawsthorne at the low point in his career. He had written little since 1951 (although we might mention the full-length ballet Madame Chrysanthème, premiered in 1955; the Second Violin Concerto would follow in 1956 – neither of these, however, was an unqualified success) and Alwyn’s frustration that such a gifted composer did not write more is all too apparent in the hyperbolic comparison with Britten and Arnold. In 1956 The Times commented ‘Rawsthorne in fact is a composer who has shown no devel- opments of style in his twenty-five years of creative work. He found the style he needed and has continued to write in it’;25 a charge which could equally have been levelled at Walton. Rawsthorne was in a stylistic cul-de-sac and he knew it. His second wife Isabel, who as an artist herself would have understood the problems involved, asked him ‘why do you keep writing the same piece?’26 Hugh Wood pinpointed Rawsthorne’s difficulty:

The danger inherent in a style so completely formed and a manner so self-sufficient is obvious: the character of the music may fail to develop and gesture may degenerate into mannerism. Rawsthorne’s later mu- sic is not free from these dangers, as a comparison of the Bagatelles with the Four Romantic Pieces (1955) will show. But they are offset by a new spareness of texture and seriousness of thought in the Second String Quartet (1954) and renewed vigour in the recent Violin Sonata (1958). (27)


The Violin Sonata marked the beginning of his most creative period; also in 1958 he composed his last feature-film score, Floods of Fear, followed by music for three documentary films, the last of which was Messenger of the Mountains in 1964. He was now free to concentrate on his concert music.

Rawsthorne’s ‘renewal’ as a composer coincided with the beginning of Wil- liam Glock’s time as BBC music controller (1959–72).Glock favoured the avant garde, particularly the second Viennese school and its descendants, over other contemporary music. During this period Rawsthorne fared better than many contemporaries, who felt that they were being cold-shouldered by the BBC. His earlier works were still being performed and featured regularly in Promenade Concerts. In 1962 the BBC commissioned his Medieval Diptych, and in 1963 his Quintet for Piano and Wind Instruments, as well as giving the first performance of his large-scale choral work Carmen Vitale.

His last BBC commissions, in 1968, were the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra and the Triptych for Orchestra. I have heard a tape of the 1962 Proms premiere of the Medieval Diptych (Peter Glossop, BBCSO / Del Mar) and was impressed by the enthusiastic applause (even taking into account the famed Proms generosity) for both the work and the composer when he took his bow. The work was repeated at the Proms with- in the next few seasons, conducted by Rawsthorne – his final appearance as a conductor. A Rawsthorne premiere continued to be an eagerly awaited event inthe musical calendar, and he had loyal supporters: the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott (1929–2008), for example, was a friend and advocate, instrumental in commissioning the 1967 piano Ballade and the 1968 Quintet for Piano and Strings for Cardiff.

Britten’s Cello Symphony of 1963 was his first purely orchestral work since the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra of 1946. Rawsthorne’s Third Symphony and Elegiac Rhapsody, both from 1964, were his most impressive orchestral works since his ‘renewal’ of 1958. How much each composer had developed can be judged by a comparison of the Britten and Rawsthorne works with Walton’s 1963 Variations on a Theme of Hindemith, widely regarded as the best of his late orchestral music. The Walton is immediately recognisable as his, whereas Brit- ten and Rawsthorne are exploring new ground, their ‘fingerprints’ less discern- ible than before.

Rawsthorne’s output is larger than he is often given credit for; more than 150 works written between 1927 and 1971, including lost and unpublished

Rawsthorne at Cheltenham with some of the other composers mentioned in the article. While he and Alun Hoddinott (far left) seem jokily aware of the camera’s presence, Arthur Bliss and Elizabeth Lutyens maintain an almost waxwork propriety works, film scores and incidental music. Of his more than seventy published works, about twenty deserve a place in the repertoire. Many more are well worth hearing – which we can do, since Dutton and Naxos have recorded most of his orchestral and chamber music. As Francis Routh concluded: ‘In considering his work as a whole, Rawsthorne does not immediately impress the listener with striking thematic ideas; nor does he indulge in outrageous experiments. The listener is invited to seek for himself, to pay the closest attention. Raws- thorne’s art is an intimate one, but his idiom is richly varied, and suitable for all occasions of instrumental music, whether a full-length symphonic work or a small chamber piece. Though forged from traditional materials, it is anything but derivative.’ (28)


1 Ivan March, Edward Greenfield and Robert Layton, The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs 2005/2006 (London: Penguin, 2005), p. 1069.


2 The Creel 5/3, issue no. 19 (Winter 2005/6), pp. 30–91.

3 Alan Poulton, ed., Alan Rawsthorne, 3 vols. (Kidderminster; Hindhead: Bravura Press, 1984–6),vol. II, pp. 1–2.

4 For parallels between Rawsthorne and Tippett, see my article in The Creel 7/2, issue no.23 (Summer 2012), pp. 10–17 and 39–44.
5 The Creel 4/4, issue no. 16 (2002), p. 40.
6 Poulton, ed., Alan Rawsthorne, vol. III, pp. 68–9.
7 John McCabe, Alan Rawsthorne: Portrait of a Composer (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 16.
8 The Sprat, February 2001.
9 ‘Recitals of the Week’, The Times, 8 December 1934; quoted in Poulton, ed., Alan Rawsthornevol. II, p. 42.

10 The Sprat, December 1996.
11 Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the Young Benjamin Britten 1928–1938 (London: Faber and Faber, 2009).

12 Stephen Banfield, Gerald Finzi: An English Composer (London: Faber and Faber, 1997).
13 Robert Browning’s Poetry, ed. James F. Loucks and Andrew M. Stauffer. 2nd edn (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007), p. 105, note 1.

14 Poulton, ed., Alan Rawsthorne, vol. II, pp. 25–6.
15 McCabe, Alan Rawsthorne, p. 74.
16 Edward Harper, ‘Some Thoughts on Reconstructing Kubla Khan’, The Creel 4/3, issue no.15

(Summer 2001), pp. 7–14.
17 Stephen J. Pettit, Dennis Brain: A Biography (London: Robert Hale, 1976), p. 65.
18 Meirion Harries and Susie Harries, A Pilgrim Soul: The Life and Works of Elizabeth Lutyens (London: Michael Joseph, 1989), p. 115.

19 Ibid., p. 116.
20 The Great British Music Festival, British Music 1925–1975, Programme Book; 23 October 1983 – 1 April 1984, Royal Festival Hall.

21 The Gramophone Classical Good CD, DVD and Download Guide 2007, ed. James Jolly (London: Gramophone Publications, 2006), p. 811.

22 Michael Kennedy, ‘The Concerto in Britain’, in A Guide to the Concerto, ed. Robert Layton (Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 345.

23 Humphrey Carpenter, Benjamin Britten: A Biography (London: Faber and Faber, 1992), p. 366.

24 Composing in Words: William Alwyn on His Art, ed. A. Palmer (London: Toccata Press, 2009),p. 133.

25 The Times, 9 September 1956, quoted in The Creel 5/3, issue no. 19 (Winter 2005–6), p. 75.

26 Isabel Rawsthorne interviewed by Tim Mottershead, ibid.
27 European Music in the Twentieth Century, ed. Howard Hartog (London: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 150.

28 Contemporary British Music, ed. Francis Routh (London: Macdonald, 1972), p. 63.

Tony Pickard is a frequent contributor to The Creel who is well versed in matters concerning Raws- thorne’s life and works. He first encountered the composer’s music on the BBC Third Programme in the early 1960s and joined the (then) Alan Rawsthorne Society in 1996. He is an amateur viola player, enthusiastic about the repertoire and discography of the instrument. He was a career civil servant with the Central Office of Information.