Music and Sexuality in Britten: Selected Essays

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University of California Press, 2006 - BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY - 295 pages
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Philip Brett's groundbreaking writing on Benjamin Britten altered the course of music scholarship in the later twentieth century. This volume is the first to gather in one collection Brett's searching and provocative work on the great British composer. Some of the early essays opened the door to gay studies in music, while the discussions that Brett initiated reinvigorated the study of Britten's work and inspired a generation of scholars to imagine "the new musicology." Addressing urgent questions of how an artist's sexual, cultural, and personal identity feeds into specific musical texts, Brett examines most of Britten's operas as well as his role in the British cultural establishment of the mid-twentieth century. With some of the essays appearing here for the first time, this volume develops a complex understanding of Britten's musical achievement and highlights the many ways that Brett expanded the borders of his field.
  

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Contents

1 Britten and Grimes
11
2 Grimes Is at His Exercise Sex Politics and Violence in the Librettos of Peter Grimes
34
3 Grimes and Lucretia
54
4 Salvation at Sea Brittens Billy Budd
70
5 Character and Caricature in Albert Herring
81
6 Brittens Bad Boys Male Relations in The Turn of the Screw
88
7 Brittens Dream
106
8 Eros and Orientalism in Brittens Operas
129
10 Pacifism Political Action and Artistic Endeavor
172
11 Audens Britten
186
12 The Britten Era
204
AFTERWORD
225
APPENDIX PHILIP BRETTSBRITTEN SCHOLARSHIP
247
WORKS CITED
255
INDEX
267
Copyright

9 Keeping the Straight Line Intact? Brittens Relation to Folksong Purcell and His English Predecessors
154

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About the author (2006)

Philip Brett (1937-2002) was Distinguished Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to dozens of scholarly editions of English Renaissance music and pioneering articles in a wide variety of fields, he is author of" Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes "and coeditor of "Queering the Pitch: The New Gay and Lesbian Musicology, Cruising the Performative: Interventions into the Representation of Ethnicity, Nationality, and Sexuality, and Decomposition: Post-Disciplinary Performance". Joseph Kerman is Professor Emeritus of Music and Davitt Moroney is Professor of Music and University Organist at the University of California, Berkeley.

George Haggerty is Associate Professor of English, University of Califormia at Riverside.

Susan McClary is Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of many book including "Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form" and "Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal", both from UC Press.

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