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Britten: Spring Symphony

Stephen Johnson explores Britten's Spring Symphony, a work which polarises opinion more than anything else he wrote.

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.

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20 minutes

Music Played

  • 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.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    The Rite of Spring

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

    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 477-8775.
  • Benjamin Britten

    The Turn of the screw - chamber opera Op.54

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

    • GLYNDEBOURNE.
    • GFOCD-01107.

Credit

Role Contributor
Composer Benjamin Britten

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