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Benjamin Britten : a life for music

Author: Neil Powell
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : First U.S. editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This spellbinding centenary biography by Neil Powell looks at the music, the life, and the legacy of the greatest British composer of the twentieth century Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913, in the East Suffolk town of Lowestoft. Displaying a passion and proficiency for music at an early age, to the delight of his mother, Edith, a talented amateur musician herself, he began composing music when he was  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Benjamin Britten
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Neil Powell
ISBN: 0805097740 9780805097740
OCLC Number: 811597781
Description: xvii, 508 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Britten Minor : 1913-30 --
Some college : 1930-34 --
Most surprising days : 1935-39 --
American overtures : 1939-42 --
Where I belong : 1942-47 --
A modest festival : 1947-55 --
The poetry in the pity : 1955-64 --
The building of the house : 1965-71 --
As it is, plenty : 1971-76.
Responsibility: Neil Powell.

Abstract:

This spellbinding centenary biography by Neil Powell looks at the music, the life, and the legacy of the greatest British composer of the twentieth century Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913, in the East Suffolk town of Lowestoft. Displaying a passion and proficiency for music at an early age, to the delight of his mother, Edith, a talented amateur musician herself, he began composing music when he was only five years old. After studying at the Royal College of Music, Britten went on to write documentary scores for the General Post Office Film Unit, where he met and collaborated with the poet W. H. Auden. Of more lasting importance was Britten's introduction in 1937 to the tenor Peter Pears, who was to become the inspirational center of his emotional and musical life. Their partnership lasted nearly four decades, during a dangerous time when homosexuality was illegal in England. Conscientious objectors, Britten and Pears followed Auden to America before the war began in 1939. While there, they joined the extraordinary Brooklyn ménage of George Davis, Louis MacNeice, and Paul Bowles. Eventually intense homesickness, provoked in part by George Crabbe's poem "Peter Grimes," drove the pair home to East Anglia in 1942 and gave Britten the inspiration for his finest opera. Throughout his career, Britten did not want modern music to be just for "the cultured few" and instead always composed his music to be "listenable-to." The shared quotidian lives of Britten and Pears unfold in this intimate biography and the story of two men who created a truly remarkable legacy [Publisher description]

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