Britten’s “Frenchness”: Les Illuminations

Throughout 2013 the University of Sheffield has run a fantastic Benjamin Britten festival directed by Stewart Campbell. I’ve been working on Britten’s settings of French poets (Verlaine, Hugo, and Rimbaud). His famous Illuminations settings of Rimbaud offer some of the most vibrant, tantalising orchestral song writing. Having spent the year coaching different singers on performances of theses tricky, elusive Rimbaud texts about carnivals, exotic cities, bell towers, and rolling seas, I’m delighted to be able to share a little video interview prepared as part of the A Boy was Born festival with performances by David Webb and Sheffield Chamber Orchestra: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=COV2W5U3o9E

I’m hoping also that an extended article I’ve written about the Illuminations will be published next year, but I will in any case be talking about them again in London this Monday at a free, public research seminar at the Institute of Musical Research, Senate House in a talk that looks at what happens when a poem goes into song. With such interesting but challenging material to work with, it’s been a busy year for me honing and developing my words & music research approaches!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s