John Herbert Foulds (/foʊldz/; 2 November 1880 – 25 April 1939) was an English composer of classical music. He was largely self-taught as a composer, and belongs to the figures of the English Musical Renaissance.


John Herbert Foulds (/foʊldz/; 2 November 1880 – 25 April 1939) was an English composer of classical music. He was largely self-taught as a composer, and belongs to the figures of the English Musical Renaissance.

A successful composer of light music and theatre scores, his principal creative energies went into more ambitious and exploratory works that were particularly influenced by Indian music. Suffering a setback after the decline in popularity of his World Requiem (1919–1921), he left London for Paris in 1927, and eventually travelled to India in 1935 where, among other things, he collected folk music, composed pieces for traditional Indian instrument ensembles, and worked for a radio station.

Foulds was an adventurous figure of great innate musicality and superb technical skill. Among his best works are Three Mantras for orchestra and wordless chorus (1919–1930), Essays in the Modes for piano (1920–1927), the piano concerto Dynamic Triptych (1927–1929), and his ninth string quartet Quartetto Intimo (1931–1932).

Selected works

Music for soloists, chorus and orchestra

  • The Vision of Dante, a "concert opera" on Dante's Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) in the translation by Longfellow, Op. 7
  • A World Requiem, based on texts from the Bible, John Bunyan, Kabir and other sources, Op. 60

Music for voice and orchestra

  • Lyra Celtica, concerto for wordless mezzo-soprano voice and orchestra, Op. 50 (unfinished; the two completed movements have been recorded)

Music for solo instrument and orchestra

  • Lento e Scherzetto for cello and orchestra, Op. 12
  • Cello Concerto in G major, Op. 17
  • Apotheosis for violin and orchestra, Op. 18 (in memory of Joseph Joachim)
  • Dynamic Triptych for piano and orchestra, Op. 88

Orchestral music

  • Epithalamium, Op. 10
  • Mirage, Op. 20
  • Music-Pictures Group III, Op. 33
  • Miniature Suite, Op. 38 (arr. from theatre music for Wonderful Grandmama)
  • Hellas: A Suite of Ancient Greece for double string orchestra, harp and percussion, Op. 45
  • April – England, Op. 48, No. 1
  • Isles of Greece, Op. 48, No. 2
  • Three Mantras, Op. 61B
  • Sain Joan Suite, Op. 82A
  • Suite in the Olden Style from 'Henry VIII', Op. 87
  • A Puppet Ballet Suite (1934)
  • Deva-Music, Op. 94 (fragments only)
  • Chinese Suite, Op. 95
  • Indian Suite (without opus number)
  • Pasquinades Symphoniques, Op. 98 (unfinished; the two completed movements have been recorded)
  • Kashmiri Boat Song
  • Kashmiri Wedding Procession
  • The Song of Ram Dass
  • Grand Durbar March (1937–1938)
  • Symphony of East and West, Op. 100 (lost)
  • Symphonic Studies for string orchestra, Op. 101 (lost)

Light orchestral music

  • Holiday Sketches, Op. 16
  • Suite Française, Op. 22
  • Keltic Overture, Op. 28
  • Keltic Melodies for strings and harp (1911)
  • Keltic Suite, Op. 29 (partly derived from Keltic Melodies – includes the Keltic Lament)
  • Music Pictures Group IV for string orchestra, Op. 55
  • A Gaelic Dream Song, Op. 68
  • Le Cabaret Overture, Op. 72A (arr. from theatre music to Deburau)
  • Suite Fantastique, Op. 72B (arr. from theatre music to Deburau)
  • Gaelic Melodies (Music Pictures Group VI), Op. 81 (one movement derived from Keltic Melodies)
  • Sicilian Aubade
  • Hebrew Rhapsody

Chamber music

  • String Quartet [No.4] in F minor (1899) (According to Malcolm MacDonald, Foulds wrote ten quartets, five of them before 1900, but did not give any of them numbers. The numbering used here is MacDonald's. Apparently only Nos. 4, 6, 8 and 9 survive complete.)
  • String Quartet [No.6], Quartetto Romantico (1903) (originally designated Op. 5)
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6
  • String Quartet [No.8] in D minor, Op. 23
  • String Trio, Op. 24 (only the second movement, Ritornello con Variazioni, survives complete)
  • Two Concert Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 25
  • Aquarelles (Music-Pictures Group II) for string quartet, Op. 32
  • Ballade and Refrain Rococo for violin and piano, Op. 40, No. 1
  • Caprice Pompadour for violin and piano, Op. 42, No. 2
  • Greek Processional for string quintet
  • String Quartet [No.9], Quartetto Intimo, Op. 89
  • Lento Quieto (only completely surviving movement of String Quartet [No.10], Quartetto Geniale)
  • About a dozen short pieces for an "Indo-European Ensemble" of traditional instruments (mostly fragmentary)

Piano music

  • Dichterliebe Suite (1897–1898, unfinished)
  • Variazioni ed Improvvisati su una Thema Originale, Op. 4
  • Five Recollections of Ancient Greek Music (original version of Hellas)
  • Ghandarva-Music, Op. 49
  • Persian Love Song (1935)
  • Essays in the Modes, Op. 78:
    • I. Exotic (Mode II A)
    • II. Ingenuous (Mode V K)
    • III. Introversive (Mode II C)
    • IV. Military (Mode V E)
    • V. Strophic (Mode V L)
    • VI. Prismic (Mode II P)
  • Music-Pictures Group VI (Gaelic Melodies), Op. 81:
    • I. The Dream of Morven
    • II. Deirdre Crooning
    • III. Merry Macdoon
  • Music-Pictures Group VII (Landscapes), Op. 13
    • I. Moonrise: Sorrento (after Morelli)
    • II. Nightfall: Luxor (after Cameron)
  • English Tune with Burden, Op. 89
  • Egoistic (Mode V L)
  • April – England, Op. 48, No. 1


  • Three Songs of Beauty for tenor and piano, Op. 11 (texts by Byron and Edgar Allan Poe)
  • Five Mood Pictures for voice and piano, Op. 51 (texts by "Fiona MacLeod")
  • Two Songs in "Sacrifice" for voice and string quintet, Op. 66 (texts by Rabindranath Tagore; also performable with violins and tambura)
  • Three Songs for Voice and Piano, Op. 69 (texts by Longfellow and Griffin)
  • Garland of Youth, song-cycle Op. 86 (various texts)
  • The Seven Ages, monologue with text by Shakespeare, for baritone and piano

Choral works without orchestra

  • Five Scottish-Keltic Songs for mixed chorus, Op. 70 (various texts)
  • Three Choruses in the Hippolytus of Euripides for women's chorus with mezzo-soprano solo and piano, Op. 84B
  • English Madrigals for unaccompanied voices (c.1933)

Theatre scores

  • Wonderful Grandmama (Harold Chapin), Op. 34
  • The Whispering Well (Rose), Op. 35
  • Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), Op. 39
  • Sakuntala (Kālidāsa), Op. 64
  • The Trojan Women (Euripides), Op. 65
  • Veils (Maud MacCarthy), Op. 70
  • Deburau (Sacha Guitry), Op. 72
  • The Goddess (Nirjan Pal), Op. 75
  • The Fires Divine (Rosaleen Valmer), Op. 76
  • The Cenci (Shelley), Op. 77
  • Cymbeline (Shakespeare), Op. 80
  • Saint Joan (George Bernard Shaw), Op. 82
  • Masses and Man (Ernst Toller), Op. 83
  • Hippolytus (Euripides), Op. 84
  • The Dance of Life (Hermon Ould), Op. 85
  • Henry VIII (Shakespeare), Op. 87
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare) (1932)
  • Dear Brutus (J. M. Barrie) (1934)


  • Borodin, Serenade, Op. 5, No. 5, arranged for small orchestra
  • Glazunov, Meditation, Op. 32, arranged for small orchestra
  • Glazunov, Serenade Espagnole, Op. 20, arranged for small orchestra
  • Schubert, String Quartet in D minor, D 810 (Death and the Maiden), transcribed as a symphony for full orchestra (1930)
Info: English composer
Index: 7.0
Type: Person Male
Period: 1880.11.1 - 1939.4.25
Age: aged 58
Area :United Kingdom
Occupation :Composer
Periods :Modernist Music / Romantic Music


Update Time:2018-07-21 22:41 / 5 years, 2 months ago.