Anthony Payne

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Anthony Payne
Anthony Edward Payne

(1936-08-02)2 August 1936
London, UK
Died30 April 2021(2021-04-30) (aged 84)
  • Composer
  • critic
  • musicologist
WorksList of compositions
SpouseJane Manning

Anthony Edward Payne (2 August 1936 – 30 April 2021) was an English composer, music critic and musicologist. He is best known for his acclaimed completion of Edward Elgar's third symphony, which subsequently gained wide acceptance into Elgar's oeuvre. Apart from opera, his own works include representatives of most traditional genres, and although he made substantial contributions to orchestral and choral repertoire, he is particularly noted for his chamber music. Many of these chamber works were written for his wife, the soprano Jane Manning, and the new music ensemble Jane's Minstrels, which he founded with Manning in 1988. Initially an unrelenting proponent of modernist music, by the 1980s his compositions had embraced aspects of the late romanticism of England, described by his colleague Susan Bradshaw as "modernized nostalgia". His mature style is thus characterised by a highly individualised combination of modernism and English romanticism, as well as numerology, wide-spaced harmonies, specific intervallic characterisations, and the frequent alternation between strict and fluid rhythmic frameworks.

Born in London, Payne first seriously studied music at Durham University. Though a composer since childhood, his professional career began around 1969 with his first major work, the Phoenix Mass for choir and brass band, which was firmly rooted in the modernist tradition. He continued to write choral and vocal works, almost exclusively to British poets, particularly Thomas Hardy, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Edward Thomas. From his 1981 chamber work A Day in the Life of a Mayfly on, he synthesised aspects of English romanticism from his primary influences, Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams. Two orchestral commissions for The Proms, The Spirit's Harvest (1985) and Time's Arrow (1990) were well received. After several years, Payne created a completed version of Elgar's unfinished third symphony, which brought him international attention and future commissions for completions and orchestrations of works by Delius, Elgar and Finzi. Unsure of his musical identity, Payne found difficulty in subsequent composition until the 2002 orchestral Proms commission, Visions and Journeys (2002). Further major works include The Period of Cosmographie (2010) and Of Land, Sea and Sky (2016) for The Proms. He died in April 2021, a month after the death of his wife.

Payne held academic posts at various institutions throughout his career, including Mills College, the London College of Music, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Western Australia and the University of East Anglia. Despite regular commissions from a variety of English ensembles, Payne was not a particularly mainstream composer and was forced to supplement his income with writings. A renowned critic, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Country Life. Other writings include publications on a variety of musical topics, notably Schoenberg (1968)—a study on the composer Arnold Schoenberg—and numerous works on the music of Frank Bridge, to whom he was particularly devoted.

Life and career[edit]

Youth and education (1936–1964)[edit]

Payne's principal compositional influences Delius and Vaughan Williams, top, and Elgar, bottom

Anthony Edward Payne was born in London on 2 August 1936 to Edward and Muriel (née Stroud) Payne;[1] his father was a civil servant.[2] Not from a particularly musical background,[3] at the age of 10 Payne went to see relatives in Godalming and first experienced classical music from a radio broadcast of Brahms's Symphony No. 1.[4] Recalling the significance of the moment in a 2013 interview with Time Out, he said he "was absolutely translated" and "hooked like a fish".[4][5] A recording he was given the next year of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 solidified his interest; he began composing at around age 11.[3] From 1947 to 1955, Payne attended Dulwich College[6] where he mainly studied the classics, though he still found time to engage in music.[3] Besides private study with Stanley Wilson, he worked on an orchestral suite and piano sonata and regularly played clarinet with Alan Hacker.[3] Payne began further exploration of Western Classical repertoire, particularly Mozart and Haydn of the classical period and the Romantics Dvořák and Sibelius.[3] However, his principal compositional inspirations were the late English Romantics Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams,[4][7] influences which are increasingly prominent in various early works: two—in addition to the earlier one—piano sonatas, a clarinet sonata, and the Polyphonic suite.[3]

After a brief stint in the Royal Corps of Signals (1955–1957), Payne read music at the Durham University Department of Music in St Cuthbert's Society, Durham University (1958–1961).[3] During this time, studying Palestrinian counterpoint and working with the musicologist Peter Evans assisted the growth of his musical maturity.[3] Around his graduation, he had a nervous breakdown and largely stopped composing for four years.[3][2] He spent his hiatus primarily as a freelance music critic and musicologist.[4] Before his halting of composition, in 1959 Payne had drafted parts of the symphonic poem It Happened Once, and returning to it in 1964 under the name of Liebestod, he began to discover a newly personal style of composition.[3]

Emerging composer (1965–1980)[edit]

Payne's new compositional style was first fully realised in the Phoenix Mass for SATB choir and brass, which he began in 1965 and finished by 1969.[3] Commentators note that the 'Phoenix' of the title is both metaphorical and literal, because it is, in the words of music critic Barry Millington, "a symbolic revivification of his compositional ambitions with a newly fashioned method of structural organisation."[2] Characterised by the use of harmonic intervals for specific themes and movements,[3] Payne declared the work to be his first major composition.[1] Payne married the soprano Jane Manning in 1966.[8]

Paraphrases and Cadenzas (1969), his next work, was a 14-minute piece for viola, clarinet and piano, that shared much of the harmonic language of the Phoenix Mass.[3] Payne later revised both the Phoenix Mass and Paraphrases and Cadenzas in 1972 and 1978 respectively.[8] Commissioned and premiered by the Baccholian Singers of London in 1970, his Two Songs without Words for five unaccompanied male voices shifted focus from intervallic organization to music based on numerology.[9] Payne's Sonatas and Ricercars premiered the next year; the nine-movement work featured four full ensemble movements and five movements of solos for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn.[9] Later in 1971 Payne wrote Paean for solo piano, in which a synthesis of the aria and toccata forms is dominated by numerology and tone clusters.[9] Throughout 1972 and early 1973, various writing commissions halted his music composition.[9] By 1970 Payne and Manning had moved to a house in Islington, where they lived until the end of their lives.[5][n 1]

In the Spring of 1973 Payne returned to Liebestod, but quickly set it aside to work on the unaccompanied vocal piece A Little Passiontide Cant to an anonymous text from 14th-century England,[10] and later his Concerto for Orchestra (1974) commissioned by Richard Bradshaw and the New London Ensemble.[11] The latter was his largest-scale work to date, featuring ritornellos and—like the Sonatas and Ricercars—rotating instrumental solos.[11] For 16 voices and text by Thomas Hardy, Payne won the Radcliffe Award for another unaccompanied vocal piece, First Sight of Her and After (1975).[12] Though now he planned to finish Liebestod,[n 2] he was commissioned by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Elgar Howarth so instead wrote a tone poem-funeral ode inspired by Beowulf, Fire on Whaleness (1975–1976), for brass band.[12][13] Throughout 1976–1979, Payne embarked on four more choral pieces, three of which were by British figures: The World's Winter (1976, text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson); The Sea of Glass (1977, text from the Book of Revelation); A Little Ascension Cant (1977, text attributed to Cynewulf); and A Little Whitsuntide Cant (1977, text by Emily Brontë).[8] He was commissioned by the BBC Proms for The Stones and Lonely Places Sing (1979), a tone poem that has a numerology-based structure[2] and evokes "the bleak coastline of western Britain and Ireland".[1]

English Romanticism (1981–1992)[edit]

External audio
A Day in the Life of a Mayfly performed by Jane's Minstrels
audio icon A Day in the Life of a Mayfly

In the A Day in the Life of a Mayfly (1981) Payne first embraced his earlier English Romantic influences, and synthesised them with his predominant modernist style;[8] Susan Bradshaw described this as "modernized nostalgia".[8] Commissioned by the Fires of London and premiered 24 September 1981 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London,[14] A Day in the Life of a Mayfly soon became Payne's best known work up to that point.[1] He continued his renewal of the English tradition in his next major orchestral work, The Spirit's Harvest, which was his second commission for the Proms.[8][2] Throughout the 1980s he engaged in a variety of genres; he wrote solo, choral, orchestral, brass and chamber works.[8] Also in the 1980s, he held various academic posts. He spent 1983 as a visiting professor at Mills College, California and from 1983 to 1985–6 taught composition at the London College of Music.[8][1][n 3] During 1986 he was also a composition professor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, New South Wales.[8] Among his students was the composer Enid Luff.[15]

In 1988 he co-founded the new music ensemble Jane's Minstrels with Manning.[4] Many of his works, such as transcriptions of seven songs by Peter Warlock entitled the Aspects of Love and Contentment (1991),[16] were composed for Jane's Minstrels.[4] The group also performed music by Purcell, Elgar, Bridge, Grainger, Webern, Schoenberg,[4] and Maxwell Davies.[2]

Payne's next important orchestral work, Time's Arrow (1990) was his third orchestral commission for the BBC Proms. The piece was well received[8] and described by Millington as "one of his finest achievements".[2] The work is a musical depiction of the Big Bang, beginning in almost complete silence and utilizing dense brass and percussion textures to represent the immensity of the subject.[2] Another orchestral work, Symphonies of Wind and Rain (1991), was commissioned by the Endymion Ensemble and premiered the following year.[17][n 4]

Elgar's Third Symphony (1993–1997)[edit]

"It was an absolute tour de force of insight and imagination into Elgar's world... [Payne] hadn't initially intended to try to reconstruct the piece – but eventually he realised there was a lot more there than anyone imagined."

Colin Matthews on Payne's completion[4]

Payne's realisation of the sketches for Edward Elgar's incomplete Third Symphony took several years to complete.[2] When Elgar died in 1934, he left an incomplete score for a third symphony commissioned by the BBC.[19] Elgar's own thoughts on posthumous completions were ambiguous: though he had expressed a wish that no-one should 'tinker' with the sketches, but also said "If I can't complete the Third Symphony, somebody will complete it".[20] Although initially reluctant to allow anyone to use this material, the Elgar family realised that in 2005 the sketches would come out of copyright.[19] After hearing Payne's 1995 radio talk on his ideas,[1] the composer's estate approved his elaboration, which Payne had been working on since 1993, having studied the sketches since 1972.[19] Elgar's sketches were fragmentary; he often wrote inconsistently and haphazardly, recording unrelated ideas side by side in the 130 pages—141 individual sketches—that he left behind.[19]

Payne's version of the symphony, titled Edward Elgar: the sketches for Symphony No 3 elaborated by Anthony Payne, was first performed in February 1998 at the Royal Festival Hall, London by Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.[2] The work was immediately acclaimed and after it quickly began receiving further performances, totalling over 150 performances in four years.[1] As of 2021 the piece has been recorded six times,[2] and it has gained wide acceptance into Elgar's oeuvre.[8] Payne released a book in 1998, Elgar's Third Symphony: The Story of the Reconstruction, discussing his process of completion for the work.[21]

While Payne worked on the symphony from 1993 to 1997, he simultaneously engaged in commissions for various English ensembles: Hidden Music (1992) for the London Festival Orchestra;[22] Orchestral Variations – The Seeds Long Hidden (1994) for the English Chamber Orchestra;[23] and Empty Landscape – Heart's Ease (1995) for the Nash Ensemble.[24] Other activities during this time include his tenure as the co-artistic director of the 1994 Spitalfields Music with Judith Weir and Michael Berkeley,[1] and teaching composition at the University of Western Australia during 1996.[8]

Later career and death (1998–2021)[edit]

The Isles of Scilly which inspired Payne's acclaimed Visions and Journeys (2002) for orchestra

After his international success in completing Elgar's 3rd symphony, Payne initially found difficulty in composing further.[1] Payne explained "It was rather like an actor must feel in a role – I was playing Elgar to the best of my ability. However, I was seriously worried at the end of it that I would not be able to be myself again. For 18 months I was living inside this work. It was fantastic while I was doing it, but I thought: How can I possibly get back to writing my stuff?".[5] He wrote the Micro-Sonata (1997) and Hommage to Debussy (1998)—his first solo piano works since 1980.[8] Payne's resurgence in large-scale composition came with the Isles of Scilly-inspired Visions and Journeys (2002),[1] an orchestral commission for the Proms that was especially well received.[8]

Payne subsequently also composed a version of Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6 from Elgar's incomplete sketches for the work, which received its first performance under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis at a Prom concert on 2 August 2006 – Payne's 70th birthday.[1] From 2012 to 2013, Payne was a Professorial Fellow the University of East Anglia's composition department.[25] His String Quartet No. 2 (2010) won the Chamber category of the 2011 British Composer Awards.[26] His last major work, Of Land, Sea and Sky (2016) was a commission for The Proms.[1] The piece was written around his 80th birthday, and took inspiration from the sounds of horses' hooves, masses of clouds and the landscape art of Arthur Streeton.[1]

Payne died on 30 April 2021.[2] He was 84, and died a month after the death of his wife, which reportedly affected his health.[4] His colleague and fellow composer Colin Matthews noted that "They were inseparable in life, and I suppose it's not a surprise that he would follow her so soon after".[4] Payne and Manning had no children,[1] but were survived by a nephew and two nieces.[2]


General character[edit]

Though Payne was drawn to various Classical and Romantic composers in his youth, the late English Romanticism of Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams proved to be the most impactful on his work.[7] His success from the Elgar Symphony completion led to orchestrations of various works by all three;[1][8] he likened Vaughan Williams in particular to a "musical godfather".[5] These influences are considerably apparent in the works from his time at Dulwich and Durham.[3][27] By the mid-1960s, Payne began to readily engage with modernist aesthetics, looking for musical content by more narrow means.[3][27][n 5]

In this excerpt Paean (1971) for solo piano, Payne created a passage based on the pre-generated number 37, which is the amount of 16th notes

As a part of his interest in modernistic music, each movement of the Phoenix Mass centres on a particular interval,[3] such as whole tones in the Gloria and major thirds in the Sanctus.[2] Paraphrases and Cadenzas (1969) also utilises specific intervallic designations for each movement, each of which align with a movement of the Mass.[28] Another interest of Payne's was numerology; the virtuosic Paean (1971) is built on a series of sequences based on a random number table: 7 3 4 1 1 2 5 2 1 9 5 5 7 8 4 2 3 3 4 9 9 6.[27] The Stones and Lonely Places Sing (1979) uses numerology of a different fashion; the proportions of 3 2 7 4 1 6 5 decide the phrase length, resulting in phrases of 21 bars (3x7), 14 bars (2x7), 49 bars (7x), 28 bars (7x4), 7 bars (7x1), 42 bars (7x6) and 35 bars (7x5).[2] Other musical trademarks include wide spaced harmonies and frequent alternation between strict and fluid rhythmic frameworks.[8]

Apart from opera, Payne engaged in most traditional genres: large-scale orchestral, brass band, chamber works, solo piano, solo strings, choral works and song cycles.[8] However, he was principally a composer of chamber music,[8] much of which was written for Jane's Minstrels and often included vocal parts specifically for Manning.[8] Other chamber ensembles Payne wrote compositions for include the Baccholian Singers of London,[9] New London Ensemble,[11] the Fires of London,[14] the Endymion Ensemble,[17] the London Festival Orchestra,[22] the English Chamber Orchestra[23] and the Nash Ensemble.[24] Bradshaw asserts that these chamber works most clearly demonstrate the compositional evolution of Payne throughout his career.[8] Despite these regular commissions, Payne said in 2005 that after 30 years as a composer he made only what would be £15,000 in 2020 annually.[1] He was forced to supplement his composition with work as a music critic and musicologist.[29] Reflecting on this, Payne said "Still, you do it for love, don’t you?".[1]

Legacy and reputation[edit]

Payne was not a particularly mainstream composer of contemporary classical music, in part from his straddling the worlds of English Romanticism and modernism.[1] Payne reflected on this, recalling his 2003 Radio 3 British Composer Awards, saying "I was absolutely amazed... because I’m one of those composers who never win awards."[1] Along these lines, Michael White of The Independent described Payne as "a quiet but thoughtful presence in British music [that] always strikes me as a kind of anchorage in sanity, confirming the continuing life of trusted values".[30]

Payne made substantial contributions to both the orchestral and choral/vocal repertoires: his Time's Arrow (1990) and Visions and Journeys (2002) for orchestra were acclaimed, and he was a prolific composer of song cycles.[8] However, he remains most noted as a composer of chamber music;[8] he was best known for the chamber work A Day in the Life of a Mayfly (1981) before his 1997 Elgar completion.[1] Though he developed a highly individual style, The Telegraph asserts that Payne's legacy is "inevitably dominated" by his Elgar completion.[1]

At the Proms on 13 August 2021, the BBC Symphony Orchestra played Payne's Spring’s Shining Wake as a memorial tribute.[31][32]

Selected recordings[edit]

Selected recordings of compositions by Anthony Payne
Year Album[n 6] Performers (conductor) Label
Images & Impressions

  • A 1940s Childhood (1989)
    (The 1989 version for flute and harp)
Judith Hall, flute; Elinor Bennett, harp Nimbus Records NI5247[33]
Jane Manning

  • Poems of Edward Thomas: "Adlestrop" (1989)
    (Piano quintet version)
Jane's Minstrels (Roger Montgomery) NMC D025[34]
Time's Arrow

  • Time's Arrow (1990)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sir Andrew Davis) NMC D037S[35]

  • Sea-Change (1988)
Chroma Riverrun Records RVRCD56[36]
Elgar/Payne: Sketches for Symphony No. 3
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sir Andrew Davis)[n 7] NMC D052[37]
A Day in the Life of a Mayfly

  • Symphonies of Wind and Rain (1991)
  • The Songs and Streams in the Firmament (1986)
  • Evening Land (1981)
  • Paraphrases and Cadenzas (1969)
  • A Day in the Life of a Mayfly (1981)
Jane's Minstrels (Roger Montgomery) NMC D056[38]
1999 Spectrum; Spectrum 2: 50 contemporary works for solo piano

  • Song Without End
  • Microsonata (1997)
Thalia Myers, piano NMC D057[39]
Invocations: Contemporary Viola Works

  • Amid the Winds of Evening (1987)
Paul Silverthorne, viola; John Constable, piano Black Box BBM1058[40]
2002 Purcell: Hail! Bright Cecilia: Plus Bright Cecilia Variations

  • "Solenne" from Bright Cecilia, Variations on a Theme of Purcell (2002)
BBC Singers (Ronald Corp) Musicians Benevolent Fund MBF1[41]
2005 In Flanders' Fields

  • Poems of Edward Thomas: "Adlestrop" (2003)
Fiona Kimm, mezzo soprano; Andrew Bell, piano Quartz Music QTZ2038[42]
The Stones and Lonely Places Sing

  • Empty Landscape – Heart's Ease (1995)
  • Scenes from The Woodlanders (1999)
  • Of Knots and Skeins (2000)
  • Poems of Edward Thomas: "Words" (2003)
  • Poems of Edward Thomas: "Lights Out" (2003)
  • Poems of Edward Thomas: "Adlestrop" (2003)
  • The Stones & Lonely Places Sing (1979)
Jane's Minstrels (Roger Montgomery) NMC D130[43]
Elgar/Payne: Symphony No. 3, Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6
Sapporo Symphony Orchestra (Tadaaki Otaka) Signum Classics SIGCD118[44]
Elgar/Payne The Crown of India

  • The Crown of India (2008)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sir Andrew Davis)[n 8] Chandos CHAN10570[45]
2010 The NMC Songbook

  • Ghost Train
Roderick Williams, baritone; Iain Burnside, piano NMC D150[46]
Sound census

  • From a Mouthful of Air (2009)
Endymion (Quentin Poole) NMC D160[47]
Phoenix Mass

  • Phoenix Mass (1969)
  • Paean (1971)
  • The World’s Winter: Nothing will die (1976)
  • The World’s Winter: All things will die (1976)
  • Horn Trio (2006)
Various NMC D159[48]

List of compositions[edit]

List of compositions by Anthony Payne[49]
Title Year Genre


Suite from a Forgotten Ballet 1955
rev. 1985
Contrapuncti 1958
rev. 1979
solo string quartet; string orchestra
Concerto for Orchestra 1974 Orchestral
Song of the Clouds 1979–80 Orchestral
solo oboe, 2 horns, perc, string orchestra
Spring's Shining Wake 1980–81 Orchestral
Songs and Seascapes 1984 Orchestral
string orchestra
The Spirit's Harvest 1985 Orchestral
Half-Heard in the Stillness 1987 Orchestral
Time's Arrow 1989–90 Orchestral
Symphonies of Wind and Rain 1991 Orchestral
Hidden Music 1992 Orchestral
Orchestral Variations: The Seeds Long Hidden 1992–94 Orchestral
Visions and Journeys 2001–02 Orchestral
Bright Cecilia, Variations on a Theme of Purcell[n 9]
with Lindberg, C. Matthews, Ruders, Sawer, Torke and Weir
2002 Orchestral
Windows on Eternity 2006–07 Orchestral
The Period of Cosmographie 2010 Orchestral
Of Land, Sea and Sky 2016 Orchestral
Orchestra and chorus[2]
Variation XIII
from Pictured Within: Birthday Variations for M.C.B.
2019 Orchestral


Fire on Whaleness 1975–76 Brass
Brass band, perc
Fanfares and Processional 1986 Brass
hn, 4 tpt, 4 trbn, tuba
Echoes of Courtly Love 1987 Brass
hn, tpt, flugel hn, trbn, tuba
River-race 1990 Brass
4 hn, 4 tpt, 4 trbn, tuba, perc


Paraphrases and Cadenzas 1969
rev. 1978
cl, va, pf
Sonatas and Ricercars (Wind Quintet) 1970–71 Chamber
fl, ob, cl, bn, hn
String Quartet No. 1 1978 Chamber
String quartet
Footfalls Echo in the Memory 1978 Chamber
vn, pf
The Stones and Lonely Places Sing 1978–79 Chamber
fl + pic, cl + b cl, hn, pf, vn, va, vc
A Day in the Life of a Mayfly 1981 Chamber
fl + pic, cl, perc, pf, vn, vc
The Song Streams in the Firmament 1986 Chamber
cl, 2 vn, va, vc, db
Consort Music 1987–88 Chamber
2 vn, 2 va, vc
A 1940s Childhood 1986–87 Chamber
fl, gui
1989 Chamber
fl, hp
Sea-Change 1988 Chamber
fl, cl, hp, 2 vn, va, vc
The Enchantress Plays 1990 Chamber
bn, pf
Empty Landscape – Heart's Ease 1994–95 Chamber
ob, cl, hn, vn, va, vc
Engines and Islands 1996 Chamber
fl, cl, perc, pf, vn, va, vc
Piano Trio 1988 Chamber
Piano trio
Of Knots and Skeins 2000 Chamber
vn, pf
Horn Trio 2005–06 Chamber
Horn trio
Piano Quintet 2007 Chamber
Piano quintet
Out of the Depths Comes Song 2008 Chamber
vc, pf
From a Mouthful of Air 2009 Chamber
tpt, hp, vn, va, vc
String Quartet No. 2 2010 Chamber
String quartet[26]
Piano Quartet 2014 Chamber
Piano Quartet
String Quartet No. 3 2018 Chamber
String quartet[51]

Instrumental solos[edit]

Paean 1971 Solo
Miniature Variations on a Theme of E.L. 1980 Solo
Reflections in the Sea of Glass 1983 Solo
Amid the Winds of Evening 1987 Solo
Song Without End 1995 Solo
Micro-Sonata 1997 Solo
Hommage to Debussy 1998 Solo
Storm Chorale 2003 Solo
Conundrum 2004 Solo

Choral and vocal[edit]

Phoenix Mass 1969
rev. 1972
Choral and vocal
SATB, 3 trumpet, 3 trombone
Two Songs without Words 1970 Choral and vocal
5 male voices
A Little Passiontide Cant
(Text from 14th-century England)
rev. 1984
Choral and vocal
First Sight of Her and After
(Text by Thomas Hardy)
1975 Choral and vocal
16 solo voices
1988 Choral and vocal
SATB, ob, cl, bn, hn, perc, vn, va, vc, db
The World's Winter
(Text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
1976 Choral and vocal
Soprano, flute + piccolo, oboe, clarinet
The Sea of Glass
(Text from the Book of Revelation)
1977 Choral and vocal
SATB, organ
A Little Ascension Cant
(Text attributed to Cynewulf)
rev. 1984
Choral and vocal
A Little Whitsuntide Cant
(Text by Emily Brontë)
rev. 1984
Choral and vocal
Evening Land
(Text by Pär Lagerkvist)
1980–81 Choral and vocal
Soprano, piano
A Little Christmas Cant
(Text from traditional carol texts)
1983 Choral and vocal
Alleluias and Hockets
(after Machaut)
1987 Choral and vocal
SATB, 2 ob, eng hn, 2 bn, 2 tpt, 3 trbn
(Text by Edward Thomas)
1989 Choral and vocal
Soprano, piano
First Sight of Her and After
(Text by Thomas Hardy)
1989 Choral and vocal
SATB, ob, cl, bn, hn, perc, vn, va, vc, db
Aspects of Love and Contentment
(8 Songs of Peter Warlock)
1991 Choral and vocal
S, fl, ob, cl, hn, hp, str qt
Break, break, break
(Text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
1996 Choral and vocal
From the Woodlanders
(Text by Thomas Hardy)
1999 Choral and vocal
Soprano, 2 clarinets, violin, cello
Betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross
(Text by Francis Thompson)
2001 Choral and vocal
Poems of Edward Thomas
(Text by Edward Thomas)
2002–03 Choral and vocal
Soprano, piano, violin, vila, cello
Ghost Train
(Text by Payne, after Pär Lagerkvist)
2008 Choral and vocal
Baritone, pf
The Headland
(Text by Ursula Vaughan Williams)
2008 Choral and vocal
Mezzo soprano, piano


List of completions, arrangements and orchestrations by Anthony Payne[8]
Title Year Type Genre
Fresh Dances for the Late Tchaikovsky 1993 Arrangements Orchestral (ballet)
2 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, piano 4 hands
Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 3 1993–1997 Completion Orchestral
Gerald Finzi: "Proud Songsters"
From Earth and Air and Rain
2000 Orchestration Orchestral
Frederick Delius: "Hidden Love"
From Seven Songs from the Norwegian
2000 Orchestration Orchestral
Edward Elgar: So Many True Princesses 2002 Orchestration Orchestral
Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6 2005 Completion Orchestral
Edward Elgar: The Crown of India 2007–2008 Orchestration Orchestral
Vaughan Williams: Four Last Songs 2013 Orchestration Orchestral[53]

Selected publications[edit]

Alongside his career as a composer, Payne simultaneously built up a reputation as a writer on music, writing books about Arnold Schoenberg and Frank Bridge.[4] He also became a renowned critic,[4] regularly writing for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Country Life.[8] Other writing contributions include articles in Tempo, Musical Times and Music and Musicians.[2]

  • Payne, Anthony (1968). Schoenberg. Oxford Studies of Composers. London: Oxford University Press. OCLC 915854222.
  • ——; Foreman, Lewis; Bishop, John (1976). The Music of Frank Bridge. London: Thames Publishing. ISBN 978-0-905210-02-5.
  • —— (1984). Frank Bridge: Radical and Conservative. London: Thames Publishing. ISBN 978-0-905210-25-4.
  • —— (1998). Elgar's Third Symphony: The Story of the Reconstruction. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-19538-1. OCLC 247161355.

Awards and honours[edit]



  1. ^ a b As of Lennie (2013), Payne and Manning were known to have lived in Islington since 1970. They presumably lived there until the end of their lives as no other sources suggest otherwise.
  2. ^ Based on Payne's list of compositions in Bradshaw (2010), it appears he never completed Liebestod.
  3. ^ Sources differ on the timeframe of his visiting professorship at Mills College, California; Bradshaw (2010) says it lasted until 1986 while The Telegraph (2021) records 1985.
  4. ^ Although Wise Music Classical lists Symphonies of Wind and Rain as being finished in 1992, Bradshaw (2010) and Payne's own website[18] list the work as from 1991.
  5. ^ He later explained this conflux of influences: "I wanted to marry English late romanticism with the European avant-garde of the 1960s. Everyone thought I was mad, to think of Gerhard, Lutoslawski, and Vaughan Williams, all in the same piece. But they were the things I was passionate about, and I refused to believe one had to exclude the other"
  6. ^ Although some albums contain works by composers other than Payne, only works by Payne are listed.
  7. ^ Anthony Payne, commentary; Robert Gibbs, violin; David Owen Norris, piano
  8. ^ Clare Shearer, mezzo soprano; Gerald Finley, baritone; Barbara Marten, Deborah Mc Andrew, Joanna Mitchell, speakers; Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus
  9. ^ The work set to variations was Purcell's Hail! Bright Cecilia.[41]
  10. ^ Grove notes that Payne, Hindmarsh & Foreman (2001) has been superseded by Huss, Fabian (2001). "Bridge, Frank". Grove Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.90000361257. ISBN 9781561592630. (subscription or UK public library membership required)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Anthony Payne, superb British composer who completed Elgar's Third Symphony using the sketches – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 2 May 2021. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021. (subscription required)
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External links[edit]