The Spring Symphony, a choral symphony, is Benjamin Britten's Opus 44. It is dedicated to Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was premiered in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, on Thursday 14 July 1949 (not 9 July which is quoted by many sources) as part of the Holland Festival, when the composer was 35. At the premiere the tenor soloist was Peter Pears, the soprano Jo Vincent and the contralto Kathleen Ferrier. The conductor was Eduard van Beinum. A recording of the performance survives and was first issued by Decca in August 1994.
In October 1950, the Spring Symphony was performed at the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival with a choir of 100 boys.
The Spring Symphony is written for soprano, alto and tenor soloists, mixed chorus, boys' choir (often performed by a children's choir instead) and orchestra. Britten sets several poets' words, chiefly from the 16th and 17th century such as Edmund Spenser, John Clare and George Peele. A notable exception is 'Out on the lawn I lie in bed' by his friend W. H. Auden.
Performances & Interviews
- Britten: Spring Symphonyhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01s6vd0.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01s6vd0.jpg2013-01-25T20:42:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores Britten's Spring Symphony, a work which polarises opinion more than anything else he wrote.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01pz2ky
Britten: Spring SymphonyStephen Johnson explores Britten's Spring Symphony, a work which polarises opinion more than anything else he wrote.
- Britten: Spring Symphonyhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t19bh.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01t19bh.jpg2014-07-11T11:17:00.000ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Britten's Spring Symphony.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p022n17c
Britten: Spring SymphonyIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Britten's Spring Symphony.