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Benjamin Britten



Benjamin Britten

Orchestra, Chorus: City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Symphony Youth Chorus, Coull Quartet
Conductor: Simon Halsey
Director: Petr Weigl

Throughout his compositional work, Benjamin Britten did his bit to support young people with their musical education – one has only to think, for example, of works such as The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell op. 34, written in 1945. His Entertainment for Young People written in 1949 and entitled Let’s Make an Opera op. 45, is another example of this didactic approach to composition, although its goals lie beyond simply encouraging children and young people to discover the world of opera. Let’s Make an Opera is also a morality tale that condemns the abuse of children, particularly those suffering social deprivation – represented in this instance by Sam, an apprentice chimneysweep. Let’s Make an Opera is divided into three parts, the first two of which are conceived as pure drama and feature little in the way of musical interludes. In Act One, Mrs. Parsworthy tells a story she had once heard from her grandmother to the children in her care at Iken Hall. It is the tale of Sam, a young chimneysweep. The children are so fascinated by the story that they decide to turn it into an opera. Act Two shows them hard at work rehearsing for the performance. And Act Three, which is an independent entity and suitable for performance on its own, narrates the actual tale of The Little Sweep. In this film, the director Petr Weigl has reworked and enriched the two-part prologue to the story through the introduction of additional characters. Britten himself developed a great personal attachment to the work. In his own words, he associated its composition with “an indescribable feeling of happiness.”
Label: Arthaus Musik

Genre: Feature Film

Running Time: 100

Picture Format: 4:3

Disc Format: NTSC

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Number of Discs: 1

Region: 0

Subtitle Languages:


Catalogue No.:


UPC: 807280210798

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