Letters from a Life: (1946-1951) Volume 3: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten

Letters from a Life: (1946-1951) Volume 3: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten

Paperback

Edited by Donald Mitchell, Edited by Philip Reed, By (author) Benjamin Britten

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  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Paperback | 784 pages
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 234mm x 40mm | 1,178g
  • Publication date: 16 August 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 057129930X
  • ISBN 13: 9780571299300
  • Sales rank: 1,146,429

Product description

The third volume of the annotated selected letters of composer Benjamin Britten covers the years 1946-51, during which he wrote many of his best-known works, founded and developed the English Opera Group and the Aldeburgh Festival, and toured widely in Europe and the United States as a pianist and conductor. Correspondents include librettists Ronald Duncan (The Rape of Lucretia), Eric Crozier (Albert Herring, Saint Nicolas, The Little Sweep) and E. M. Forster (Billy Budd); conductor Ernest Ansermet and composer Lennox Berkeley; publishers Ralph Hawkes and Erwin Stein of Boosey and Hawkes; and the celebrated tenor Peter Pears, Britten's partner. Among friends in the United States are Christopher Isherwood, Elizabeth Mayer and Aaron Copland, and there is a significant meeting with Igor Stravinsky. This often startling and innovative period is vividly evoked by the comprehensive and scholarly annotations, which offer a wide range of detailed information fascinating for both the Britten specialist and the general reader. Donald Mitchell contributes a challenging introduction exploring the interaction of life and work in Britten's creativity, and an essay examining for the first time, through their correspondence, the complex relationship between the composer and the writer Edward Sackville-West.

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Author information

Benjamin Britten (1913 - 76) began composing at the age of six, and his first compositions were published while he was still a student. He made a living through writing music for documentary films in the 1930s, beginning a collaboration with W H Auden which continued when he and his life-long partner, the singer Peter Pears, moved to the USA in 1939. Returning in 1942 he began work on his operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes, the first of the many operas that dominated his career.His greatest public success came with the War Requiem in 1962; he died four years after the completion of his final opera, Death in Venice.