By Graham Elliott
The significance of "the issues non secular" in Britten's paintings has lengthy been neglected. In his publication Graham Elliott examines this significance in his research of the composer's selection and remedy of topics, and his use of musical influences-- in particular plainsong--which have a right away organization with spirituality.
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Extra info for Benjamin Britten: The Spiritual Dimension (Oxford Studies in British Church Music)
Pears recalled that it was far too long to be set musically and Britten had no choice but to reject it. He felt that Auden had not approached the task seriously. That rejection marked a signiﬁcant break with Auden which was further emphasized by Britten’s departure from America and the valedictory setting, during the homeward voyage, of Auden’s Hymn to St Cecilia. This was Britten’s response to the letter, and it marked the end of a signiﬁcant part in the composer’s development—perhaps the true end of what Pears has called Britten’s ‘puberty’.
The one other work which Hussey succeeded in getting from Britten was the composer’s only work for solo organ published during his lifetime, Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Vittoria. The work was written for the 1946 patronal festival at St Matthew’s, Northampton, and was written to mark the ceremonial entry into the church of the bishop. By tradition the church choir greeted the bishop by singing Ecce Sacerdos Magnus by Vittoria. It was a theme from this motet which Britten used as the starting point of his work.
His father only beat him, why should not he? ‘Prove yourself some use, not only pretty—work—not be only innocent—work do not stare; would you rather I loved you? —but you must love me, why do you not love me? ’9 During the course of the sea journey back to England from America in 1942, Britten decided to ask Montagu Slater to write the libretto for Peter Grimes. ’10 The intention here is not to attempt to demolish Brett’s interpretation of Britten’s motivation: rather it is to deny that Britten thought in such exclusive terms as deliberately (or even subconciously) to write a homosexual allegory.
Benjamin Britten: The Spiritual Dimension (Oxford Studies in British Church Music) by Graham Elliott