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Britten : Life & Times - David Matthews


Life & Times


Published: 1st March 2004
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Benjamin Britten (1913-76) was one of the outstanding British composers of the 20th century. He shot to international fame with his operas, performed by his own English Opera Group, and a series of extraordinary instrumental works. His music won a central piece in the repertoire and the affection of successive generations of listeners.

David Matthews brings to this biography his special insight as a fellow composer, former assistant and life-long friend of Britten to produce a uniqely personal, sensitive and authoritative account.

About the Author

David Matthews is one of the leading composers of his generation, his music acclaimed worldwide. In the 1960s he worked as an assistant to Benjamin Britten. He is t he Artistic Director of the Deal Festival. Faber & Faber published his book on the life and music of Sir Michael Tippett to great critical acclaim.

'A superb biography ... tells general readers everything they could possibly need to know about the composer's life and work.' -- Clare Stevens Classical Music 'Matthews's Britten is fluent, informative and ... sympathetic to its subject. His comments on Britten's music, which occur unobtrusively throughout the narrative, are richly informative.' -- Alexander Waugh Literary Review 200307 'David Matthews's Britten is a lyrical appraisal of an often tormented existence.' -- Norman Lebrecht Evening Standard 20031201 'David Matthews (...) is himself a composer. His book contains one revelation - the existence of a remarkable work (Two Pieces) for violin, viola and piano written when Britten was 16 - and is so well-balanced and so full of sympathetic but by no means uncritical insights that if I were asked to recommend an introduction to Britten to somebody who knew little or nothing about the man and his music, I would unhesitatingly urge this one.' -- Michael Kennedy Sunday Telegraph

Prefacep. vii
A Boy Was Bornp. 1
Go Play, Boy, Playp. 17
Coldest Love Will Warm to Actionp. 29
America Is What You Choose to Make Itp. 51
What Harbour Shelters Peace?p. 68
Our Firm-United Soulsp. 83
On the Infinite Seap. 100
Sleep's Healing Powerp. 119
In Peace I Have Found My Imagep. 129
Death Will Give Me Freedomp. 145
Notesp. 158
Chronologyp. 162
Rediscovering the Young Brittenp. 170
Works and Recordingsp. 171
Indexp. 176
Picture Sourcesp. 182
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781904341215
ISBN-10: 1904341217
Series: Life & Times
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 182
Published: 1st March 2004
Publisher: Haus Publishing Limited
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.271