This is the first scholarly work to document the musical life of Joseph Holbrooke, one of Britain's most prolific and controversial composers during the first half of the twentieth century.
Holbrooke was outspoken on many issues, including the maligned fortunes of British composers, which he believed were brought about by apathy and indifference on the part of critics and the public.
Despite doubts in various quarters over Holbrooke's ability to forge a unique compositional idiom, many of his works were performed to critical acclaim in Britain, Europe, and the United States.
Today, Holbrooke's music is increasingly enjoyed and recorded. Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic, and Musical Patriot opens with a biographical overview of Holbrooke that concentrates on his relationship with Granville Bantock and Wales and the role that Lord Howard de Walden played in Holbrooke's work and development.
Contributors offer studies of a selection of repertory by Holbrooke, including his chamber music, the operas Pierrot and Pierrette and The Enchanted Garden, and his tone poem "The Raven." The final chapter describes Holbrooke's patriotism by examining his book Contemporary British Composers, which was published in 1925.
Included is an appendix that provides the first comprehensive and corrected list of Holbrooke's compositions. This book will interest not only musicologists, musicians and listeners interested in the repertory of the British classical music tradition but also scholars and general readers interested in the ways Celticism, poetic inspiration, and nationalist ideology were expressed in the work of classical composers in the early twentieth century.