Kaikhosru Sorabji's Letters to Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock)

1st Edition

Brian Inglis, Barry Smith

July 1, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 200 Pages - 24 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138478435 - CAT# K348544


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I encourage him to write more and more, since I find his letters most entertaining, and sometimes really interesting

Philip Heseltine


I am very lonely… In a former incarnation… you must have been closely related to me and the Law of Karma has ordained us to meet in this life…. laugh, if it pleases you; I don’t mind. I have to endure so much derision and insult, that a little harmless laughter won’t do me much hurt will it?

—Kaikhosru Sorabji


Two extraordinary personalities; one remarkable friendship. For a decade early in the twentieth century, two composers—Anglo-Welsh Philip Heseltine/Peter Warlock (1894-1930) and Anglo-Parsi Kaikhosru Sorabji (1892-1988)—united in an alliance against the English musical (and not just musical) Establishment. Part odd couple, part brothers-in-arms. Sorabji’s letters to Heseltine, published here complete for the first time, offer a compelling insight into their world: a cosmopolitan one encompassing the Café Royale and the cafés of Vienna; Sacheverell Sitwell in London and Aleister Crowley in Sicily. Through the letters’ sharply perceptive, entertaining (and frequently satirical) lens, the contexts of Sorabji’s early life and musical style are vividly illuminated and Heseltine’s own fascinating life and work recontextualised. What emerges goes far beyond tropes of otherness and eccentricity to reveal a persona with great relevance to modern-day debates on identity and canonicity.

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