Philip Arnold Heseltine was a British composer and music critic. He is best known as a composer of songs and other vocal music. He achieved notoriety in his lifetime through his unconventional and often scandalous lifestyle. He died in his London flat of coal gas poisoning in 1930, probably by his own hand.
About Peter Warlock in brief
Philip Arnold Heseltine was a British composer and music critic. He is best known as a composer of songs and other vocal music. He also achieved notoriety in his lifetime through his unconventional and often scandalous lifestyle. He died in his London flat of coal gas poisoning in 1930, probably by his own hand. He was born on 30 October 1894 at the Savoy Hotel, London, to a wealthy Welsh family. As a schoolboy at Eton, he met the British composer Frederick Delius, with whom he formed a close friendship. The Warlock name, which reflects his interest in occult practices, was used for all his published musical works. He wrote a full-length biography of Delius and wrote, edited, or otherwise assisted in the production of several other books and pamphlets. His most prolific period came in the 1920s, when he was based first in Wales and later at Eynsford in Kent. He had a lifelong interest in Celtic culture; later he would live in Wales during one of his most productive and creative phases. His last work, Songs of Sunset, was given its first performance at the Queen’s Hall on 16 June 1911, at which the composer would be present, and his Piano Concerto would be the first performance of all-Delius works. In June 1911 he learned that Thomas Beecham was to conduct a concert at Queen’s Hall’s Hall, which he would later conduct at the Royal Albert Hall on the 16th of that month. He later wrote a biography of the composer, which was published under his own name, and a number of other books, including a collection of his own songs.
His first serious compositions date from around 1915, and he began composing songs in a distinctive, original style, while building a reputation as a combative and controversial music critic in the late 19th century. He left Eton in 1908 and began at Oxford and London in the autumn of that year. His biographer Ian Parrott records that he loathed Eton with its hearty adolescent bawling of Victorian hymns in an all-male college chapel. He found relief in music and, perhaps because of the connection with his uncle, formed an interest in Delius that developed into a near-obsession. He borrowed a copy of the score of Sea Drift from an Eton music teacher and Delius advocate, Edward Edward Mason, from whom he was soon soon requesting funds from his mother to purchase more of his music. The youthful Philip was proud of his Welsh heritage and retained a lifelonginterest in Celticculture. His parents were a solicitor in the family firm, and Bessie Mary Edith, née Covernton, she was the daughter of a country doctor from the Welsh border town of Knighton and was Arnold’s second wife. His father died suddenly at the age of 45 in March 1897. His mother died six years later, and the family moved to Cefn Bryntalch, Llandyssil, near Montgomery.