The Rake

Letter from the Editor

Imitation is a funny old thing — the sincerest form of flattery, they say. As it happens, I agree; I indulge in it often. My only party trick is half-decent impressions, which people seem to find relatively amusing, and it’s useful around the dinner table when conversation runs dry and everyone is a few glasses of plonk in.

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote that music’s purpose was to “imitate the spiritual”, and what is so extraordinary about so much of to the , is that it is hard to know if, as John Fuller Maitland put it, “one is listening to something very old, or very new”. This is intentional. His time spent analysing folk music and Elizabethan composers in order to create a sound that defined all things English and pastoral meant that it was always going to have a timelessness to it — but it was, nevertheless, mimicry of a kind.

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