20 Th Century

New PDF release: Britten

By David Matthews

ISBN-10: 1908323418

ISBN-13: 9781908323415

"His reviews on Britten's song, which take place unobtrusively in the course of the narrative, are richly informative."—Alexander Waugh, Literary Review

Benjamin Britten was once one of many notable British composers of the 20 th century. He shot to foreign reputation together with his operas, played by way of his personal English Opera workforce, and a chain of outstanding instrumental works. His song has gained a important position within the repertoire and the love of successive generations of listeners. David Matthews brings to this biography his unique perception as a fellow composer, former assistant, and lifetime pal of Britten, generating a uniquely own, delicate, and authoritative account.

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Example text

It was said that my New York license plates would arouse interest and perhaps questions, since they were the only outward identifying marks I had. And so they did—perhaps twenty or thirty times in the whole trip. ” Local man: “I was there in nineteen thirty-eight—or was it thirty-nine? ” Alice: “It was thirty-six. ” Local man: “Anyway, I hated it. ” There was some genuine worry about my traveling alone, open to attack, robbery, assault. It is well known that our roads are dangerous. And here I admit I had senseless qualms.

And if the approacher happened to have evil in his heart, that great voice would give him pause if he did not know Charley’s basically pacific and diplomatic nature. The farm owner knocked on my door and I invited him in. “You’ve got it nice in here,” he said. ” He slipped in the seat beside the table. This table can be lowered at night and the cushions can be converted to make a double bed. “Nice,” he said again. I poured him a cup of coffee. It seems to me that coffee smells even better when the frost is in.

One sharp difficulty presented itself. In the intervening twenty-five years my name had become reasonably well known. And it has been my experience that when people have heard of you, favorably or not, they change; they become, through shyness or the other qualities that publicity inspires, something they are not under ordinary circumstances. This being so, my trip demanded that I leave my name and my identity at home. I had to be peripatetic eyes and ears, a kind of moving gelatin plate. I could not sign hotel registers, meet people I knew, interview others, or even ask searching questions.

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Britten by David Matthews


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