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Ever since his early days, Hugh Wood has pursued a triple career as composer, teacher and writer: he has added to the repertory of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, he has lectured at the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool and Cambridge, and he has been involved in an endless round of articles, reviews and broadcasts. What these activities have in common is a keen interest in the highways and byways of European culture, a fastidious style, and a determination to scotch pretence wherever it appears. But behind all this lies another concern, an insatiable quest for knowledge of the territory composers stake out for themselves. This selection of writings is in three parts and shows three aspects to the quest. The first addresses his own experience; the second maps out the historical and cultural context for a number of orchestral and chamber works in a set of concert essays; and the third draws together several composer-vignettes from his recent reviews for the Times Literary Supplement. The book marks his seventy-fifth birthday and includes eight works by the British artist, William Scott.