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Sea-changes - Melville - Forster - Britten

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ISBN: 9783863950453 Year: DOI: 10.17875/gup2012-399 Language: English
Publisher: Universitätsverlag Göttingen
Subject: Languages and Literatures --- Linguistics --- Music
Added to DOAB on : 2013-03-17 04:22:12
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Abstract

E. M. Forster first encountered Billy Budd in 1926. Some twenty years later, he embarked on a collaboration with Benjamin Britten and Eric Crozier, adapting Melville’s novella for the opera stage. The libretto they produced poignantly reaffirms the Forsterian creed of salvation through personal relationships. This study presents an extensive exploration of Forster’s involvement in the interpretation, transformation and re-creation of Melville’s text. It situates the story of the Handsome Sailor in the wider context of Forster’s literary oeuvre, his life, and his life writings. In detailed readings, Billy Budd becomes a lens through which the themes, patterns and leitmotifs of Forsterian thought and creative imagination are brought into focus. A close re-examination of the libretto sketches serves to shed new light on the collaborative process in which Melville’s story was changed to fit an archetypal array of plot and character types that is central to Forster’s own storytelling.

Keywords

Storytelling --- Opera --- Melville --- Forster --- Britten --- Novella

Middlebrow Modernism

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ISBN: 9780520970700 9780520298651 Year: Pages: 245 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.57 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Music
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:33:15
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Situated at the intersection between the history, historiography and aesthetics of twentieth-century music, this study uses Benjamin Britten’s operas to illustrate the ways in which composers, critics and audiences mediated the “great divide” between modernism and mass culture. Reviving mid-century discussions of the “middlebrow,” Chowrimootoo demonstrates how these works allowed audiences to have their modernist cake and eat it: to revel in the pleasures of consonance, lyricism and theatrical spectacle, even while enjoying the prestige that came from rejecting them. By focusing on moments when reigning aesthetic oppositions and hierarchies threatened to collapse, Middlebrow Modernism offers a powerful model for recovering shades of grey in the black-and-white historiographies of twentieth-century music.

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