Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Allis’s raven flies high in awards for excellence

May 4th, 2017

The book, Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic, and Musical Patriot (2014), which contains a chapter published by Michael Allis, Professor of Musicology and Postgraduate Research Tutor in the School, has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in the awards for excellence in the category of ‘Best Historical Research in Recorded Classical Music’.

Edited by Paul Watt and Anne-Marie Forbes, the book is the first scholarly publication to report the musical life of the British composer Joseph Holbrooke (1878-1958), one of Britain’s most controversial and inventive composers of the early twentieth century.

Allis’s chapter, ‘Holbrooke and Poe Revisited: Refiguring The Raven as the Musical Uncanny’, focuses on Holbrooke’s symphonic poem The Raven (1900, rev. 1902). The chapter contextualises Holbrooke’s work via his obsession with the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, wider British Poe reception in the 19th century and artistic refiguring’s of Poe’s poem ‘The Raven’ (including illustrations by Doré and Manet). Allis’s chapter offers a new reading of Holbrooke’s symphonic poem as an example of the musical ‘uncanny’, given its blurring of the familiar and the unfamiliar, with reference to the writings of Sigmund Freud and Ernst Jentsch.

Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic, and Musical Patriot is of use to musicologists, musicians and listeners who are interested in British classical music repertoire, alongside scholars and general readers who are interested in the ways in which Celticism, poetic inspiration, and nationalist ideology were expressed through the work of classical composers in the first half of the twentieth century.

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