Britten: a great string composer

By May 29, 2017December 16th, 2017fedora strings performance


I have always felt Benjamin Britten is one of the greatest composers for strings, and  Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge is one of his masterpieces.
britten: a great string composer

More about the music
This string orchestral work  was inspired by his teacher Frank Bridge. The idea was that each of the variations would reflect a different side of Bridge’s personality but the writing transcends this formula and reveals Britten’s most vulnerable feelings. Even the apparently lighter variations – one of which is beautifully played below – have such sensitivity they touch the heart:

Other music for strings
Britten writes superbly well for strings and knows how to exploit their strongest characteristics. His use of pizzicato, in both Simple Symphony (a lighter string orchestral work) and the Frank Bridge Variations often demands virtuosity:

https://youtu.be/LU4fexkx2D8

And even in larger orchestral works – like Peter Grimes – his understanding and use of string effects is exciting and inimitable:

 

Joanna Borrett

Author Joanna Borrett

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