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Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the young Benjamin Britten 1928-1938 [Hardcover]

John Evans
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 2009
Best remembered for his operas and his War Requiem, Benjamin Britten’s radical politics and his sexuality have also ensured that he remains a controversial public figure. Journeying Boy is a selection of his diaries that offer the reader an unseen insight into this complex man. Encompassing the years 1928-1938, they explore some key periods of Britten’s life – his early compositions, his education first under composer Frank Bridge and then at the Royal College of Music, an unhappy but productive period studying under John Ireland and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and his reluctant and often painful process of parting from the warm, safe environment of his family home and his beloved mother. The diaries cast light on an often misrepresented musician whose technique, originality and musical prowess have entranced audiences for generations and who continues to inspire composers and musicians around the world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (5 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571238831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238835
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

I can think of few other books that have given a more refreshing and enlightening picture of a personality one already thought familiar. Britten s youthful character leaps off every page, and one feels the whole milieu of artistic and musical London in the 1930s. it is just not a self-portrait of the composer as a young man, but a fascinating glimpse at an all-too-brief period of exciting discovery and innovation. --Patrick O Connor, Literary Review

Book Description

A revealing and intimate collection of diary entries from one of the greatest English composers of the twentieth century.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing diaries from a young Benjamin Britten 14 Dec 2009
By J. Aitken VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Benjamin Britten kept a diary for ten years starting in his mid teens in 1928. From the immature writing of a schoolboy emerges a musician of maturity and it is in the juxtaposition of these two facets that a telling portrait emerges. Musically voracious with a dislike of Brahms and a keen interest in Wagner, Britten writes perceptively about music he has heard, about his teachers Ireland and Bridge while all this is interwoven throughout with tales of family life.

Having read the diaries I felt I understood much more about the fully fledged composer that was to later emerge and in many ways I think it brought me closer to an understanding of his musical genius. The diaries are well annotated and a great pleasure to read. I would recommend this to anyone with a knowledge or love of Britten's music.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Wilko
Format:Hardcover
A wonderfully detailed book. However, it is not the sort of book that you can dip in and out of because the notes are so detailed; you spend alot of the time flicking backwards and forwards from text to notes which requires concentration. Personally, I prefer a book to have the notes at the bottom of the page. Having said that if you are interested in classical music and particularly the British music scene of the 1930s, it is a mine of information and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten's Diary 29 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
Outstanding editing, fascinating content; helpful background summaries - all about the great genius. A book to buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essecial read for anyone interested in Britten 9 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrived well within time in perfect condition.

A fascinating book & very informative. Far better than reading a plain Biography which usually contains far too much of the writter's own opinion & heresay!
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