Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Letters from a Life
This isn’t a blog for blowing our own trumpet beyond giving you some idea of what we’re publishing and why we publish it. However our acquisition of the series, Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten 1913-1976, is too important not to mention here. The fourth volume, covering the years 1952-7, will be published in May 2008, and takes in the years of Gloriana, Turn of the Screw and the ballet, The Prince of the Pagodas.
During this period, too, Britten’s stature as a major figure of the European musical establishment was blossoming. It also takes in his involvement with the Aldeburgh Festival, the English Operas Group and Covent Garden. Central to this period, and to many of the works that followed it, is Britten’s trip with Peter Pears to the Far East, where he encountered the music and cultures of Japan and Bali for the first time (see also Mervyn Cooke’s fascinating study of this in the Aldeburgh Studies in Music series).
Edited by Philip Reed, Mervyn Cooke and Donald Mitchell, Volume 4 of this series – “One of the most illuminating biographical projects in recent years” according to Peter Ackroyd – will possibly be the most exciting yet.