Benjamin Britten

Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings

            Benjamin Britten is one of the last century’s most respected composers, and unquestionably the most influential and admired British composer from WW II until his death in 1976.   Fantastically gifted from an early age (almost a thousand compositions before his first mature, published one!), he was blessed with the early attainment of an authentic personal “voice” in his musical style.  That style was at once perceived as modern, fresh, and non-derivative—and yet generally accessible and popular with the broad public for art music.   From the beginning he was practically contemptuous of the main stream of revered British composers—Elgar, Vaughan William, Holst, and others, many of whom he dubbed the “pastoralists.”  Their utilization of traditional English folk music as an im

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, op. 34

            Benjamin Britten is one of the last century’s most respected composers, and unquestionably the most influential and admired British composer from WW II until his death in 1976.   Fantastically gifted from an early age (almost a thousand compositions before his first mature, published one!), he was blessed with the early attainment of an authentic personal “voice” in his musical style.  That style was at once perceived as modern, fresh, and non-derivative—and yet generally accessible and popular with the broad public for art music.   From the beginning he was practically contemptuous of the main stream of revered British composers—Elgar, Vaughan William, Holst, and others, many of whom he snarkily dubbed the “pastoralists.”  Their utilization of traditional English folk music