17 Posts
A life of the two of us!
Britten and Pears II
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22Benjamin Britten, pianoPeter Pears, tenor In 1974, Benji Britten and Peter Pears exchanged a number of remarkable letters that summarized not only their personal relationship but also their artistic careers. Dated 17 November 1974, Britten
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A brave New World:
Britten and Pears I
Having resisted the sexual advances of WH Auden, who eventually turned rather spiteful and detailed Benji’s defects of character in an acerbic letter, “I am certain too that it is your denial and evasion of the demands of disorder that
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From Purcell to Mahler:
Britten, Purcell and Mahler
Besides studying and emulating the works of 20th century composers, Benjamin Britten became increasingly fascinated by English music of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, most notably the music of Henry Purcell. He wrote, “One of my chief aims
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The Three “B’s”.
Britten, Bridge, and Berg
During his apprenticeship with Frank Bridge, Benjamin Britten began work on a set of variations on a theme by his teacher. It took Britten 5 years and a specific request from the conductor Boyd Neel and the Salzburg Festival in
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Coming out!
Britten, Auden, and Berkeley
While Benji Britten was delighting in his fondness for the young of his own sex, he himself became the object of the desires of the poet WH Auden and the composer Lennox Berkeley. In 1935, the General Post Office Film
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The Adventures of Benji
Britten and the Boys
It is a rather thankless task to write about Benjamin Britten in the context of a column entitled “In Love.” His long-time relationship with the tenor Peter Pears, which is clearly a love story, is not the issue and I
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Britten and Tippett – Two Kinds of Englishman
One of the most enjoyable musical experiences of my life has been performing Sir Michael Tippett’s extraordinary oratorio A Child of our Time with the chorus and orchestra of Clare College, Cambridge. Famous especially because of the series of five
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A Bridge to Europe
Britten, Bridge, and Schoenberg
Edith Rhoda Britten, née Hockley was an ambitious woman. When she discovered that her son Benjamin had outstanding musical talents, she not only provided him with his first piano lessons and instructions in rudimentary musicianship, she also was convinced that
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