Letters from a Life Vol 2: 1939-45

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ISBN 9780571194001 Format Paperback
9780571194001
Paperback
Published 22/06/1998 Length 848 pages
848

About Book

In May 1939 Britten and Pears disembarked at Montreal at the start of their American visit, which was to be a period of intense musical activity and new personal relationships. At the same time, the relationship between Britten and Pears deepened into a partnership that was to endure for almost forty years.

Their absence from England during the first years of the war led to sharp public comment and controversy, much of it documented here. On their return from America in 1942, hostility to their pacifist convictions and to their homosexuality resurfaced. Prejudice and subterfuge even affected the première of Peter Grimes in 1945, although it could not prevent the opera from being an unprecedented success.

The letters in this second volume from the years 1939 to 1945 are among the most fascinating of the correspondence, and - supplemented by the editors' detailed commentary and by exhaustive contemporary documentation - offer a unique insight into American history, politics and culture during the Second World War.

In May 1939 Britten and Pears disembarked at Montreal at the start of their American visit, which was to be a period of intense musical activity and new personal relationships. At the same time, the relationship between Britten and Pears deepened into a partnership that was to endure for almost forty years.Their absence from England during the first years of the war led to sharp public comment and controversy, much of it documented here. On their return from America in 1942, hostility to their pacifist convictions and to their homosexuality resurfaced. Prejudice and subterfuge even affected the première of Peter Grimes in 1945, although it could not prevent the opera from being an unprecedented success.The letters in this second volume from the years 1939 to 1945 are among the most fascinating of the correspondence, and - supplemented by the editors' detailed commentary and by exhaustive contemporary documentation - offer a unique insight into American history, politics and culture during the Second World War.
  • About Benjamin Britten

    Benjamin Britten (1913 - 76) began composing at the age of six, and his first compositions were published while he was still a student. He made a living through writing music for documentary films in the 1930s, beginning a collaboration with W H Auden which continued when he and his life-long partner, the singer Peter Pears, moved to the USA in 1939. Returning in 1942 he began work on his operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes, the first of the many operas that dominated his career.His greatest public success came with the War Requiem in 1962; he died four years after the completion of his final opera, Death in Venice.

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