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Guide to Britten
Last updated: 11.10.23
Guide to Britten is a straight-up-and-down pure Flanders & Swann skit having sly digs at Benjamin Britten and is much admired by Dr. Rosteck and myself. It is very demanding both for the audience and for the performers, To fully appreciate the song the audience needs a fair musical knowledge of Britten's works such as The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra to fully enjoy the innuendoes to 1930s singers and references to Peter Pearss and Percy Scholes for example.
For the performers such as Dr. Rosteck and myself there is the challenge of 5/4 time, not easy when one counts 3+2 whilst the other attempt a straight 5! Whatever, this piece is huge fun, The pianist gets to winding his/her stool up and down (The Turn of the Screw) and opening and shutting the piano lid, As a singer, I loved the lines:
A Spring Symphony for Sackbut, Psaltry, and Siffleur,
Known all over the civilised world. And in America It made Bundles for Britain and Piles for Pears
Great stuff indeed and it makes a perfect programme partner for Ill Wind! and may be found in The Songs of Michael Flanders & Donald Swann.
     Title Performer Composer
youtube15.jpg Guide to Britten (4:38) Flanders & Swann