Knowing Britten
Title Details

208 Pages

19.8 x 12.9 cm

Imprint: Bittern Press

Knowing Britten

by Steuart Bedford

With Christopher Gillett

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Knowing Britten is a vivid and insightful account of Steuart Bedford's long association with both Britten the man and his music - 2021 Book of the Year -Presto Music

The conductor and pianist Steuart Bedford (1939-2021) could not remember a time when he did not know Benjamin Britten. His mother, Lesley Duff, sang with the English Opera Group in the premieres of The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herrring in the late 1940s, and the family was closely involved with Britten and Pears for many years. Following his music studies and time on the music staff at Glyndebourne, Bedford joined the English Opera Group, gradually becoming Britten's trusted surrogate conductor. As Britten's health began to fail, he took on responsibility for the premiere performances of Britten's final opera, Death in Venice, including its US premiere at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the dramatic cantata Phaedra among others.
Table of Contents:

1. My mind beats on
2. A thirst, a leaping, wild unrest, a deep desire
3. Should I give up the fruitless struggle with the word?
4. So be it
5. What lies in wait for me here?
6. My head is heavy, my eyelids ache
7. I must go elsewhere, I must find a clearer sky, a fresher air
8. How much better to live, not words but beauty, to exist in it, and of it
9. The power of beauty sets me free
10. Yet I am driven on
11. O voluptuous days, O the joy I suffer
12. So the moments pass
13. And now, Paedrus, I will go
No epilogue, I pay you for your play needs no excuse

STEUART JOHN RUDOLF BEDFORD OBE (31 July 1939 - 15 February 2021) was an English orchestral and opera conductor and pianist.

"A deeply heartfelt account with a wealth of personal photos.... A loving tribute to two great musicians, a must for Britten fans." Susan Pierotti, Stringendo, Journal of the Australian Strings Association



May 2021


£25.00 / $36.95

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Title Details

208 Pages

1.98 x 1.29 cm

Imprint: Bittern Press