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Britten and the Guitar
Britten and the Guitar

Britten and the Guitar

Critical Perspectives for Performers


272 Pages, 6 x 9.25

Cloth, $90.00 (US $90.00) (CA $122.00)

Publication Date: June 2016

ISBN 9781909325876

Rights: US & CA

Carysfort Press Limited (Jun 2016)

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Benjamin Dwyer's book is the first important study of the guitar works of Benjamin Britten. It offers more than an objective analytical study of these compositions. Dwyer draws upon his expertise as a classical guitarist, composer and musicologist to deliver a multi-lensed examination of this music, providing broad contexts and unique insights. Dwyer not only explores the intricate relationship between Britten, his life-long partner, the tenor, Peter Pears, and the guitarist, Julian Bream, for whom all the guitar works were written, but goes further in situating the Renaissance composer and lutenist John Dowland as a central and inspirational figure that hovers over all Britten's guitar works. In so doing, he provides unique insights into Britten's compositional approach demonstrating how techniques of musical rhetoric, exemplified by Dowland, are central to his musical idiolect. Britten and the Guitar: Critical Perspectives for Performers is an essential text for the professional guitarist and singer, the committed teacher, and those who simply wish to understand more about this unique body of music by one the 20th-century's most enigmatic composers. *** "Dwyer steers deftly between the Scylla of pedantry and the Charybdis of gossipy klatsch to offer a treasure trove of interesting facts and vivid portraits of great musicians spanning a long arc of Western culture.... the unique insights afforded by his treatment of Britten's guitar oeuvre shed a new light on this eternally fascinating and complex man and his endlessly rich legacy." -- Eliot Fisk*** "Dwyer is a guitarist, composer and musicologist who has spent decades performing Britten's music and so comes to his subject not only as a researcher but also as an expert practitioner. This book is essential reading for all those who wish to perform or teach Britten's remarkable music for the guitar." -- Xuefei Yang [Subject: Music, Music History]