Essential Britten, By John Bridcut


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The Independent Culture

Next year, the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth, will see a torrent of events and books to celebrate our greatest modern composer. Get ahead with this smartly organised and attractively written guide.

Eschewing a full-dress life, Bridcut expertly spans a wide gamut of genres – quizzes to lists; catalogues to chronicles – to capture every side of the life and work.

Playful, eclectic, virtuosic, this browsable delight is like some scholarly equivalent of Britten's early showpiece, the "Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge".