Benjamin Britten Studies brings together established authorities and new voices to offer a fresh perspective on previous scholarship models and a re-contextualization of previously held beliefs about Britten. Using the most recent and innovative historical, musicological, sociological, psychological, and theoretical methodologies, the authors take off the 'protective arm' around Britten and disclose an unprecedented amount of previously unpublished and disregarded primary source materials. The collection considers difficult questions of identity such as Britten's retreat to America, his re-entry into the British musical scene, and late-life revisions of his American works; scrutinizes the fraught establishing of the English Opera Group contemporaneous with the founding of the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts; explores his break with Boosey & Hawkes and inspects international copyright concerns in the Soviet Union' investigates sensitive issues of intimacy and Britten's relationships; and combines closer analysis of Britten's musico-rhythmic, harmonic, and compositional practices with a description of the more overtly political context within which he found himself. Benjamin Britten Studies ends by asking what we can actually know about the composer in a reconsideration of the materials he left behind. All of this coalesces into a volume that not only serves as a model of on-going and future Britten research but which generates a greater understanding of the overall trends within the ever-synthesizing and interdisciplinary musicological field of the twenty-first century.
VICKI P. STROEHER is Professor of Music History at Marshall University.
JUSTIN VICKERS is Assistant Professor of Voice at Illinois State University.
Contributors: Byron Adams, Nicholas Clark, Jenny Doctor, Paul Kildea, Christopher Mark, Thornton Miller, Louis Niebur, Philip Reed, Colleen Renihan, Philip Rupprecht, Kevin Salfen, Vicki P. Stroeher, Justin Vickers, Lucy Walker, Danielle Ward-Griffin, Lloyd Whitesell