Manuscript text outline for Maxwell Davies's opera Taverner
DAVIES, Peter Maxwell
No Place No Publisher.
Autograph literary manuscript of the complete outline for Maxwell Davies's opera Taverner; 8vo; 13 pages written in pencil and ink to rectos only. Together with the published libretto which was written by the composer and published by Boosey and Hawkes, heavily annotated by the Maxwell Davies. The outline is addressed to Roddy and begins 'I enclose a text of the opera Taverner. This is based on the history of John Taverner, the early English composer, who was employed by Wolsey…', Davies then writes a list of all the characters and continues by describing in detail, the action for Act I (scenes i, ii, iii and iv) and Act II (scenes i, ii, iii and iv). No single work in Davies's now-voluminous output has greater significance in his composing career – dominating almost a decade and a half of his early development – or crystallises more intensely the power and energy of his music in that period. The premiere of Taverner at Covent Garden in 1972 was one of the landmarks in British post-war music. (Guiardian 30 October 2009). The manuscript is fine, the libretto is a little marked to the front cover.