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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Surfacing -- Music up and down

Listening recently to a broadcast of Anthony Milner's Symphony by the BBC in London brought back memories from my days in music publishing when the South African composer John Joubert urged me to take notice of English composer Anthony Milner, for whom he had great admiration. Rightly so, as I surmised when I heard again this music, as firmly based in tradition as it was aware of mid-century trends. Above all, Milner had mastery of all that was vital to a composer sensitive to his position in a century of fast-moving development.

I find some modern music isolated from its roots and therefore without anchorage, and drifting as though with the tide. Such happenings do not preclude a composer from drifting, if it be his route towards viable development. It is not our place to judge/criticise so readily before a composer has pronounced satisfaction with his direction -- a hard lesson for the hordes of us delighted at the prospect of disapproval!

Recent history reveals some circuitous routes trudged bravely by those with a mission. Some hit target and some lose sight of it completely. In the way of things, and the wastage of a vast quantity of music, is the merciless tread of development. It is in wastage on such a scale that we realise the infinity of those qualities that humanly surface through art in all its manifestations.

Copyright © 22 April 2003 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

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ANTHONY MILNER (1925-2002)

MORE ABOUT ANTHONY MILNER FROM BASIL RAMSEY

ANTHONY MILNER AT CHESTER/NOVELLO

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