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Neil Powell: Benjamin Britten

Neil Powell: Benjamin Britten

A Life for Music. UK 2014, 512 pp. with numerous b/w photographs, brochure,  15.95
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Random House
Inhalt
Born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1913, Benjamin Britten was the youngest child of a dentist father and amateur musician mother. After studying at the Royal College of Music, he became a vital part of London's creative and intellectual life during the 1930s, collaborating with W.H. Auden and meeting his lifelong partner, the tenor Peter Pears. At the outbreak of WWII, Britten and Pears were already in America, earning a precarious living as freelance musicians before re-crossing the Atlantic by ship in the perilous days of 1942. But the east coast of England was where Britten, as he himself said, belonged: this was where he returned to write his most famous opera, »Peter Grimes«. In the years that followed, his worldwide reputation grew steadily, helped by a busy schedule of international tours and, for many, crowned by the extraordinary success of his »War Requiem«. Britten was a mass of paradoxes: a solitary, introspective thinker who came to ebullient life in the company of young people, a man of the political left who was on friendly terms with members of the royal family, and a composer who combined innovation with musical tradition.
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