© 1983 Robert Simon.
February 2011 is the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Percy Grainger.
This pictorial biography is a living evocation of one of the foremost musicians of the twentieth century, Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882–1961).
Grainger is a composer whose contribution to the history of music has been made the subject of considerable reevauation over the past four decades by the Mercury recordings of Grainger’s music by Frederick Fennell, the London recordings by Benjamin Britten, and the Australian recordings by John Hopkins.
Grainger’s life yielded a rich legacy of photographs and paintings, which almost tell the story themselves. In this pictorial biography, Simon includes a well balanced written biography and a current discography based on his research of Grainger in the United States, England, and Australia.
The photographs and illustrations in this volume span Grainger’s life to his death, his associations with Edvard Grieg, Frederick Delius, Nellie Melba, John Singer Sargent, Cyril Scott, Roger Quilter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Balfour Gardner, Ferruccio Busoni, and many others.
The principal events of Grainger’s life, such as his folk song collecting in England, Denmark, and New Zealand; his experiments with electronic “free music”; his athletic hikes through many countrysides; his marriage in the Hollywood Bowl before thousands of people; and many of his performances (as they were all captured on film) are now published together for the first time in biographical form.
So vivid and entertaining is this work that it offers something to the layman, musician, or historian.