Literary Britten
Title Details

425 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

22 b/w. 32 line. Illustrations

Series: Aldeburgh Studies in Music

Imprint: Boydell Press

Literary Britten

Words and Music in Benjamin Britten's Vocal Works

Edited by Kate Kennedy

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Britten is the most literary British composer of the twentieth century. His relationship to the many and varied texts that he set was deeply committed and sensitive. As a result, both his responses to poetry and his collaborationswith his librettists tell us a great deal about his music, and often, about the man himself.
Britten is the most literary British composer of the twentieth century. His relationship to the many and varied texts that he set was deeply committed and sensitive. As a result, both his responses to poetry and his collaborationswith his librettists tell us a great deal about his music, and often, about the man himself. This book takes a unique approach to Britten, drawing together well-known Britten experts alongside English, music, modern language andhistory scholars who bring their own perspective to bear on Britten's work. Chapters examine all aspects of Britten's text setting, from his engagement with a wide variety of poetry to his relationship with his librettists. By approaching Britten's operas and songs through their literature, this book offers fresh insights into his vocal works.

KATE KENNEDY is the Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-writing at Wolfson College, Oxford, where she is an associate of both Music and English Faculties. She is a frequent broadcaster for the BBC and specialises in interdisciplinary biography and has published widely on twentieth century music and literature.

Contributors:JOANNA BULLIVANT, PHILIP ROSS BULLOCK, NICHOLAS CLARK, MERVYN COOKE, DAVID FULLER, JOHN FULLER, PETER HAPPÉ, J. P. E. HARPER-SCOTT, JOHN HOPKINS, KATE KENNEDY, ADRIAN POOLE, HANNA ROCHLITZ, PHILIP RUPPRECHT, REBEKAH SCOTT, VICKISTROEHER, JUSTIN VICKERS, LUCY WALKER, BRIAN YOUNG
Introduction - Kate Kennedy
Britten and His Librettists: The Composer as Auteur - Mervyn Cooke
Britten, Auden and the 1930s - John Fuller
James, Britten, Piper and the Literary Supernatural: The Changing 'vision of evil' in The Turn of the Screw and Owen Wingrave - Nick Clark
'Thought's Wildernesses': The Development of Britten's Nocturne from Library to Score - Kate Kennedy
'Reading at Intervals': Britten's Romantic Poetry - Brian Young
Britten's Drops: The Lyric into Song - Rebekah Scott
'Without any tune': The Role of the Discursive Shift in Britten's Interpretation of Poetry - Vicki P. Stroeher
Britten and Modern Tragedy - Adrian Poole
Settings from Boyhood - Lucy Walker
'Practical Jokes': Britten and Auden's Our Hunting Fathers Revisited - Joanna Bullivant
Choice and Inevitability: The Moral Economy of Peter Grimes - Philip Ross Bullock
Sin, Death, and Love: Britten's Holy Sonnets of John Donne - David Fuller
Britten's Donne Meditation - Justin Vickers
Scenes from Britten's Spring Symphony - Philip Rupprecht
'I have read Billy Budd': The Forster-Britten reading(s) of Melville - Hanna Rochlitz
Miles Must Die: Ideological Uses of 'innocence' in Britten's The Turn of the Screw -
Benjamin Britten and Medieval Drama at Chester: From Abraham and Isaac to 'The Nativity' - Peter Happe
Ambiguous Venice - John Hopkins
Bibliography
"This authoritative collection of studies on a composer steeped in literature ancient and modern should engage the interest not just of Britten specialists but of all those fascinated by the theory and practice of setting words to music." FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES
"Of particular interest are the essays that illuminate Britten's compositional methods of setting text, methods that have their origin in his intimate interaction with a wide variety of poetic and literary works. . . . Highly recommended." M. Neil emeritus, CHOICE
"This is a comprehensive book of essays, illustrations and musical examples...It teems with perspectives, engrossing facts and excerpts from scores and will certainly make an informative read for Brittenites of all persuasions - from the amateur enthusiast through to the seasoned academic." BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

Hardcover

9781783272853

May 2018

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9781787442566

May 2018

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Title Details

425 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

22 b/w. 32 line. Illustrations

Series: Aldeburgh Studies in Music

Imprint: Boydell Press