The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten

The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten

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The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten is a comprehensive guide to the composer's work, aimed both at the non-specialist and music student. It sheds light on both the composer's stylistic and personal development, offering new interpretations of his operatic works and discussing his characteristic working methods. Topics treated here in detail for the first time include Britten's work in the cinema in the 1930s, his lifelong pacifism and his strong interest in the music of the Far East; other chapters include reassessments of his relationship with W. H. Auden and his attitude towards childhood, comprehensive analyses of major works and a concise history of the Aldeburgh Festival. A distinguished team of contributors include some who worked with the composer during his lifetime, as well as leading representatives of the younger generation of Britten scholars on both sides of the Atlantic.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 20 b/w illus. 35 music examples
  • 1139002228
  • 9781139002226

Table of contents

Introduction Mervyn Cooke; Part I. Apprenticeship: 1. Juvenilia (1922-1932) Christopher Mark; 2. Britten, Auden and 'Otherness' Paul Kildea; 3. Britten in the cinema: 'Coal Face' Philip Reed; Part II. The Operas: 4. 'He Descended into Hell': Peter Grimes, Ellen Orford and Salvation Denied Stephen Arthur Allen; 5. The chamber operas Arnold Whittall; 6. 'Gloriana': Britten's 'Slighted Child' Antonia Malloy-Chirgwin; 7. Britten and Shakespeare: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Mervyn Cooke; 8. Eros in life and death: 'Billy Budd' and 'Death in Venice' Clifford Hindley; Part III. Perspectives: 9. Distant horizons : from Pagodaland to the Church Parables Mervyn Cooke; 10. Violent climates Donald Mitchell; 11. Britten as symphonist Arved Ashby; 12. The concertos and early orchestral scores: aspects of style and aesthetic Eric Roseberry; 13. The chamber music Philip Rupprecht; 14. Music for voices Ralph Woodward; Part IV. The Composer in the Community: 15. Britten and the world of the child Stephen Arthur Allen; 16. Old songs in new contexts: Britten as arranger Eric Roseberry; 17. Aldeburgh Judith LeGrove.
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Review quote

' ... the serious student will be richly stimulated.' BBC Music Magazine 'Essential reading, then, for Britten students, containing much that will be of interest to the composers' wide and ever-widening circle of admirers.' Classical Music
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