George Dannatt

 
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Chartered Surveyor
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Music Critic
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Music Critic

As mentioned in 'overview' Dannatt became closely involved in music studies from age fifteen. Despite the demands of professional examinations for qualification as a Chartered Surveyor, he took private lessons in piano, harmony, counterpoint and commenced serious composition, primarily in song writing. This commitment was maturing well, with prospects of studying under Michael Tippett (there were initiatory talks) and possibly with Mátyás Seiber, when these prospects of studying came to an end through his call-up in 1940. In fact there are eleven songs extanted musical composition written between 1939 and 1947 which have now been printed and recorded for private circulation.

The army experience and post-war commitments made it impossible to get back to musical composition. Nevertheless the pursuit of analysis in musical form, which continues to this day, has, as with photography and surveying, reinforced the often experimental approach which he tends to adopt in his visual work.

Of the many professional musicians with whom Dannatt associated over the years Sir Arthur Bliss was the closest friend and gave constant encouragement. Bliss himself was influenced by one series of paintings named 'Tantris' and so intrigued by the subtle changes in this series that he wrote his last great symphonic work 'The Metamorphic Variations' inspired by his observation of those paintings, and which work was dedicated to George and Ann Dannatt. In turn, Dannatt has written much upon Bliss and his music and is Vice President of the Arthur Bliss Society.

The Arthur Bliss Website www.arthurbliss.org
Email: susan.crownshaw@btinternet.com.