Tag Archives: Benjamin Britten

Open you the East Door and let the New Year in

And so we come to the end of 2013. In 2011, Liszt had the last word on my blog; in 2012 it was Debussy. This year it is Britten. If you are reading this in private, or have some headphones, … Continue reading

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Death in Venice – and Life in Aldeburgh

I sit at home in Suffolk, typing and listening to Radio 3, while a nation celebrates, posthumously, the hundredth birthday of one of its greatest musical sons – it is Britten’s centenary. He had the good fortune to be born … Continue reading

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Britten in my pocket

How did you first encounter the music of Benjamin Britten? Perhaps, as a string player, you pizzicatoed your way through the second movement of his Simple Symphony, or joined wind, brass and percussion players in his settings of Rossini’s Soirées … Continue reading

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Britten100 – a First Class Stamp for a First Class Composer

A new set of stamps issued today by the Royal Mail includes one honouring Benjamin Britten, whose centenary is being celebrated this year. How very appropriate for the composer who set W.H. Auden’s poem ‘Night Mail’ to music, for use … Continue reading

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Death in Venice – and Alkan

Byron stood there. Liszt stood there. You’ve probably stood there, and now I have, too. I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,  A palace and a prison at each hand… And as I was standing there last November, … Continue reading

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Following in the footsteps?

The programme about Gustav Holst on BBC4 last Sunday was fascinating, not least because it had many interviews with his daughter, Imogen Holst. It was good to see the excellent Sian Edwards conducting the RCM orchestra, and then archive footage of Imogen Holst … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ben

St Cecilia’s day today  – and Benjamin Britten’s birthday. The Britten-Pears Foundation has celebrated by launching  EBB Music Publishing, releasing four of his previously unpublished works. Imogen Holst, in her diary entry of November 22, 1953, writes of Britten’s 40th birthday: ‘ I … Continue reading

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