Page 16 of 16 FirstFirst ... 61213141516
Results 226 to 235 of 235

Thread: Benjamin Britten

  1. #226
    Senior Member dizwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I don't think you can say RVW "kept a mistress" in quite that way. He was married to Adeline for a very, very long time and she was ill throughout most of their 50+ years of marriage. Michael Kennedy says that RVW's 4th symphony (from the 1930s) was all about his feelings concerning Adeline, so there was evidently a lot of bottled up feeling to deal with! In that context, falling in love with Ursula in 1938 was not entirely unreasonable -and despite being passionately in love with her, he remained loyal (I don't say faithful!) to Adeline until her death. So much so that the two women remained on friendly terms -and it was Ursula who was jealous of Adeline!

    The Britten/boys thing has never concerned me. The boys concerned were quite adamant that nothing ever happened, so that wasn't something I was referring to or thinking of.

    No, the lack of 'niceness' is just something that beset Britten throughout his life, with his habit of acquiring 'corpses' once people stopped being useful to him. To some extent, that's entirely understandable: he was dedicated to creating music in a professional manner and didn't have the time, nor the inclination, to put up with those who took a less professional approach. But it went beyond mere professionalism. He could cut people because they divorced the wrong person (eg, Lord Harewood), or stop being involved with a boy for whom he had written great music because the lad involved had had the temerity to grow up (eg, John Hahessy/Elwes). It's a pattern that doesn't put me off the music in the least, but I find it does stand in stark contrast with the generous humanity that RVW exhibited throughout his life.

  2. Likes mikeh375 liked this post
  3. #227
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    1,548
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    I saw Vickers do Peter Grimes at the Met. I was so impressed, I saw it again, same season!
    I only ever saw Vickers once, at the end of his career, in a sadly strained performance of Das Lied von der Erde. I'd love to have seen him at his peak in Peter Grimes; as it is, I count myself lucky to have seen two other fine exponents of the role in Philip Langridge and Ben Heppner (with some newbie called Bryn Terfel as an unusually youthful Balstrode).

  4. Likes Barbebleu liked this post
  5. #228
    Senior Member dizwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Confession time: there are only two operas I've ever walked out on. One was a performance of something pretty dreadful by Richard Strauss. The other was a performance of Peter Grimes with Jon Vickers at the Royal Opera House in 1981. I was fairly new to Britten opera at the time, and my ear was tuned to, and expecting, a Peter Pears-like tenor. What I was expecting and what I got were so at odds with each other, I had to quit before the end of Act 1.

    I don't think I'd have done that, say, ten years later, I hasten to add!

  6. Likes Reichstag aus LICHT liked this post
  7. #229
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Great Britain
    Posts
    3,653
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dizwell View Post
    Confession time: there are only two operas I've ever walked out on. One was a performance of something pretty dreadful by Richard Strauss. The other was a performance of Peter Grimes with Jon Vickers at the Royal Opera House in 1981. I was fairly new to Britten opera at the time, and my ear was tuned to, and expecting, a Peter Pears-like tenor. What I was expecting and what I got were so at odds with each other, I had to quit before the end of Act 1.

    I don't think I'd have done that, say, ten years later, I hasten to add!
    What was the Strauss opera? I can’t personally think of anything by Richard that could be construed as pretty dreadful, but, à chacun son goûte, as they say!
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Feb-27-2020 at 14:26.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

  8. #230
    Senior Member dizwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    What was the Strauss opera? I can’t personally think of anything by Richard that could be construed as pretty dreadful, but, à chacun son goûte, as they say!
    Good question. From memory, I think it was Ariadne auf Naxos, and I've since gone on to have two different recordings of it, along with pretty much everything else Strauss wrote... so, like you, I'm sort-of surprised at my reaction then. It wouldn't happen now, but I was a novice back then!

  9. Likes Barbebleu liked this post
  10. #231
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6,613
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I once walked out of Die ägyptische Helena. The music’s just too vulgar. And I was very tempted to walk out of Intermezzo.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-27-2020 at 17:32.

  11. #232
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6,613
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    What was the Strauss opera? I can’t personally think of anything by Richard that could be construed as pretty dreadful, but, à chacun son goûte, as they say!

    C’est la dernière goutte qui fait déborder le vase
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-27-2020 at 17:31.

  12. Likes Barbebleu liked this post
  13. #233
    Senior Member Pat Fairlea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Yorkshire, U.K.
    Posts
    1,224
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    ^ Nice anecdote. Thanks.

    I thought Vaughan Williams kept a mistress - hardly nice of him (even if his wife did appear to accept it) - whereas Britten's lack of niceness came down to an unwillingness to forgive people who he felt had betrayed him in some small way (the flip side of which was loyalty) ... unless you want to add the inappropriate feelings he may have had, but almost certainly didn't act on, towards young boys.
    Last year I had a nice chat with an elderly gent who had known Britten (and just about everyone else!). His comment on Britten's unwillingness to forgive was that it was on a hair-trigger. Britten would quite suddenly decide that so-and-so was 'out', possibly for reasons of which they were completely unaware, and once 'out' there was no way back.

    Tangentially, and as Enthusiast raised the matter, yes Ursula became RVW's mistress but Adeleine was fully aware and even facilitated things. And in interviews, Ursula always stressed that it was she who had sought to seduce him in the first instance, not vice versa. RVW was a flirt, not a predatory skirt-chaser.

  14. #234
    Senior Member dizwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Fairlea View Post
    Last year I had a nice chat with an elderly gent who had known Britten (and just about everyone else!). His comment on Britten's unwillingness to forgive was that it was on a hair-trigger. Britten would quite suddenly decide that so-and-so was 'out', possibly for reasons of which they were completely unaware, and once 'out' there was no way back.

    Tangentially, and as Enthusiast raised the matter, yes Ursula became RVW's mistress but Adeleine was fully aware and even facilitated things. And in interviews, Ursula always stressed that it was she who had sought to seduce him in the first instance, not vice versa. RVW was a flirt, not a predatory skirt-chaser.
    Nicely put, on both the Britten and RVW fronts!

  15. #235
    Senior Member dizwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Fairlea View Post
    Last year I had a nice chat with an elderly gent who had known Britten (and just about everyone else!). His comment on Britten's unwillingness to forgive was that it was on a hair-trigger. Britten would quite suddenly decide that so-and-so was 'out', possibly for reasons of which they were completely unaware, and once 'out' there was no way back.

    Tangentially, and as Enthusiast raised the matter, yes Ursula became RVW's mistress but Adeleine was fully aware and even facilitated things. And in interviews, Ursula always stressed that it was she who had sought to seduce him in the first instance, not vice versa. RVW was a flirt, not a predatory skirt-chaser.
    Nicely put, on both the Britten and RVW fronts!

Page 16 of 16 FirstFirst ... 61213141516

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •