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Benjamin Britten aWord

Benjamin Britten aWord

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Published by zflash

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Published by: zflash on Jul 04, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Zach Castle 2/28/14 Alex Ross
s chapter on Benjamin Britten showcases several aspects of Britten
s life, his childhood, and hinted at by the title,
Peter Grimes
. Let us begin with a specific aspect of Britten
s life: his homosexual orientation and his contribution to the world of music, especially that of composition. Ross argues that homosexual men account for a large amount of musical composition of the last hundred years, being the 20th century to present. Ross focuses on this aspect of Britten
s life and then gives more statistics of Britten
s homosexuality while relating it to things such as classical music and gay culture, saying that opera dared to go where some pop music wouldn
t in the early 20th century, and so forth. Some writers and biographers of Britten
s life would not touch upon this topic, but it was a huge part of Britten
s life; after all his partner, Peter Pears, helped him write many of his pieces for the opera
Peter Grimes
 and some of his other works. Revealing Britten
s homosexuality allows Ross to unveil many statistics that he otherwise could not have. All in all, it can be said that Ross
s argument here is that his sexual orientation did not prevent him from flourishing in the musical world, and in life in general. This quote is evidence of Ross
s argument:
Much else about Britten was at odds with Cold War social norms: his pacifism, his leftism, and especially his homosexuality. Nonetheless, Britten succeeded in becoming a respected national figure, a focus of British pride.
 I will now turn my attention to the relationship between Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich, a famous composer who lived in the same era as Britten. Ross argues that Britten uses sounds of Shostakovich, if you will, such as the
Lady Macbeth-
like Passacaglia in
Peter Grimes
 Ross continues to talk about Shostakovich and his music, featuring specific pieces and their properties, tying it all back to Britten
Peter Grimes.
 This goes to show that friendships

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