One of the most illuminating biographical projects in recent years. PETER ACKROYD The fourth volume of the annotated selected letters of Benjamin Britten covers the years 1952-57, during which he wrote three major works for the stage - the Coronation opera Gloriana, the chamber opera The Turn of the Screw, and the full-length ballet The Prince of the Pagodas - as well as important vocal works such as Canticles II and III and the Hardy song-cycle Winter Words. Correspondents include librettists William Plomer (Gloriana) and Myfanwy Piper (The Turn of the Screw), and friends and collaborators such as Edith Sitwell, E. M. Forster, Basil Coleman, Imogen Holst, Francis Poulenc, Lennox Berkeley, the Earl of Harewood and Britten's partner and principal interpreter, Peter Pears. The volume charts Britten's growing stature as a major figure of the European musical establishment as composer, conductor and pianist, and his continuing involvement with the Aldeburgh Festival, the English Opera Group, and Covent Garden. Central to the period is the world trip undertaken by Britten and Pears and the first-hand encounter with the music and cultures of Bali and Japan that were radically to inform Britten's compositional techniques from Pagodas onwards.The comprehensive and scholarly annotations vividly evoke a key period in twentieth-century musical and cultural history, and offer a wide range of detailed information fascinating for both the Britten specialist and the general reader. Published in association with The Britten-Pears Foundation.
About the Author
Phil Reed is a professional model maker who has built models for clients in North America and Europe. His work also includes restoration projects for leading galleries and museums. After studying Fine Art and Photography he found his true vocation in ship model building, eventually abandoning a teaching career to concentrate full time on his model work. His latest work, Building a Miniature Navy Board Model, gives readers a step by step guide to creating these magnificent models.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Philip Reed
Fit for a Queen: The Writing of Gloriana January 1952-July 1953
Absolute Singleness, Clearness and Roundness: The Turn of the Screw August 1953-September 1954
On the Threshold of a New Musical World: Towards The Prince of the Pagodas October 1954-October 1955
As Complicated as Schoenberg: Eastern Encounters October 1955-March 1956
Beyond Bali: The Completion of The Prince of the Pagodas March 1956-January 1957
In the Naive Medieval Style: Noye's Fludde January-December 1957
Index of Britten's Works
Index of Other Composers