Monday, August 22, 2011

Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw

Yesterday I wrote about the way listening to new music can broaden and educate your taste. Then I had Jethro Tull in mind, but it is just as true in classical music.

I can remember listening to Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw on Radio 3 because I had read the Henry James short story on which it is based. I found the music almost impossibly difficult, but interesting enough that I wanted to hear it again.

So I persevered with Britten and he soon became one of my very favourite composers - up there with Bach and Schubert. And I saw The Turn of the Screw at the London Coliseum in the early 1980s, with Philip Langridge singing Peter Quint.

My reason for writing about this opera is that the Glyndebourne performance of The Turn of the Screw which the Guardian streamed live yesterday evening will be available on the newspaper's site until 12 September. The site also has plenty of background material about the opera and this production too.

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