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Arrying two disadvantages to worldly success his passionately held pacifism which made him suspect to the authorities during and immediately after the Second World War and his homosexuality specifically his forty year relationship with Peter Pears for whom many of his greatest operatic roles and vocal works were created The atmosphere and personalities of Aldeburgh in his native Suffolk also form another wonderful dimension to the book Kildea shows clearly how Britten made this creative community notably with the foundation of the A Biographies are not one of my usual genres but I love Britten s music A number of years ago I picked up a biography of him at a bookstore but was very disappointed in browsing through it be

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Benjamin Britten

In the eyes of many Benjamin Britten was our finest composer since Purcell a figure who often inspired him three hundred years earlier He broke decisively with the romantic nationalist school of figures such as Parry Elgar and Vaughan Williams and recreated English music in a fresh modern European form With Peter Grimes 1945 Billy Budd 1951 and The Turn of the Screw 1954 he arguably composed the last operas from any composer in any country which have entered both the popular consciousness and the musical canonHe did all this while c This is an excellent and very readable biography of one of the great British composers Britten is still something of an enigma and contradiction a difficult subject just as he could be dif

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Ldeburgh Festival and the building of Snape Maltings but also how costly the determination that this reuired wasAbove all this book helps us understand the relationship of Britten's music to his life and takes us as far into his creative process as we are ever likely to go Kildea reads dozens of Britten's works with enormous intelligence and sensitivity in a way which those without formal musical training can understand It is one of the most moving and enjoyable biographies of a creative artist of any kind to have appeared for years This suffers from an illness common to biographies Biographers think that their topic is inherently fascinating so they don t even try to make it so Edit my friends edit lists of dates and


10 thoughts on “Benjamin Britten

  1. says:

    This is an excellent and very readable biography of one of the great British composers Britten is still something of an enigma and contradiction; a difficult subject just as he could be difficult in real life uintessentially English he seemed to be part of the establishment yet he was hated by many parts of the establishment He was a pacif

  2. says:

    Blurb Paul Kildea's major biography of the twentieth century composer Benjamin Britten is published in the year that marks his centenaryIn this vivid portrait of the composer Paul Kildea explores the private and creative life of the man who composed operas that have entered the popular consciousness as well as the musical canon These include

  3. says:

    From BBC Radio 4 Book of the WeekBiography of the English composer by Paul Kildea

  4. says:

    I came to this book after reading about Wilfred Owen and that Britten’s use of Owen’s poetry in the War Reuiem was one of the things that made Owen a household name Britten had always been a part of my life in that from

  5. says:

    This was a complete chance purchase seen at the top of a pile of books in my local charity shop And what a wonderful discovery it turned out to be for me personally that is I've not been a huge fan of Britten and after checking my stores found I had only six CDs of his work and not the biggest pieces like Peter Grimes but some I love However one doesn't need to be intimate with the music works to enjoy this biographyMy

  6. says:

    Biographies are not one of my usual genres but I love Britten's music A number of years ago I picked up a biography of him at a bookstore but was very disappointed in browsing through it because the focus seemed to be too much on his sex life He and Pears were together for some forty years and so many of Britten's great works were written with that voice in his mind's ear as he wrote and all you want to write about is who cheat

  7. says:

    This suffers from an illness common to biographies Biographers think that their topic is inherently fascinating so they don't even try to make it so Edit my friends edit; lists of dates and names just make readers want to cry

  8. says:

    Does a really brilliant job of living up to the promise of the subtitle that is of situating Britten's life amongst the composers and other artists of the twentieth century It is also excellent at creating a portrait of a composer the author obviously admires without descending into hagiography In fact the Britten that is on show here doesn't come across as a particularly nice or admirable person though I mu

  9. says:

    Page 425 They gave press conferences asked the difference between The Rape of Lucretia and TheTurn of the Screw by a keen reporter he

  10. says:

    I own both the Humphrey Carpenter biography and now the Kildea biography of Britten I wouldn't be without either one Kildea has the advantage of added documentation being available for his research Kildea's biography provi