Abstract

This article analyzes Benjamin Britten's late works through the lenses of late style discourse and theories of aging, showing how these final compositions can be read as a reflection of the ways in which Britten's illness and physical disability in the last years of his life prematurely ushered the composer into 'old age' and its attendant physical and psychological difficulties. From Death in Venice on, Britten's compositions display an unmistakable preoccupation with mortality, both in terms of subject matter and in terms of an even further finessed concision of musical style. While the stylistic decisions in these last works cannot be divorced from Britten's very real sense and eventual acceptance of the nearness of his own death, neither can they be wholly accounted for by it, marking as they do an undiminished capacity for creative achievement in the midst of significantly diminished physical capabilities.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 893-908
Launched on MUSE
2012-11-21
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.