The website for Dr Martin Shaw OBE FRCM (1875 –1958)

"A remarkable man who is insufficently recognized these days"

Sir Michael Holroyd

Martin Shaw sits in a deck-chair reads a newspaper

 

Martin Shaw

A composer of several hundred works, Martin Shaw was a leading pioneer in the renaissance of English music during the early part of the 20th Century. This work laid the foundation for the world-wide success of English and American music we know today.

A composer of several hundred works, Martin Shaw was a leading pioneer in the renaissance of English music during the early part of the 20th Century. With his friends Gustav Holst, John Ireland and Ralph Vaughan Williams (among others), he was responsible for a renaissance of English music in the first half of the 20th century. Benjamin Britten asked him to compose a piece specially for the first Aldburgh Festival, God's Grandeur, in 1948, which E.M. Forster remembered vividly: how the soprano solo entered with the words 'Nature is never spent', after which the music lightened, lifted, and spread into tranquility.

We hope you enjoy perusing this site, and finding out more about Martin Shaw.

Contact us for performance recordings of:

THE GREATER LIGHT an anthem for double choir - the finale to The Rock, Shaw's collaboration with T.S. Eliot, in print with Music Sales Classical

SURSUM CORDA - a cantata for full choir and orchestra with words by Laurence Binyon, also in print with Music Sales Classical

THE REDEEMER - an oratorio for Lent, which Shaw felt was his finest work; vocal and orchestral scores available fromStainer and Bell

WATER FOLK, a secular song sequence for baritone, string quartet and piano, from poems by Heine.

 

Listen to song clips from The Airmen

played by Iain Burnside

  • Remembering WW1: VENIZEL sung by Roderick Williams
  • Shaw's song Venizel remembers the start of World War 1 at the Battle of the Aisne. The battle ended in a stalemate after a terrible loss of life, resulting in the start of trench warfare. The song is named after a rural village on the banks of the river Aisne, and is taken from a poem written by WA Short, a serving officer. It looks back at the time before the battle had started, when soldiers were camping peacefully in the woods prior to the advance which cost so many lives.