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Britten: Spring Symphony

20 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 25 January 2013

It's the work which polarises opinion more than anything else he wrote. For some, Benjamin Britten's 'Spring Symphony' is a deeply touching and human reflection on the emergence from winter, the epitome of Britten's talents as an anthologiser of literary sources, the works of Spenser, Clare, Peele and Auden. But does it cross a line into the realms of naivety, and can its architectural design stand up to the weight of its building blocks? Stephen Johnson takes the work apart to find out.

Music Played

3 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Benjamin Britten

    Benjamin Britten Spring symphony Op.44 for SAT, chorus, boys' ch & orchestra

    Conductor: Richard Hickox Performer: Alfreda Hodgson Performer: Elizabeth Gale Performer: London S O. Performer: Martyn Hill Performer: London Symphony Chorus Performer: Southend Boys' Choir

    Chandos, CHAN8855

  • Image for Igor Stravinsky

    Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

    Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel Performer: Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela


  • Image for Benjamin Britten

    Benjamin Britten The Turn of the screw - chamber opera Op.54

    Conductor: Edward Gardner Performer: Camilla Tilling Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra



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