His thesis is entitled ‘Experiments with Sonata Form’: A Critical Study of the Absolute Music of Herbert Howells and Its Place in Modern British Music’ (abstract below). In addition to his thesis, Jonathan also produced a completion of Howells’s Cello Concerto which is now published by Novello and has been recently recorded – see Cello Concerto page.
He is currently working on a biography of the composer.
Please do get in touch if you have any Howells related queries or information.
The Music of Herbert Howells (published by Boydell & Brewer), to which Jonathan contributed, may be ordered here.
It contains 2 essays: –
- ‘On Hermeneutics in Howells: Some Thoughts on Interpreting his Cello Concerto’
- ”Tunes all the way’? Romantic Modernism and the Piano Concertos of Herbert Howells’
Other Publications on Howells:
‘The Challenge to Goodwill: Herbert Howells, Alban Berg and ‘The Modern Problem” in British Musical Criticism and Intellectual Thought, 1850-1950. Edited by Jeremy Dibble and Julian Horton (Boydell & Brewer, 2018)
‘Shaping the living and the dead’ -The Annual Herbert Howells Lecture,
given at Westminster Abbey on 8th October 2016. Text here.
‘Herbert Howells’s Organ Works? Critical reception, performance practice and the case for reappraisal.’ was published in Volume 37 of the Journal of The British Institute of Organ Studies (December 2013).
JBIOS 37 can be obtained from the publisher: Positif Press (Oxford), TEL: +44 (0)1865 243220
Jonathan writes programme notes regularly for performances and recordings of music by Howells and other British composers. Do get in touch if you need some notes. His most recent set was for David Newsholme’s fine disc of organ music – Howells from Salisbury.
PhD Thesis Abstract
‘Experiments with Sonata Form’: A Critical Study of the Absolute Music of Herbert Howells and Its Place in Modern British Music’
Ultimately a case study in modernism and the British creative imagination, the thesis also examines aspects of Howells’s reception history, the death of his son and the substantial BBC lecture series ‘The Modern Problem’, all three elements of which provide significant illumination of Howells’s complex development as an instrumental composer, his musical Weltanschauung, his attitude to European contemporary music and how this adds significantly to a commentary on his own stylistic formation during a fragmented twentieth century.