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Donald Macleod reveals some of the wealth of music English composer Benjamin Britten wrote during his remarkably successful career in the light of two enduring influences - his life partner, the tenor Peter Pears and his beloved native county of Suffolk.

The BBC helped advance Britten's career by broadcasting two chamber pieces he had composed while still a student at the Royal College of Music. He was soon writing soundtracks for the GPO Film Unit as well as incidental music for the theatre, TV and radio. In programme 1, Donald introduces music from those early years including one of Britten's best known soundtracks for the GPO - 'Night Mail', and two works written during his wartime years in America - the Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, written for Pears, and his first opera, based on the story of the mythological lumberjack, Paul Bunyan.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Mon 23 Jan 2012 18:30

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