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Britten, Benjamin: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra op. 34 (1946) 17'


Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell for orchestra with narrator ad lib

Music Text  
Eric Crozier; German version by Egon Waldmann (E,G); alternative version by John Amis (E)

Scoring
2.picc.2.2.2-4.2.3.1-timp.perc(3):gong/xyl/cyms/tgl/cast/tpl.bl/whip/BD/SD/tamb-harp-strings
Abbreviations (PDF)

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

Repertoire Note  
This familiar standard hardly needs explanation, having become, along with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, one of the classic introductions to the sound of the orchestra for young people. In addition to its instructive function, The Young Person’s Guide is an effervescent and superbly crafted work, one of Britten’s most significant tributes to Purcell. It is a showpiece that puts each section of the orchestra through its paces, and the crowning reappearance of the Purcell theme (taken from the incidental music to Abdelazer) at the height of the fugue is surely one of the great moments in 20th-century music.

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