Lord Berners: Composer, Writer, Painter

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 214 pages
Lord Berners was one of the most colourful and flamboyant personalities of his day. A composer, writer, painter, and eccentric (famous for dyeing his pigeons into rainbow hues), he knew everyone in the worlds of the arts and of society in the first half of the twentieth century, and formed the model for Lord Merlin in Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love. He was admired by Stravinsky, collaborated with Diaghilev and Gertrude Stein, and his five ballets were choreographed by Balanchine and Frederick Ashton. This book offers a refreshingly new documentary approach - interviews with leading figures and contemporaries who knew him and his work, set into context and complemented with much further information. The interviewees include Ashton, the writers Lord David Cecil and Harold Acton, the composers Richard Rodney Bennett and Gavin Bryars, Diana Mosley (one of the six Mitford sisters) and more; there are also studies by Peter Dickinson. There are numerous colour plates and other illustrations. PETER DICKINSON, the composer and pianist, is emeritus professor, University of Keele and University of London. He has written or edited several books about twentieth-century music, including Copland Connotations (2002), The Music of Lennox Berkeley (2003), and CageTalk (2006).
 

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Such a hideous collection of people who have not altogether disappeared...generations later .it is worth reading a history of the Heber Percy family. Multiple marriages and divorces, awful class snobbery, but still keeping their wealth and inherited positions amongst themselves - sometimes in intriguing ways! Heather and her daughters Zara and Tamara run a dating agency which 'assess' potential clients to check they are 'one of us', one of the daughters began training a Jungian analyst The cost of the dating set up is prohibitive to most which ensures 'them' and 'us' continues.Their mother Victoria's only claim to fame is that she was the first wife of peter Ziniovieff and provided him with funds to work with Pink Floyd, She was a wealthy socialite daughter of a homosexual. There are more than a few obnoxious characters in the family,including a connection with Hitler. These families have produced environments which both enable and disable their members - it would be a more interesting read if a psychological analysis was attempted by an author able to be untangle the destructive lives of such as the Herber Percy's  

Contents

Introduction
1
Critical responses
23
Sir Harold Acton
46
William Crack
57
Edward James with Gavin Bryars
63
Daphne Fielding
66
Professor DerekJackson with Gavin Bryars
70
Lady Dorothy Lygon Robert HeberPercy
72
Poems
154
Foreword to The Girls of Radcliff Hall
165
Unpublished foreword to The Camel
166
The Denton Welch portrait
167
Print orders of Berners music
170
The Stravinsky manuscripts and proofs
173
Record collection
174
Library of scores
178

Robert HeberPercy with a memoir by Sofka Zinovieff
76
LadyMosley
88
Sir Frederick Ashton
99
Lady Betjeman
105
Lady Harrod
111
Lord David Cecil
115
Gavin Bryars
128
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
138
Professor Fiamma Nicolodi
143
Prose
147
An Egyptian Princess by Mary Gifford
180
Family tree
184
Musical works
185
Discography
188
Published writings
191
Paintings
194
General bibliography
196
Index of works by Lord Berners
205
General index
206
Copyright

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