Kazill Allegro Ma Non Troppo 6: A relatively dry couple of movements, these, as if written expressly for the purpose of study. Soon after Stephen Hough recorded them for Virgin Classics, but it is not known if the Burlesque and Toccata are likely to go the same way any time soon. Gemini Variations Quartet for 2 playersOp. Cookies allow us to personalize content and ads, to provide social media-related features and analyze our traffic. English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten. Moderato con moto 9: Moderato quasi recitativo 3: Like an Improvisation 1: Theme briten Allegro maestoso e largamente.

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These are the words used by philosopher and musicologist Theodor Adorno to describe the music of Benjamin Britten Others on the contrary, discerned a great depth, such as Leonard Bernstein, according to whom "if you really listen to his music , if you really hear it, you become aware of something very dark".

As much due to his life choices as to his musical orientation, Britten was not always well-received. Here are 10 little facts that reveal a complex character. The first steps of a precocious composer At the age of seven, Benjamin Britten received his first piano lessons, encouraged by his mother. The young Britten discovered composition at an early age, inventing themes that he would later use in his Simple Symphony, a small masterpiece considered by its composer as a "sin of youth".

The concert revealed to him his profession: he would become a composer! Britten began studying composition with Frank Bridge himself, before joining the ranks of the very prestigious Royal College of Music of London.

So as to complete his training, Britten would regularly attend concerts of the Proms series, during which he discovered the works of Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, and Arnold Schoenberg. This mutual dedication was a testament of a friendship of already eight years. Despite the tardy encounter between both composers Britten was already 57 years old , the latter was thoroughly influenced since his childhood by the Russian master, a man with whom he later shared a taste not only for sarcasm and parody, but also a pessimistic outlook on humanity.

Despite this close friendship, the music of Shostakovich is not the only one to hold an influence over Britten. The composer was also fascinated by his illustrious predecessor Henry Purcell, whom Britten revered as an absolute master, and Gustav Mahler, in particular his exacerbated lyricism and sombre atmospheres. Britten even admired oriental music after discovering the native music of Bali and Japan during a trip in His childhood One figure remains ever-present in the works of Benjamin Britten: the child.

According to his biographers, he displayed a strong, yet strictly platonic, affection for several young adolescents. However, Britten sought above all to show that, despite the differences separating him from his audience, his music was universally accessible.

Britten the pacifist In , shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Britten and Pears fled their country and headed for the United States, where they stayed for three years. A strong anti-military pacifist, Britten was labeled a conscientious objector upon his return to Great Britain. His quest for peace inspired several of his works, notably the War Requiem, first performed in during the inauguration of the refurbished Coventry cathedral, destroyed during the war.

The call of the sea Aside from the three years spent in the United States from to , Benjamin Britten never left his native region of Suffolk, in the east of England.

Born in the port town of Lowestoft, he later moved in with Peter Pears in Aldeburgh, a coastal town in which he would remain for the rest of his life. This proximity with the maritime world would eventually make itself felt in many of his works. The words were of the utmost importance for the composer, taking great care when choosing his texts.

I had to write scores not for large orchestras but for six or seven instruments, and to make these instruments make all the effects that each film demanded. Britten kept in mind this particular method of composition, using it later in life when he founded the EnglishOpera Group in , an ensemble made up of a small group of singers and musicians with few means of productions.

A reluctant pianist As can be heard in various recordings, Britten was an excellent pianist, and the instrument is present in many of his works including chamber music, song cycles, orchestral music, and operas. However, on its own Britten considered the piano cold and lifeless, and wrote very few works for the instrument alone: 5 waltzes, early works written during and , the Holiday Diary , and the Sonatina romantica He was even named Baron of Alderburgh, the first and only composer to carry such a title.

More recently in , the village of Aldeburgh, lifelong home for Britten and his partner Peter Pears, paid homage to the composer with the inauguration of a sculpture in his honour.


Moderato & nocturne : from Sonatina romantica (1940) : for solo piano





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