<< -- 3 -- Trevor Hold JOHN BISHOP (1931-2000)
Thames was a small, one-man business - a 'small-timer',
in his own characteristic phrase. He worked on a shoestring budget, with
no public subsidy or lottery guarantee. Yet over the past 30 years he achieved
things that none of the larger, more weathily-endowed music publishers have
been able, or willing, to do. The Heritage of English Song and A
Century of English Song series, the Warlock Collected Edition (writings
and journalism as well as music): without these, British music would be
infinitely the poorer. All this work - hard work: far too hard for
his own good - was done quietly and unostentatiously behind the scenes.
He was not a man who wanted to stand out from the crowd: he let his publishing
record act for him.
In the Introduction to his excellent anthology, Music and Sweet Poetry
(John Baker 1968: recently republished by Thames), he wrote:
'The great reward of compiling this book has been to bring to light
a host of deserving, largely unfamiliar treasures, a paean of loving affirmations
of the joy that music brings - music which, to quote Plato, "gives
soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm
to sadness, gaiety and life to everything" '.
This, I think, would be a fitting epitaph for him.
Copyright © 21 September 2000
Trevor Hold, Peterborough, UK
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