Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for War Requiem

Dr. Bob Prescribes Benjamin Britten – War Requiem (1962)

Music History Monday for November 22, 2021, was entitled “Benjamin Britten: The Making of a Composer.”  The Dr. Bob Prescribes post that followed, on November 23, 2021, featured Britten’s String Quartet No. 1, which was composed in 1941.  Between them, those two posts outlined the first 29 years of Britten’s life, from his birth in 1913 through 1942.  In this post, we will push Britten’s biography forward to 1962, the year he completed his War Requiem, paying special attention to Britten’s life-long pacifism.  Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Edward Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on the eastern coast of England, roughly 105 miles northeast of London.  He died in nearby Aldeburgh on December 4, 1976, at the age of 63.  He was not just the most important English composer of the twentieth century but arguably the most important English-born composer since Henry Purcell, who was born in London in 1659, 246 years before Britten.   Britten began piano lessons at seven. At the age of eight, he was enrolled in South Lodge Preparatory School just down the hill from his family home.  The headmaster of the South Lodge School was named Thomas Sewell, a Cambridge graduate […]

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