Anthony Payne (1936 - 2021)

17th May 2021

Features NMC Recordings

That Anthony Payne has died so soon after the death of his wife Jane Manning is a shock.  But, inseparable as they were in life, it is perhaps not surprising that one could not survive without the other. We mourn his loss but are so glad to have been able to represent Tony on NMC. Only a few days ago, I was talking to him about the possibility of a new recording of his orchestral music: let’s hope that it can still happen.

Tony’s love for the music of English composers, notably Vaughan Williams, Delius, Frank Bridge and, of course, Elgar, didn’t result in any attempt to emulate them. Instead, his music reveals how he was able to reconcile their disparate styles with the mainstream of contemporary music (he wrote a remarkably perceptive book about Schoenberg in 1968). His music is both expressive and hard-edged, and like his personality, never lacks warmth.

His reconstruction of Elgar’s Third Symphony, first performed and recorded for NMC in 1998, is a tour de force of insight and imagination. Though many disapproved of the idea of ‘completing’ the symphony - a term which in any case Tony rejected - those objections were swept aside by the power and beauty revealed in the music. He would have wanted to, and will be, remembered for more than that considerable achievement, but it was one of which he - and we - were very proud.

Colin Matthews

Anthony Payne on NMC

NMC's Discover platform is created in partnership with ISM Trust.

Related Playlists

Elgar/Payne: Symphony No 3 cover

Elgar/Payne: Symphony No 3

NMC Recordings

Buy
Time's Arrow

Time's Arrow

NMC Recordings

Buy
The Stones and Lonely Places Sing

The Stones and Lonely Places Sing

NMC Recordings

Buy
Phoenix Mass

Phoenix Mass

NMC Recordings

Buy

Related Composers

Music Map

Discover more about the classical music of today with NMC's Music Map, and exciting and educational online tool which enables you to see and hear the connections between composers, their teachers, pupils, influences and their works.

Music Map