Notes and Editorial Reviews
Children and childhood fascinated Britten throughout his life and inspired some of his greatest music. John Bridcut’s compelling film sheds light on the composer’s own inner child through interviews with several of Britten’s former companions and muses, including his ‘Young Apollo’, Wulff Scherchen, and David Hemmings, the first boy to play Miles in The Turn of the Screw.
Broadcast on BBC in 2004 with many repeats.
Looks at Britten’s controversial relationship with children.
Interviews with the three main boys that he was close to. Book written to accompany the original broadcast of the Film. Published by Faber & Faber.
Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Creative
Communication Award 2004
Runner-up for the Grierson Award for Best Arts Documentary 2005
Special Mention at the Golden Prague Television Festival 2005: “a strong but carefully balanced film confronting a provocative subject in a remarkably clear-eyed way”
‘A brave and beautiful film... It not only illuminates Britten himself, but throws much-needed light on to a subject of excruciating delicacy.’ -- Libby Purves The Times
‘A remarkable film, wonderfully shot... It never fell over into sensationalism or prurience. To take something which in the wrong hands could have been embarrassing and to turn it into a further explanation of what Britten’s music was about, was a real achievement’ -- Sir John Tusa, BBC Radio 3
‘This was not an exercise in digging for dirt. In order to understand Britten’s music, it helps to understand his feelings for children, particularly boys. This was a beautiful film, a fascinating investigation into how Britten’s life was reflected in his music.‘ -- Sam Wollaston, The Guardian Read less
Works on This Recording
Turn of the Screw, Op. 54: Prologue by Benjamin Britten
Christ Church Cathedral Choir
Winter Words, Op. 52: At Day-close in November by Benjamin Britten
John Bridcut (Narrator),
David Owen Norris (Piano)
Work(s) by Benjamin Britten
Philip Langridge (Tenor)
English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
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