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Thread: Benjamin Britten

  1. #91
    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Romanza View Post
    I can't believe Britten's composer thread only has one page?!?!? Wow....
    You don't have to.

  2. #92
    Junior Member MarieTregubovich's Avatar
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    I am in a choir that recently sang Britten's 'Spring Symphony' - such an amazing piece, but so difficult. Not to mention our tenor soloist was sick as a dog, but he still managed to do pretty okay, surprisingly.

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  4. #93
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manueelster View Post
    Any recommendation of Benjamin Britten works?
    Britten, B.: Piano Concerto Concerto (Shelley, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner).
    I actually have never heard this work and I was wondering what the TC opinion might be? Here's a bit of blurb from the Classics Online newsletter I received about it:
    "In celebration of the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten, Chandos releases two concertos with the BBC Orchestra under Edward Gardner with Chandos stars Howard Shelley and Tasmin Little. The piano concerto includes the rarely recorded original third movement 'Recitative and Aria.' [...]"

  5. #94
    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Britten, B.: Piano Concerto Concerto (Shelley, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner).
    I actually have never heard this work and I was wondering what the TC opinion might be? Here's a bit of blurb from the Classics Online newsletter I received about it:
    "In celebration of the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten, Chandos releases two concertos with the BBC Orchestra under Edward Gardner with Chandos stars Howard Shelley and Tasmin Little. The piano concerto includes the rarely recorded original third movement 'Recitative and Aria.' [...]"
    My favorite performances of the Piano Concerto are Richter/Britten and Osborne/Volkov. 'Nuff said.
    "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

  6. #95
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Romanza View Post
    My favorite performances of the Piano Concerto are Richter/Britten and Osborne/Volkov. 'Nuff said.
    I don't know, Neo! Sell it to me !!!

  7. #96
    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    I don't know, Neo! Sell it to me !!!
    The Richter is a classic and the Osborne is the best I've heard since Richter. They are both for sell on Amazon. Now go!

    By the way, the Osborne recording contains the original version of the third movement of the Piano Concerto, Recitative and Aria, as well.

    Another selling point of the Osborne/Volkov recording is it includes the awesome Diversions and Young Apollo. Both works for piano and orchestra. Definitely check it out.
    Last edited by Neo Romanza; May-22-2013 at 01:36.
    "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

  8. #97
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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  10. #98
    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    What Britten thought of other composers:

    Brahms: In his younger days, Britten liked Brahms, but then reacted against his music.

    Beethoven: Ambivalent, but respectful.

    Mozart, Schubert: "loved without qualification."

    Bach, Dowland, Purcell: Britten "liked" them.

    Mahler: Britten learned to appreciate Mahler after hearing his Fifth Symphony. He went to a concert to hear a "fashionable" concerto, expecting to be bored by the preceding Mahler symphony, but it turned out to be the other way around.

    Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel: Britten liked them, especially for their skill in orchestration.

    Stravinsky: Britten liked his early works, but didn't like the Paris "chic air" that was associated with his later works.

    Shostakovich: Britten was friends with him, and loved his works.

    Source: http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~tan/Britten/britpears.html

    So, Mozart and Schubert were his favorite composers. I like Britten even more!!
    Schubert manages that most supreme of feats, to be melancholy without being maudlin, his pain is not a mockery of pain but truly heartfelt, and he manages to pass that though with all of its complexities in his music.

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  12. #99
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    ....Source: http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~tan/Britten/britpears.html

    So, Mozart and Schubert were his favorite composers. I like Britten even more!!
    But can we rely on Peter Pears' memory, when he also asserts, "He had a strong conscience, sense of honor, and standards. He did not easily forgive people who violated his moral standards." Or, "I think the key to his music lies in his moral point of view combined with his craving for lost innocence brought on by his increasing disillusionment with man"

    To the contrary...

    Britten link (pdf) at...

    http://www.wrightmusic.net/pages/composers.html

    Britten: More Thoughts (pdf) at...

    www.wrightmusic.net/pdfs/britten-more-thoughts.pdf

  13. #100
    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    David Wright is a well-known troll. His articles on MusicWeb International was removed because of his inflammatory writings on composers he didn't like. He had a particular ax to grind to Schubert, Chopin, Britten and Elgar.

    http://members2.boardhost.com/MusicW...359947484.html

    His article about Schubert is such a trite, bitter and ill-researched that I considered it a comedic masterpiece.

    Examples of his writing:

    I have always been puzzled as to why some refer to Franz Schubert as a great
    composer. He may be a popular composer in some quarters but greatness is certainly not an accurate way to
    describe him. As we shall see, he was very limited as a composer and much of his work is so naive that it is
    very poor.
    Very often, but not always, poor quality in music can be correlated with a poor quality of life style or
    health problems some of which may be self-induced. Schubert was a rake, a libertine, a regular customer at
    brothels and contracted syphilis that caused his death it clearly did. As one biographer put it Schubert’s
    illness was the illness that could not be named even to his friends. He was grossly immoral and decadent and
    this is inherent in his music.
    Chopin is not a great composer because he is a very limited composer.. He has often been portrayed as the delightful, dashing, handsome young man of the keyboard and as a perfect gentleman. Nothing could be further from the truth. He was an extreme dandy, a narcissist, a man with an outrageous temper, psychological
    problems, personality disorders and an overwhelming hatred of Jews.

    It is always said that Wagner was anti-semitic and hated the Jews. As I have indicated in my essay on
    Wagner, his real problem was with Meyerbeer who was a Jew. In time of serious financial and other troubles
    Meyerbeer was an indefatigable help to Wagner and, latterly, Wagner resented being beholden ‘to this Jew’.
    Yes, Wagner was racist.
    But Chopin was far worse. Meyebeer heard Chopin play some of his own mazurkas but he was playing
    them in four time and not in three time. When Meyerbeer pointed this out, Chopin flew into a rage and
    stormed out like a spoilt schoolgirl. In fact, his obvious effeminism was another of Chopin’s weaknesses.
    Last edited by peeyaj; May-31-2013 at 08:02.
    Schubert manages that most supreme of feats, to be melancholy without being maudlin, his pain is not a mockery of pain but truly heartfelt, and he manages to pass that though with all of its complexities in his music.

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  15. #101
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Maybe you could find the truth about Dr. Wright's and MusicWeb's separation. I suspect that Dr. Wright pulled the plug on all his writings at that site, when they wanted to remove only the "negative" ones. Shame, because those and the many "positive" writings were valuable for online learning. Particularly, the less-known composers.

    I like many of the works of Chopin, Britten, Elgar, and Britten, the four composers you say Dr. Wright crosses the line with. But I do enjoy reading something that adds to commonly held dimensions or perceptions...even though it might stir the pot a little more than some would like.

    Saying something to the contrary about a composer, that's largely supported by evidence? I've read far worse here at TC, supported by nothing. That, my friend peeyaj, is what's commonly defined as a troll. With your snippets of Dr. Wright's writings, you may be confusing his colorful embellishing with history.

    I think Dr. Wright may have it right, when he says, "Some people would rather believe a beautiful lie than an ugly truth."


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  17. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    What Britten thought of other composers:
    You forgot Alban Berg, whose opera Wozzeck Berg imitated in Peter Grimes (which also has a direct lift from Mahler's Fifth).

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  19. #103
    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    M
    Saying something to the contrary about a composer, that's largely supported by evidence? I've read far worse here at TC, supported by nothing. That, my friend peeyaj, is what's commonly defined as a troll. With your snippets of Dr. Wright's writings, you may be confusing his colorful embellishing with history.

    I think Dr. Wright may have it right, when he says, "Some people would rather believe a beautiful lie than an ugly truth."

    I think Dr. Wright would be a good music writer if:

    1. He won't resort to personal and inflammatory attacks. (saying Chopin and Schubert only used women as sex objects)

    2. Do not criticize if that composer did not align with his personal and moral beliefs.

    3. Don't preach if he is holy than holier than though, like he did not make any mistakes on his life.

    4. Have a good understanding on the history of that particular composer..

    etc..

    Whatever beef that Dr. Wright might have on those composers, at least he might have some objectivity inserted on his brains.

    For a very objective biography of Britten (probably the best current available), why don't you read this:


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Benjamin-Bri.../dp/1846142326

    Schubert manages that most supreme of feats, to be melancholy without being maudlin, his pain is not a mockery of pain but truly heartfelt, and he manages to pass that though with all of its complexities in his music.

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  21. #104
    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    A complete works box set from Decca is out in Europe and awaits a release in the US. If I didn't already own most of these recordings I would definitely buy it:





    There's 66 CDs and look at that booklet and there's no telling what else is in this set.

    Edit: Okay, maybe I wouldn't buy it. The price tag is too rich for my blood. Yikes.
    Last edited by Neo Romanza; Jun-18-2013 at 08:12.
    "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

  22. #105
    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach. Drat I can't put the video up directly.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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