Essays on Benjamin Britten from a Centenary Symposium now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Essays on Benjamin Britten from a Centenary Symposium, edited by David Forrest, Quinn Patrick Ankrum, Stacey Jocoy and Emily Ahrens Yates.
Coming to terms with Britten’s music is no easy task. The complex, often contradictory language associated with Britten’s style likely stems from his double interest in progressive composition and immediate connection with a broad, popular audience – an apparent paradox in the splintered musical culture of the 20th century – as well as from complicated truths in his own life, such as his love for a country that accepted neither his sexuality nor his politics. As a result, the attempt to describe his music can tell us as much about our own biases and the inadequacies of our analytic tools as it does about the music itself. Such audits of our scholarly language and strategies are vital in light of the still-murky view we have of twentieth century music. This opportunity for academic self-reflection is the reason Britten studies such as this book are so important. The essays included here challenge assumptions about musical constructs, relationships between text and music, and the influences of age, spirituality, and personal relationships on compositional technique. Continue reading