Christian Darnton

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Philip Christian Darnton (30 October 1905 – 14 April 1981), also known as Baron von Schunck,[1] was a British composer who wrote the 1945 book You and Music[2] and various modernistic scores to a few feature films and short films for the Canadian Army.[3]

Early life and family[edit]

He was born in Leeds as Philip Christian von Schunck, the son of Mary Illingsworth and John Edward, Baron von Schunk (1869–1940), a landowner who renounced his title before the First World War.[4][5] Christian's paternal grandfather, Edward, Baron von Schunck, had been born in Leipzig, part of an old German family that had, since 1715, held a Barony in the Holy Roman Empire (Freiherr).[6] He settled in Britain and married Kate Lupton, who had been born into the progressive, land-owning and political Lupton family and educated at the school of her relative Rachel Martineau.[7] Edward died in 1889. Kate survived him until 1913, the eve of the First World War, and insisted in her will that their only son – John Edward, Baron von Schunck – change his surname to that of her father, Darnton Lupton, the former Mayor of Leeds. Thus he and his children acquired by Royal Licence the surname Darnton.[8][9]

Christian Darnton's father, John Edward, had two sisters; one of whom – Florence von Schunck – had married Albert Kitson, 2nd Baron Airedale of Gledhow Hall, near Leeds in 1890. Baroness von Schunck (née Kate Lupton, d. 1913), lived at the adjacent Gledhow Wood Estate which was where she hosted the wedding breakfast of her daughter and son-in-law.[10][11]

The family was extremely well-off and he was educated at home by a governess until he was nine, when he began composing; his musical talents being "obvious" by the time he went up to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1924.[12]

Career[edit]

Darnton composed the overture Stalingrad during the Second World War, and works for different combinations.[13] He had joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1941.[14] His Communist views may have later hurt his popularity and led to his becoming relatively obscure.[15] He also criticized the term "English Musical Renaissance", feeling England produced no "composer of international consequence" in that period.[16]

Selected works[edit]

  • Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, 1926
  • 1. Symphony, 1929–31
  • Piano concert, 1933
  • Concert for Viola and Strings, 1933–35
  • Harp concert, 1934
  • Suite concertante for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, 1936
  • 2. Symphony (Anagram), 1939–40
  • Ballad of Freedom, Cantata, 1941–52
  • Stalingrad, Overture, 1943
  • 3. Symphony D-dur, 1944–45, rev. 1961
  • Fantasy Fair, Opera, 1949–51
  • Jet Pilot, Cantata, 1952
  • Concerto for Orchestra, 1970–73
  • 4. Symphony, 1975–79

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schaarwächter, Jürgen (27 February 2015). "Two Centuries of British Symphonism: From the beginnings to 1945. A preliminary survey. With a foreword by Lewis Foreman. Volume 1". Georg Olms Verlag. p. 431. Chapter: Expansion of the 'academically feasible'. Retrieved 15 November 2016. Christian Darnton (Baron von Schunck)...(nr. Leeds)... son of exceptionally wealthy parents, ..... 
  2. ^ "You and Music / by Christian Darnton (Harmondsworth, Middlesex : Penguin, 1945)". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  3. ^ British film music by John Huntley
  4. ^ "(Philip) Christian Darnton". Oxford DNB. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "A Heritage of 20th Century British Music". Universal Music Publishing Classical. 2015. p. 12. Retrieved 15 November 2016. The son of the wealthy Baron von Schunck, who renounced his title prior to World War I,..... 
  6. ^ Jährliches genealogisches Handbuch: In welchem der gegenwärtige Zustand von allen Häusern jetztregierender Europäischer Kayer und Könige. Gleditsch. 1749. p. 86. Retrieved 25 March 2017. Johann Nathanael Baron von Schunck....13 November 1716 
  7. ^ Lupton, C.A. , The Lupton Family in Leeds, Wm. Harrison and Son 1965.
  8. ^ Rayner, Gordon (13 September 2013). "'Middle-class' Duchess of Cambridge's relative wore crown and attended George V's coronation". UK Telegraph. p. 7. Retrieved 15 May 2015. Baroness von Schunck, was also invited to the coronation of George V, though she died in 1913 and may have been too frail to attend the ceremony. She (Baroness von Schunck née Kate Lupton) was married to a German nobleman, but by the time of her death she had advised her children to drop the von Schunck name in favour of her family surname Darnton-Lupton. 
  9. ^ "Gledhow Hall, Sir James Kitson". leodis.net. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Rayner, Gordon (13 September 2013). "'Middle-class' Duchess of Cambridge's relative wore crown and attended George V's coronation". UK Telegraph. p. 7. Retrieved 15 May 2015. Baroness Airedale (née Florence von Schunck) had gained her own title when she married Lord Airedale.......Baroness Airedale's mother, Baroness von Schunck, was also invited to the coronation of George V, though she died in 1913 and may have been too frail to attend the ceremony. She (Baroness von Schunck née Kate Lupton) was married to a German nobleman, but by the time of her death she had advised her children to drop the von Schunck name in favour of her family surname Darnton-Lupton. 
  11. ^ Reed, Michael (2016). "Gledhow Hall". House and Heritage – David Poole. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Mullenger, Len. "CHRISTIAN DARNTON 1905 – 1981". musicweb-international.com. Classical Music on the Web. Retrieved 24 August 2013. However, it was not until going up to Gonville & Caius' College in 1924 that his talent became obvious. 
  13. ^ The Glasgow Herald – 16 December 1943
  14. ^ The Bulletin – 14 June 1955
  15. ^ The land without music: music, culture and society in twentieth-century Britain by Andrew Blake, pgs 43 and 57
  16. ^ The English musical renaissance, 1840–1940: constructing a national music by Meirion Hughes, R. A. Stradling, pgs 197 and 198

External links[edit]