Bringing together a dozen Britten scholars and an eclectic range of critical perspectives, this book offers a fresh portrait of one of the most widely performed composers of the 20th century. It explores a significant portion of Benjamin Britten's oeuvre across a range of genres, including opera, song cycle, and concert music. It also uncovers several new lines of inquiry, from the Lord Chamberlain's last-minute censorship of the Rape of Lucretia libretto to psychoanalytic understandings of Britten's staging of gender roles, from the composer's delight in schoolboy humor, and his operatic revival of Purcellian dance rhythms, to his creative responses to Cold War–era internationalism and his dealings with BBC Television.
"Masterfully blends multiple modes of inquiry and reestablishes Britten as a seminal composer of modernist and postmodern artistic accomplishment.... Highly recommended."—Choice