Britten and the Far East: Asian influences in the music of by Mervyn Cooke

By Mervyn Cooke

Benjamin Britten's robust curiosity within the musical traditions of the some distance East had a far-reaching impression on his compositional sort; this booklet explores the hugely unique cross-cultural synthesis he was once capable of in attaining by utilizing fabric borrowed from Balinese, eastern and Indian resources. Britten's stopover at to Indonesia and Japan in 1955-6 is reconstructed from archival resources, and proven to have had a profound influence on his next paintings: the strategies of Balinese gamelin track have been utilized in the ballet "The Prince of the Pagodas" (1957), after which turned an important function of Britten's compositional kind, at their so much powerful in "Death in Venice" (1973); and the No rama and Gagaku courtroom song of Japan have been the muse for the trilogy of church parables Britten composed within the Nineteen Sixties. the proper nature of those affects is mentioned: Britten's sporadic borrowings fromIndian track also are absolutely analyzed. there's a survey of severe reaction to Britten's cross-cultural experiments.

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92 subject : Britten, Benjamin,--1913-1976--Criticism and interpretation, Britten, Benjamin,--1913-1976--Knowledge--Orient, Music--England--Oriental influences. Page i Aldeburgh Studies in Music General Editor: Paul Banks Britten and the Far East: Volume 4 Page ii Tea ceremony in Japan, 14 February 1956 Page iii Britten and the Far East: Asian Influences In The Music Of Benjamin Britten Mervyn Cooke Page iv Disclaimer: Some images in the original version of this book are not available for inclusion in the netLibrary eBook.

16 This anhemitonic pentatonic scale was well known to Debussy long before his contact with the gamelan, and its early use in his music may have derived from sources as diverse as Russian music (the scale appears regularly in works by his two idols, Borodin and Musorgsky), Liszt (whose Sposalizio of 1858 contains pentatonic figurations imitated by Debussy at the same pitches and in the same triplet rhythm in his First Arabesque of 1888), and numerous European folk-song traditions. ). This is the piano piece Pagodes, published in 1903 as the first of the three Estampes and probably inspired by Debussy's second experience of a Javanese gamelan at the Exposition 15 Donald Mitchell, 'An Afterword on Britten's Pagodas: The Balinese Sources', Tempo, 152 (1985), 9, note 4.

Emile van Loo (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1949; 3rd edn, 1973), I, 326. Page 3 techniques and Western compositional methods. 2 The pitches employed by the gamelan, although not standardized and not corresponding directly to the Western tempered scale, may nevertheless be represented fairly successfully by Western equivalents. Western tuned percussion instruments (including the piano) can capture something of the resonant qualities of the gamelan sound without the need for authentic Indonesian instruments.

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