Famous Works

There is no doubt that of all of Rutland Boughton’s compositions The Immortal Hour is probably the most well known and The Faery Song from that musical drama achieved widespread popularity with chorus’s and soloists. Arnold Bax told Rutland Boughton – “that I think this work is undoubtedly the best opera written by an English composer”. Between 1922 and 1924 over three hundred and seventy performances of the drama were produced in London alone.

The popularity of The Immortal Hour also revived interest in Bethlehem which was written in 1915. Bethlehem is popular with orchestral and choral groups and is perhaps more accessible due to the inclusion of well-known carols. Boughton described the work in an article published in Somerset and the Drama (Somerset Folk Press, London, 1922):

 “I set the old Coventry Nativity Play with the idea of making a work that could be performed entirely by local players. It was deliberately composed as a folk opera; the lyrical quality of the play being increased by the insertion at suitable moments of Early English Carols”

Other works such as the Oboe Concerto No 1 in C, the Flute Concerto and Symphony No 3 in B minor are also popular.