Boosey & Hawkes Composer News

Search Catalogue

Britten, BenjaminSerenade op. 31 (1943) 24'
for tenor, horn, and strings

Music Text  
various (E)

see also Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.
Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Wigmore Hall, London
Peter Pears, tenor / Dennis Brain, horn / orchestral ensemble / Walter Goehr

Repertoire Note  
This masterly work was written for the combined musical talents of Peter Pears and Dennis Brain. Framed by a horn solo played on natural harmonics to evoke an atmosphere of far-off, primeval innocence, the Serenade is an extraordinary example of Britten’s ability to set an anthology of texts bound together by a similar theme, in this case, the world of night, sleep and dreams. The twilit atmosphere that characterizes this beautiful and evocative work is offset by the two settings that form its centrepiece, the ‘worm in the rose’ of Blake’s ‘Elegy’ and a nightmarish setting of the anonymous 15th-century ‘Lyke Wake Dirge’.

Recommended Recording
Peter Pears, Dennis Brain, Boyd Neel Orchestra, Benjamin Britten
Decca 4259962

Click here to purchase this CD from Amazon

News stories for this title :

  • Britten centenary celebrated by Royal Mint with 50p coin

  • Mailing List

    Sign up for news updates and offers via email

    Audio Visual Gallery

    Explore our library of over 1000 online scores

    FAQ | Contact Us | Links | About Us | Shop Directory | Careers | Terms of use | RSS Index