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The Lark Ascending

Richard King

A radical new history of Britain’s natural landscapes and the musical movements they have inspired.

5 in stock

£8.99
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571338801
Date Published
05.03.2020
Delivery
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.
Summary

* A Rough Trade, Mojo and Evening Standard Book of the Year *

‘Peerless cultural history.’ Ian Thomson, Evening Standard

‘Original.’ Guardian

‘Fascinating.’ Mail On Sunday

‘Exceptional.’ Irish Times

Over the course of the twentieth century, The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams is the piece of music that has come to define the mythical concept of the English countryside, with its babbling brooks and skylarks. Yet, the landscape is not really an unaffected utopia, but a living, working and occasionally rancorous environment that has forged a nation’s musical personality. On a journey that takes us from post-war poets and artists to the free party scene embraced by the acid house and travelling communities, Richard King explores how Britain’s history and identity have been shaped by the mysterious relationship between music and nature.

Critic Reviews

Illuminating, idiosyncratic and never less than fascinating.

Melissa Harrison
Critic Reviews

Deftly woven artistic and political ley lines mapping and connecting the figurative landscape of the psyche and the literal landscape of the British countryside.

Andrew Weatherall
Critic Reviews

Less a book and more a poetic time-travelling device.

Jeremy Deller
Critic Reviews

The Lark Ascending is something more rugged, lyrical and strange than a conventional history. Like the bird of Vaughan Williams’s piece (itself inspired by the 1881 George Meredith poem), it swoops and dives through the century that followed its first performance.

New Statesman
Critic Reviews

The nation’s favourite piece of music is established as the presiding spirit of an idiosyncratic pilgrimage through 20th-century experiments in life and sound ... Wanders between cathedral stalls and festival fields, magnetically drawn to overlaps of avant-gardism and popular song, radicalism and tradition ... An appealing breadth of sympathy ... Revealing and timely ... A valuably original book. I liked the bursts of vivid passion, the cameo sketches of “post-psychedelic crofters”, the heartfelt account of travellers ...

Alexandra Harris, Observer
Critic Reviews

The Lark Ascending is something more rugged, lyrical and strange than a conventional history. Like the bird of Vaughan Williams’s piece (itself inspired by the 1881 George Meredith poem), it swoops and dives through the century that followed its first performance.

New Statesman
RichardKing

RICHARD KING is the author of Original Rockers (shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and a Rough Trade, The Times and Uncut Book of the Year), How Soon Is Now? (the Sunday Times Music Book of the Year), The Lark Ascending (a Rough Trade, Mojo and Evening Standard Book of the Year, shortlisted for the Penderyn Prize) and the forthcoming…

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