Norman Demuth (15 July 1898 – 21 April 1968) was an English composer and musicologist, currently remembered largely for his biographies of French composers.
Demuth was born in Croydon, Surrey. On leaving Repton School in 1915, he volunteered as Rifleman No. 2780 with the 5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) in the City of London on 17 September 1915, falsifying his age by adding one year on enlistment to seek active-service for which he was then under-age. In early March 1916 he was sent to France with a reinforcement draft to the Regiment's 1st Battalion on the Western Front, and was wounded in the leg by shrapnel fragments from the accidental detonation of a Mills Bomb on 28 June 1916 in the frontline village of Hebuterne during the prelude of the Battle of the Somme. He was medically evacuated to England and subsequently discharged from the British Army as medically unfit for further war service in November 1916.
Although Demuth studied for a time at the Royal College of Music, he was essentially self-taught. Greatly sympathetic to French music, he wrote a number of books on the subject; these include studies of César Franck, Paul Dukas, Albert Roussel, Vincent d'Indy, Charles Gounod, Maurice Ravel, and French opera.
Between 1929 and 1935 Demuth was conductor of the Chichester Symphony Orchestra. From 1930 he taught at the Royal Academy of Music, and latterly at the University of Durham.
"Two Pieces" were published by Bosworth & Co. Ltd. in 1962.
The first, "Prelude in the English Manner" has many recognizable "fingerprints" of what we think of as the "English sound". The "mildly modern effect" is softened by references to the music of earlier times, such as from the Tudor period.
"Sortie", is quite representative of the sound of English organ music in the 1960s, has some individualistic tendencies which work well, and will definitely grow upon you at repeated hearing.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Norman Demuth.