- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Nov. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571290736
- ISBN-13: 978-0571290734
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Essential Britten: A Pocket Guide for the Britten Centenary Paperback – 1 Nov 2012
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Get ahead [of the Britten centenary] with this smartly organised and attractively written guide. Eschewing a full-dress life, Bridcut expertly spans a wide gamut of genres... to capture every side of the life and work. Playful, eclectic, virtuosic, this browsable delight is like some scholarly equivalent of Britten's early showpiece, 'Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge' --Independent, 27 October 2012
'This invaluable book includes 180 pages of programme notes about his music, many pages on his life, his pets, cars and illnesses, lists of his music and record library, his views on other people's music and their views on him, plus assessments of him as a pianist, conductor and instrumentalist...this paperback is essential for anybody interested in the composer, and deserves a place in many a Christmas stocking.' --Liverpool Daily Post
'Smartly organised and attractively written guide ... playful, electric, virtuosic ... a browsable delight.' --Independent
Essential Britten: A Pocket Guide for the Britten Centenary, by John Bridcut, is a highly approachable and readable guide to Benjamin Britten and his music for the high-profile centenary year.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As to the book itself, it is something of a curate's egg. The tone is somewhat facetious (with a 'Round Britten Quiz' at the end of each section). The overall effect is rather disappointing. Perhaps the best section is Part Five, 'the music of Britten', where Bridcut offers his by no means uncritical opinion of many of Britten's works.
There are sections on his life year by year, what he thought of other people and vice versa, his cars, his pets, and many more. The most substantial section at the end lists all Britten's works, giving comments on each, with a 1-5 star rating, and recommended recordings.
The style of the book is very much a list of facts, and it is refreshingly free of musicological jargon.
A slight weakness of the format is that certain themes come up rather too often, being repeated in the different sections - something that could never be said of Britten's music!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a more or less inclusive gude to Britten and his music.This guide will help me with this year's opera performances.Published on 18 Jun. 2013 by JOHN MONTGOMERY
A light hearted and fun guide for Britten's anniversary year. This is full of lists of trivia and other bits and pieces. Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2013 by M. D. Holley
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