The Australian composer, David Lumsdaine, has lived in England since 1953, yet his music still reflects the images of his Australian childhood. Indeed his music is sometimes considered to be too Australian for Europeans, and too European for Australians, a view which Michael Hall examines in his thoughtful and painstaking study the first to be published of the composer's life and work.
This is a fascinating and eminently readable book, in which Michael Hall draws on personal reminiscences of the composer by friends and colleagues among them Peter Porter, Anthony Gilbert, Peter Manning, Andrew Schultz and, of course, Hall himself to give us a picture of this private and enigmatic man. To this biographical montage, he add discussion of all of Lumsdaine's major works (sometimes in the form of extracts form the composer's programme notes) illustrated by musical examples in the text and by recorded musical extracts in the accompanying CD. The book also contains a comprehensive list of works and discography.
This book about David Lumsdaine is both illuminating and thorough, and is an excellent starting point for the study of the music of one of the most intriguing composers of our time.
The author, Michael Hall, is well-known for his a survey of twentieth-century music Leaving Home (Faber, 1998) and for two books about Sir Harrison Birtwistle (Robson Books, 1984 and 1998). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a regular writer and broadcaster on music for BBC Radio 3.
124 pages, with CD of musical examples