Britten's spring awakening

Neither symphony nor song-cycle, Benjamin Britten's most idiosyncratic achievement is a major landmark.

Obituary: Bill Servaes

FOR NEARLY 10 years Bill Servaes was general manager of the Aldeburgh Festival. When Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears interviewed him for the job, he confessed he was more used to running ships than music festivals but, as it turned out, he was particularly well suited to this new venture in his career. The years from 1971, when Servaes took up the position, to 1976, when Britten died, were among the most fruitful in the somewhat chequered history of the festival.

The Critics: The greatest love story ever told

The week in radio

Classical Sight Readings: Hold my hand while I listen...

Here's a marketing wheeze: classics sold in supermarkets, with famous fans to make them user-friendly

Sight Readings: Let's hear it for Monsieur Poulenc!

A NEW year: time for a new look at the chronically underrated composer whose centenary falls this week. Francis Poulenc may have a big fan club in Japan, but in the West he is looked at askance, while his own country remains impervious to his music's acidulated charm. Since fashionability was in his view an artistic calamity, he would doubtless be proud of his standing in France today.

Arts: Lieder of the pack

It's just three years since Ian Bostridge gave up his day job for a career as a singer. But the star of Sadler's Wells' new production of The Bartered Bride could be one of the best finds in years.

Theatre: The mother of all dramas

Racine, Euripides, Benjamin Britten, Stevie Smith and Sarah Kane have all fallen for Phaedra,

Proms: Youth movements


Classical music: Even Britten could be a brute


Obituary: Professor Boris Ford

BORIS FORD was one of that remarkable generation of writers, poets, educators, administrators and musicians who attended Gresham's School, Holt in the 1920s and 1930s. Two of the most prominent among them were W.H. Auden and Benjamin Britten. It was Ford's ability to combine very many of those talents, interests and activities within the confines of his own and, it must be said, unique personality that marked him out as an exceptional and highly influential figure. He was a kind of walking, talking and teaching intellectual collective in his own right.

Obituary: Alan G. Melville

ALAN G. MELVILLE's career as a conductor and chorus master stretched for over 60 years, and he played an important part in launching Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes in 1945.

Reviews: Lights, smoke, action

Dance: Yolande Snaith and Richard Alston

The proof is in the potion

In opera, everyone from Wagner to Gilbert & Sullivan has resorted to drink to drown their sorrows. As ENO prepares to dispense a new `Elixir

Tribute to Tippett: So long a life, so many notes

Sir Michael Tippett, unarguably one of this country's very greatest composers, died last week at the age of 93. Tonight, BBC Radio 3 is dedicating its entire evening schedule to his memory. Here, Andrew Green canvasses the recollections of a few of the composer's many friends and colleagues.

Reviews: Classical: A good Job, well done

Max, Britten and Tippett
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