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Thread: 23.1.2012 - Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) [REPEAT]

  1. #11
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    I have not heard about the Paul Kildea biography. Is it due soon? Are we talking about a major 'landmark' book?
    I agree that the music is the important angle. Let's hope that some of the neglected works get a revival too: the Church Parables and Prince of the Pagodas for example.

  2. #12
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    I read that the Paul Kildea biography will be published 'in time for the centenary', but haven't been able to find out how 'major' it is. I'm hoping for something that will largely replace the Carpenter one, but have no idea whether that will happen.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boilk View Post
    And on Friday evening (27 Jan) on BBC Four

    Britten's Children


    Looks like joined up thinking at the BBC, but having shown the Bridcut film again, I wonder what they're planning for next year.

    (And, yes, they could have waited a year to repeat the CotW too ...)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Chambers View Post
    I read that the Paul Kildea biography will be published 'in time for the centenary', but haven't been able to find out how 'major' it is. I'm hoping for something that will largely replace the Carpenter one, but have no idea whether that will happen.
    I found this:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225879836404

    Two significant bits of information included:

    The 2013 Britten anniversary deadline is immovable. So far he has written half the substantial biography, aimed at a general readership.

    Good news that it's definitely for next year, but does "aimed at a general readership" sound ominous perhaps?

    As for Britten's interest in children, Kildea plans to spare the composer the kind of exhaustive posthumous scrutiny to which Carpenter subjected him in his book
    .
    "Britten was inordinately fond of his own childhood. But as an adult he was incredibly driven and all he did was work. The company of children allowed him to step outside that. It gave him great pleasure. And when he started working with children, that gave him the best of both worlds."


    Good news for Mary C?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VodkaDilc View Post

    Good news that it's definitely for next year, but does "aimed at a general readership" sound ominous perhaps?
    Yes, I thought that! Perhaps it just means that it won't have a lot of technical terms and musical analysis. It does sound quite promising for the most part, and there are quite a few minor Britten biographies already, so I'm hoping for something substantial.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Chambers View Post
    I read that the Paul Kildea biography will be published 'in time for the centenary', but haven't been able to find out how 'major' it is. I'm hoping for something that will largely replace the Carpenter one, but have no idea whether that will happen.
    I wonder about your use of 'replaced'! Does a new biography ever replace an old one? I have Michael Kennedy's Britten book on my shelves; I don't think Carpenter replaced that. Similarly both Kennedy and Diana McVeigh wrote new books on Elgar in recent years, but neither replaced their classic works. (In fact both were deliberately shorter I believe.)
    I suppose we mean 'replace as the standard work of reference' - but the diversity of opinions of any subject surely gives us a truly balanced picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Chambers View Post
    Yes, I thought that! Perhaps it just means that it won't have a lot of technical terms and musical analysis. It does sound quite promising for the most part, and there are quite a few minor Britten biographies already, so I'm hoping for something substantial.
    I suppose biography implies the life without technical treatment of the music. Not many people can do both: Jerrold Northrop Moore's Elgar: A Creative Life is one which springs to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VodkaDilc View Post
    I suppose we mean 'replace as the standard work of reference' - but the diversity of opinions of any subject surely gives us a truly balanced picture.
    Yes, that is what I meant, but I think your second point is probably fair. I have biographies of Britten by Kennedy, Michael Oliver and David Matthews as well as Carpenter, not to mention all volumes so far published of Letters from a Life, which in some ways form the best biography of all.

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    I'm a bit bemused to hear on CotW that the poems Britten set in Les Illuminations are by Baudelaire. They're by Rimbaud.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Chambers View Post
    I'm a bit bemused to hear on CotW that the poems Britten set in Les Illuminations are by Baudelaire. They're by Rimbaud.
    Oops! C'est la vie! Barely even contemporaries ...

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