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Thursday, May 11, 2006

British Ben Britten

Benjamin Britten reminds me a lot of Mozart and Mendelssohn. All three had a knack for childish play, mixing notes into clever new combinations, streams of energetic charm. But ultimately, art is more than a game of Scrabble, and a work must be imbued with meaning. Music, like painting, is an abstraction, a symbol pointing to something important.

Norman Lebrecht is his usual contrary self today - he will argue a case when it suits his mood, then leap the fence the next day. A couple of weeks ago he was decrying the poor record of native English Sons, and how they were unable to construct a coherent opus. Today, he blasts the English Art Authorities for not performing a complete Ben Britten Opera Cycle when everyone else is Europe is being nationalistic and prideful. And he attributes this state of affairs to 12 year old boys.

Old Norman is making it up - here.