Benjamin Britten: Michael Oliver

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Benjamin Britten (1913–76) changed the course of English music with highly original works such as his opera Peter Grimes. While his music is performed more widely than those of any other English composer, his international success did not prevent him from continuing to draw inspiration from his native land. In this engaging biography, the author creates a portrait of a great artist, exploring his wide-ranging compositions in detail and discussing the many contradictions that pervaded Britten's fascinating life and career.
Specifications:

  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 220 x 156 mm (8 5/8 x 6 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • Illustrations: 0 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714847719

Michael Oliver, who sadly died in 2002, was well known as a writer and broadcaster, having written and compiled numerous programmes for BBC Radio 3 and written regularly for Gramophone and other magazines for over 20 years. He was also the author of Igor Stravinsky in the 20th-Century Composers series.

"Enthusiastically recommended."—Library Journal

"Finely balanced and beautifully written."—Opera

"Masterfully written. A highly recommended book."—Scenaria

"Michael Oliver’s Phaidon volume on Britten is one of the best in the series to date. The only regret, says Michael Tanner, is that the book isn’t longer."—Classic CD

On the 20th Century Composers Series

"As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiastically musical."—The Scotsman