Benjamin Britten: Billy Budd / Edition 1

Benjamin Britten: Billy Budd / Edition 1

by Mervyn Cooke, Philip Reed
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521387507

ISBN-13: 9780521387507

Pub. Date: 11/23/2002

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville's nautical allegory, is one of Britten's most challenging operas. This comprehensive guide considers the work from both literary and musical viewpoints. Melville's novella is discussed, as is the interpretation given to the novella by the librettists E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier. A detailed synopsis guides the reader through

Overview

Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville's nautical allegory, is one of Britten's most challenging operas. This comprehensive guide considers the work from both literary and musical viewpoints. Melville's novella is discussed, as is the interpretation given to the novella by the librettists E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier. A detailed synopsis guides the reader through the musical and dramatic action of the opera and in a chapter devoted to the music, Britten's distinctive technique of tonal symbolism is analyzed to demonstrate the effectiveness of his musical response to the dramatic suggestions of Melville's story. The most important critical writings on Billy Budd are represented by an expanded version of Donald Mitchell's 1979 notebook on the opera. A final chapter charts the opera's stage history and fluctuating critical reception.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521387507
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/23/2002
Series:
Cambridge Opera Handbooks Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
196
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

Table of Contents

1. Synopsis; 2. Herman Melville's Billy Budd; 3. Britten's Billy Budd: Melville as opera libretto; 4. From first thoughts to first night: a Billy Budd chronology; 5. The 1960 revisions: a two-act Billy Budd; 6. Britten's 'prophetic song': tonal symbolism in Billy Budd; 7. A Billy Budd notebook (1979–91); 8. Stage history and critical reception; Appendices.

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