The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten

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This is a comprehensive guide to Britten's work, aimed both at the nonspecialist and the 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. 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...all the contributors share a keen awareness of how the composer's music speaks forcibly to a wide audience, even to those listeners whose lack of confidence in musical technicalities might influence them to shy away from a contemporary idiom." Reference and Research Book News

"The most comprehensive collection of essays on Britten and his music to date, this volume goes beyond the usual subjects that one can fine [sic] in a dozen other Britten volumes...and explores a host of other areas." Choice

"For those attracted to Britten's operas, other vocal works, chamber music, and symphonic compositions, this book is highly recommended. The authors' insights about his output and artistic point of view are likely to be what most readers expect to gain from their reading." The Opera Journal

""Listeners new to Britten's music will find it highly useful, as will those who are more familiar with his music and the literature that has grown up around it." Opera Quarterly

"Any serious student of Britten will want to own this book..." Notes

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521574761
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Music Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.79 (d)

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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