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The Churchill Society

Beauty is to Art - as Honesty is to Honour

Winston Churchill.


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From the Music Committee.

You ask why THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY concerns itself with music.

Firstly, we deplore the deterioration of social and cultural values in this country, lately referred to as "dumbing down", especially in the arts.

It is the arts which define the health of a civilised society. Nowadays, like everything else from three piece suites to baked beans, the arts are sold by the media moguls, the sole motive being profit, having no regard to quality. This applies above all, perhaps to music, whether it is pop music or serious concert hall music (the misleading reference to the latter as "classical" demonstrates a Churchillian "terminological inexactitude" for the expression "classical music" ended 1827 with the death of Beethoven).

England has a rich musical heritage, stemming from before Arne and the great Purcell and Handel and was carried on and into the present century by, Elgar, Delius, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Britten, Tippet etc.

But what are we being sold today? By and large it is toneless, tuneless, flaccid, inconsequential structureless junk - for it is not only assaults the ear - but worse - it denies all the basic principles of good musical composition. Above all that utter travesty of modern music - "minimalism" - by which a so-called composer may relegate all responsibility of composition to the scrap heap. Yet the promoters find they can sell this to a gullible public anxious not to be left behind in accepting trendy gimmicks, trendy images, trendy quasi-intellectual comments.

Meanwhile there are many of first-class living composers who are totally rejected by the musical establishment - in effect the BBC - because they do not conform to the right image or employ the right tricks or say the right things. These are composers of exceptional talent and proven ability and integrity who are kept under wraps because the people responsible at the BBC are afraid of exposing their own lack of musical acumen, as distinct from academic knowledge, and so go along with the promoters, and their salesmen.

It is our avowed intention to clear the decks of these charlatans who do not merit the term "composer" whilst retaining those of undeniable merit and promoting the talented rejects.

Some of the finest British works of the 20th century have never been heard and may possibly even disappear with their creators if something is not done before the public ear is sullied beyond redemption.

(This accords with Churchill's own position and public statements regarding the arts and integrity within their practice). Eventually the society aims to have its own record label to promote, not only the neglected composers but also the artists who support them. One of the many functions of CHURCHILL HOUSE in central London would be to give performances and recordings of these unknown works and so redress the balance.

1996 CHRISTMAS LECTURE The Battle for REAL Music.






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