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Music and Sexuality in BrittenSelected Essays$
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Philip Brett and George Haggerty

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520246096

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520246096.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Grimes and Lucretia

Grimes and Lucretia

(p.54) Chapter Three Grimes and Lucretia
Music and Sexuality in Britten

Philip Brett

University of California Press

One of the sure tests of a composer's stature is how Grimes reacts to success. The furore over Peter Grimes both at home and abroad after its premiere in 1945 was possibly more remarkable than that accorded any other opera this century. Grimes was a success from the start, and the sort of success that might have tempted a lesser composer to continue in the same vein. The Rape of Lucretia, first performed a little more than a year after Grimes, represents a radical departure from the earlier work in more ways than one. The chamber proportions and scoring of Lucretia can of course be explained by practical considerations, which were always a creative challenge for Britten. Indeed, it led to the withdrawal of Peter Grimes from the repertory after a surprisingly small number of performances.

Keywords:   Grimes, Rape of Lucretia, Britten, radical departure, Grimes and Lucretia

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