George Marshall asks:
>Has anyone any views on his music?
George Lloyd is one of those composers most people either love or hate.
I like certain pieces better than others. The Fourth certainly is one
of his stronger pieces. I find him very similar to Tchaikovsky (another
uneven composer) in his symphonic approach. His Symphonic Mass, however,
bores me. I used to like him a lot better than I do now, but Andrew
Porter convinced me that at least some of the time (and at structurally
important moments) he takes the cheap way out. While I think him a good
composer, I find others of his generation and conservative mindset --
Alwyn, Rubbra, Stevens, Frankel, and Veale, for example -- much more
Lloyd suffered a nervous breakdown after the failure of his opera John
Socman. He didn't compose anything for years and years. That partially
accounts for his neglect. Academia ignored him, but academia ignores a
lot of people who still get played and plays a lot of music that otherwise
gets ignored. So it's not really fair to blame the Pedants Who Hate
True Beauty. However, the BBC, the prime disseminator of music in
Britain, changed policy and decided to champion composers -- mostly of
the "hard" wing of contemporary music -- who had previously been neglected.
The conductor Edward Downes and recording companies like Lyrita and
Albany are responsible for Lloyd's second shot, and obviously their work
has borne fruit at the BBC.