Britten is the most literary British composer of the twentieth century. His relationship to the many and varied texts that he set was deeply committed and sensitive. As a result, both his responses to poetry and his collaborations with his librettists tell us a great deal about his music, and often, about the man himself. This book takes a unique approach to Britten, drawing together well-known Britten experts alongside English, music, modern language and history scholars who bring their own perspective to bear on Britten's work. Chapters examine all aspects of Britten's text setting, from his engagement with a wide variety of poetry to his relationship with his librettists. By approaching Britten's operas and songs through their literature, this book offers fresh insights into his vocal works.
KATE KENNEDY is the Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-writing at Wolfson College, Oxford, where she is an associate of both Music and English Faculties. She is a frequent broadcaster for the BBC and specialises in interdisciplinary biography and has published widely on twentieth century music and literature.
Contributors: JOANNA BULLIVANT, PHILIP ROSS BULLOCK, NICHOLAS CLARK, MERVYN COOKE, DAVID FULLER, JOHN FULLER, PETER HAPPE, J. P. E. HARPER-SCOTT, JOHN HOPKINS, KATE KENNEDY, ADRIAN POOLE, HANNA ROCHLITZ, PHILIP RUPPRECHT, REBEKAH SCOTT, VICKI STROEHER, JUSTIN VICKERS, LUCY WALKER, BRIAN YOUNG