Essential Britten (Paperback)
Benjamin Britten was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. He wrote a feast of music from an early age, first achieving international fame in 1945 with his opera Peter Grimes; now more operas by Britten are performed worldwide than by any other composer born in the twentieth century.
In this incisive guide, John Bridcut discusses Britten's music and explores his musical influences, his complex personality, his emotional and professional relationships, and the fascinating nooks and crannies of his daily life, normally overlooked.
An indispensable source of fresh insights into this towering figure in British music, this is an updated edition of the Faber Pocket Guide to Britten, including the full text of Britten's speech 'On Receiving the First Aspen Award'.
Review by Boyd Tonkin, in The Independent:
"Get ahead with this smartly organised and attractively written guide. Eschewing a full-dress life, Bridcut expertly spans a wide gamut of genres – quizzes to lists; catalogues to chronicles – to capture every side of the life and work. Playful, eclectic, virtuosic, this browsable delight is like some scholarly equivalent of Britten's early showpiece, the Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge."