Britten, Voice and Piano (Guildhall school of Music and Drama Research Studies Series): Lectures on the Vocal Music of Benjamin Britten

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Overview

This collection of eight 'lectures' by internationally acclaimed pianist, Graham Johnson, is based on a series of concert talks given at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as part of the Benjamin Britten festival in 2001. The focus of the book is on Britten's songs, starting with his earliest compositions in the genre. Graham Johnson suggests that the nature of Britten's creativity is especially apparent in his setting of poetry, that he becomes the poet's alter-ego. A chapter on Britten's settings of Auden and Eliot explores ths particular influences these writers brought to bear at opposite poles of the composer's life. The inspiration of fellow musicians is also discussed, with a chapter devoted to Britten's time in Russia and his friendship with the Rostropovitch family. Closer to home, the book places in context Britten's folksong settings, illustrating how he subverted the English folksong tradition by refusing to accept previous definitions of what constituted national loyalty.

Drawing on letters and diaries, and featuring a number of previously unpublished photographs, this book illuminates aspects of Britten's songs from the personal perspective of the official pianist for the first master class given by Peter Pears at Snape in 1972. The insights into the performance and interpretation of this wonderful repertoire that Graham Johnson shares will be invaluable to all performers.

Contents: Introduction
Lecture 1, The Young Britten
Lecture 2. Britten Abroad: Italy, Poland and France
Lecture 3, The British Folksong Settings
Lecture 4, A Miscellany of Folksongs
Lecture 5, Britten the Elizabethan and Britten the Baroque
Lecture 6, Beginnings (Auden) and Ends (Eliot)
Lecture 7, Britten and Russia
Lecture 8, Britten and the English Landscape
Index.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754638728
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Guildhall Research Studies Series , #2
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements and sources
List of illustrations
Introduction 1
Lecture 1 The Young Britten 1913-35 11
Lecture 2 Britten abroad: Italy, Poland, France and Germany 31
Lecture 3 The British folksong settings 61
Lecture 4 A miscellany of folksongs 83
Lecture 5 Britten the Elizabethan, Britten and the Baroque 109
Lecture 6 Beginnings (Auden) and ends (Eliot) 139
Lecture 7 Britten and Russia 177
Lecture 8 Britten and the English Landscape 207
CD Contents 254
Index 256
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