Benjamin Britten: New Perspectives on his Life and Work reveals the extent to which Britten scholarship is reaching outside the confines of Anglo-American criticism. The volume engages with juvenilia and other orchestral works from the 1920s and examines a broad range of influences on Britten, including the works of Shostakovich and Verdi, the poetry of Ovid, and the cinema. Among his operatic works the dramatic qualities of Owen Wingrave are discussed through a close study of Piper's libretto and we witness the genesis of a libretto written by Australian novelist Patrick White and submitted to Britten with the hope of a future collaboration. The volume uncovers the generally hostile reception Britten's operas received in Paris until around the 1990s. Britten's status as 'outsider' in both the USA and in his own country when he returned in 1942 is discussed: the possibility is that Britten was becoming nervous of the gathering US involvement in the war and the real chance he may be called up to serve in the US forces is also discussed here.
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