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Chapter Ten: Instrumental Music (2): the Second Wave

Some of the young men of the new generation still looked back to a musical world already fast receding. Others of this generation would exhibit a capacity for fearless exploration hardly suspected when they were students. But all were subject to a European music dominated by the legacy of Wagner – 'The Music of the Future', which they could either embrace or reject. The oldest of the so-called 'Frankfurt' gang, devoted much of his creative energy to theatre music. But throughout his life, he also wrote orchestral music, much of it light in character and much of which could provide rich pickings for an adventurous recording company. At the Royal Academy of Music, Frederick Corder taught composition from 1888, joined in 1898 by John McEwen. A. Ketelbey was comprehensively equipped. He knew the instruments, the public for which he catered, the infant recording industry, and the job of conductor.