Anthony Edward Payne
2 August 1936
|Died||30 April 2021 84)(aged|
|Known for|| Symphony No. 3 (Elgar/Payne) |
|List of compositions|
Anthony Edward Payne (2 August 1936 – 30 April 2021) was an English composer, music critic and writer.He is best known for his 1997 completion of Edward Elgar's third symphony, titled Edward Elgar: The Sketches for Symphony No. 3 elaborated by Anthony Payne ; the work has subsequently gained wide acceptance into Elgar's oeuvre. His own works include representatives of most traditional genres—apart from opera—but he is particularly noted for his chamber music. Many of these chamber works were written for his wife, the soprano Jane Manning, and the new music ensemble Jane's Minstrels, which he founded with Manning in 1988. Initially an unrelenting proponent of avant-garde modernism, by the 1980s his compositions had embraced aspects of the late romanticism of England, which Susan Bradshaw described as "modernized nostalgia". His mature style is thus characterized by a highly individualized combination of an English-Romantic sentiment with modernism, as well as numerology, wide spaced harmonies and strict rhythms.
Born in London, Payne did not come from a particularly musical background but studied music at Dulwich College and Durham University. Though he had begun composing as a child, his professional career began around 1965, with pieces such as the Phoenix Mass (1965) and Paraphrases and Cadenzas (1969)—both of which he would later revise. These works were firmly rooted in the modernist style, but by the 1980s, he began to embrace the English tradition, exemplified in A Day in the Life of a Mayfly (1981). His first full orchestral work followed in this vein, The Spirit’s Harvest (1985), and he later created a completed version of Elgar's third symphony, which brought him international attention and future commissions of a similar nature. Among these were other completions of works by Elgar as well as orchestrations of Elgar, Finzi and Delius works.Later major works include four commissions for the BBC Proms, Time’s Arrow (1990), Visions and Journeys (2002), The Period of Cosmographie (2010) and Of Land, Sea and Sky (2016). He died in April 2021, a month after the death of his wife.
Payne held academic posts at various institutions throughout his career, including the London College of Music, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Western Australia.A renowned critic, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph , The Independent and Country Life . Other writings include publications on a variety of musical topics, notably Schoenberg (1968)—a study on the composer Arnold Schoenberg—and numerous works on the music of Frank Bridge, to whom he was particularly devoted.
Anthony Edward Payne was born in London on 2 August 1936 to Edward and Muriel (née Stroud) Payne;his father was a civil servant. He did not come from a particularly musical background, though at the age of 10 went to see relatives in Godalming, and first experienced classical music by hearing a recording of Brahms's Symphony No. 1. Payne himself recalled the significance of the moment, saying he was "was absolutely translated" and that he was "hooked like a fish". A recording he was given the next year of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 solidified his interest; he began composing at around age 11. His initial compositional influences were the late romantics, Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams.
He first studied music at Dulwich College under Stanley Wilson. After a brief stint in the Royal Corps of Signals (1958–1961) he continued studying music at Music at St Cuthbert's Society, Durham University.At this time, working with Peter Evans assisted the growth of his musical maturity. He then spent a period as a freelance musicologist.
Since the mid-1960s when he composed his Phoenix Mass, he has received commissions for new works from several important ensembles, including the English Chamber Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble.Three major orchestral works: The Spirit's Harvest (1985), Time's Arrow (1990), Visions and Journeys (2002) and Of Land, Sea and Sky (2016) were all premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at The Proms in London. He has also composed a Concerto for Orchestra (1974) and other orchestral pieces, as well as chamber, instrumental and choral works. His String Quartet No. 2 (2010) won the Chamber category of the 2011 British Composer Awards.
In 1988 he co-founded the "questing young ensemble"Jane's Minstrels with his wife, the soprano Jane Manning. Amongst his ensemble pieces, A Day in the Life of a Mayfly and Symphonies of Wind and Rain (composed for and recorded by Jane's Minstrels) are considered particularly effective. Although Payne's realisations of several works by Elgar have brought him considerable notice and acclaim, he has also composed a Frederick Delius paraphrase entitled Spring's Shining Wake (1981) and has transcribed songs by Peter Warlock for Jane's Minstrels.
Payne's realisation of the sketches for Edward Elgar's Third Symphony took several years to complete. When Elgar died in 1934, he left more than 130 pages of incomplete score for a third symphony. Although initially reluctant to allow anyone to use this material (Elgar himself had expressed a wish that no-one should "tinker" with the sketches), the Elgar family realised that in 2005 the sketches would come out of copyright. They therefore approved Payne's elaboration of the sketches, on which he had been working and lecturing intermittently since 1993, and he subsequently completed the piece.Payne's version of the symphony was first performed in 1998 to immediate acclaim, and has received numerous subsequent performances and several recordings.
Payne subsequently also composed a version of Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6 from Elgar's incomplete sketches for the work, which received its first performance under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis at a Prom concert on 2 August 2006 – Payne's 70th birthday. During a radio interview on the BBC's Today on 28 April 2006, when he was asked about the March, Payne said that he had composed about 43% of the music and carried out all of the orchestration, amounting to well over half the piece. In the same interview he said that to carry out his completions he felt that he had to try to "become" Elgar, in much the same way that an actor would assume a stage role.
Payne was awarded an Elgar Medal by the Elgar Society, and held honorary doctorates from the universities of Birmingham, Durham and Kingston.He was a fellow of the Royal College of Music, where he was arts research fellow for two years.
Payne died on 30 April 2021.He was 84, and died a month after the death of his wife, which reportedly affected his health. His collegue and fellow composer Colin Matthews noted that "They were inseparable in life, and I suppose it's not a surprise that he would follow her so soon after". Payne and Manning had no children, but were survived by a nephew and two nieces.
Alongside his career as a composer, Payne simultaneously built up a reputation as a writer on music, both as an author of books about Arnold Schoenberg and Frank Bridgeand as a music critic for The Daily Telegraph , The Independent and Country Life . He was a visiting lecturer at a number of universities in Britain, Australia and the U.S..
Payne was married, in 1966, to the soprano Jane Manning for whom he composed a number of vocal works including the song-cycle Evening Land. In 2007, the couple were jointly awarded honorary doctorates by Durham University.
|Suite from a Forgotten Ballet||1955|
solo string quartet; string orchestra
|Concerto for Orchestra||1974||Orchestral|
|Song of the Clouds||1979–80||Orchestral|
solo oboe, 2 horns, perc, string orchestra
|Spring’s Shining Wake||1980–81||Orchestral|
|Songs and Seascapes||1984||Orchestral|
|The Spirit’s Harvest||1985||Orchestral|
|Half-Heard in the Stillness||1987||Orchestral|
|Symphonies of Wind and Rain||1991||Orchestral|
|Orchestral Variations: The Seeds Long Hidden||1992–4||Orchestral|
|Visions and Journeys||2001–2||Orchestral|
|Bright Cecilia, Variations on a Theme of Purcell |
with Lindberg, C. Matthews, Ruders, Sawer, Torke and Weir
|Windows on Eternity||2006–7||Orchestral|
|The Period of Cosmographie||2009||Orchestral|
|Fire on Whaleness||1975–6||Brass|
Brass band, perc
|Fanfares and Processional||1986||Brass|
hn, 4 tpt, 4 trbn, tuba
|Echoes of Courtly Love||1987||Brass|
hn, tpt, flugel hn, trbn, tuba
4 hn, 4 tpt, 4 trbn, tuba, perc
|Paraphrases and Cadenzas||1969|
cl, va, pf
|Sonatas and Ricercars||1970–71||Chamber|
fl, ob, cl, bn, hn
|Footfalls Echo in the Memory||1978||Chamber|
|The Stones and Lonely Places Sing||1978–9||Chamber|
fl + pic, cl + b cl, hn, pf, vn, va, vc
|A Day in the Life of a Mayfly||1981||Chamber|
fl + pic, cl, perc, pf, vn, vc
|The Song Streams in the Firmament||1986||Chamber|
cl, 2 vn, va, vc, db
2 vn, 2 va, vc
|A 1940s Childhood||1986–7||Chamber|
fl, cl, hp, 2 vn, va, vc
|The Enchantress Plays||1990||Chamber|
|Empty Landscape – Heart’s Ease||1994–5||Chamber|
ob, cl, hn, vn, va, vc
|Engines and Islands||1996||Chamber|
fl, cl, perc, pf, vn, va, vc
|Of Knots and Skeins||2000||Chamber|
|Out of the Depths Comes Song||2008||Chamber|
|From a Mouthful of Air||2009||Chamber|
tpt, hp, vn, va, vc
|Miniature Variations on a Theme of E.L.||1980||Solo|
|Reflections in the Sea of Glass||1983||Solo|
|Amid the Winds of Evening||1987||Solo|
|Hommage to Debussy||1998||Solo|
|Choral and vocal|
|Choral and vocal|
SATB, 3 trumpet, 3 trombone
|Two Songs without Words||1970||Choral and vocal|
5 male voices
|A Little Passiontide Cant|
(Text from 14th-century England)
|Choral and vocal|
|First Sight of Her and After|
(Text by Thomas Hardy)
|1975||Choral and vocal|
16 solo voices
|1988||Choral and vocal|
SATB, ob, cl, bn, hn, perc, vn, va, vc, db
|The World’s Winter|
(Text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
|1976||Choral and vocal|
Soprano, flute + piccolo, oboe, clarinet
|The Sea of Glass|
(Text from the Book of Revelations)
|1977||Choral and vocal|
|A Little Ascension Cant|
(Text attributed to Cynewulf)
|Choral and vocal|
|A Little Whitsuntide Cant|
(Text by Emily Brontë)
|Choral and vocal|
(Text by Pär Lagerkvist)
|1980–81||Choral and vocal|
|A Little Christmas Cant|
(Text from traditional carol texts)
|1983||Choral and vocal|
|Alleluias and Hockets|
|1987||Choral and vocal|
SATB, 2 ob, eng hn, 2 bn, 2 tpt, 3 trbn
(Text by Edward Thomas)
|1989||Choral and vocal|
|Break, break, break|
(Text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
|1996||Choral and vocal|
|From the Woodlanders|
(Text by Thomas Hardy)
|1999||Choral and vocal|
Soprano, 2 clarinets, violin, cello
|Betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross|
(Text by Francis Thompson)
|2001||Choral and vocal|
|Poems of Edward Thomas|
(Text by Edward Thomas)
|2002–3||Choral and vocal|
Soprano, piano, violin, vila, cello
(Text by Payne, after Pär Lagerkvist)
|2008||Choral and vocal|
(Ursula Vaughan Williams)
|2008||Choral and vocal|
Mezzo soprano, piano
|1996||Time’s Arrow||Time’s Arrow|| BBC Symphony Orchestra |
|1998||A Day in the Life of a Mayfly||Symphonies of Wind and Rain|| Jane's Minstrels |
Jane Manning, Roger Montgomery
|The Songs and Streams in the Firmament|
|Paraphrases and Cadenzas|
|A Day in the Life of a Mayfly|
|2007||The Stones and Lonely Places Sing||Empty Landscape – Heart’s Ease|| Jane's Minstrels,|
Jane Manning, Roger Montgomery,
Fenella Barton, Dominic Saunders
|Scenes from The Woodlanders|
|Of Knots and Skeins|
|Poems of Edward Thomas: Words|
|Poems of Edward Thomas: Lights Out|
|Poems of Edward Thomas: Adlestrop|
|The Stones & Lonely Places Sing|
|1996||Chroma||Sea-Change||Chroma||Riverrun Records RVRCD56|
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