It seems to me that David Ellis is but one of a number of extremely fine British composers born during the decade 1925 to 1934 who have failed to receive anything approaching the recognition they deserve. The names of Anthony Hedges, Wilfred Josephs, Malcolm Lipkin, Anthony Milner, Graham Whettam and Thomas Wilson spring to mind immediately as composers (all of them symphonists!) whose music seems to have disappeared into an abyss: an abyss which separates the current vogue for the rediscovery of somewhat earlier,"easier", more romantically inclined music and the more obviously "advanced" or avant-garde. Composers like Ellis wrote or in some cases still write music within traditional musical formats and which remains tonally-based but which nevertheless, whilst still being "accessible" to the average listener makes demands of that listener's concentration. What often appeals, particularly I confess to me, is a certain Nordic grimness of expression. The music of Alun Hoddinott-often very dark in character (and, of course, almost invariably written by the composer at night!)-has received more exposure but still far from as much as it deserves.
One hopes that perhaps the music of David Ellis will finally now gain more attention.....but then I have been hoping that for a very long time.
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