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2013 marks the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth and major celebrations are planned across the world, making this the widest ever global celebration of a British composer. Faber Music, which was founded and nurtured by Britten, will be marking the occasion with a series of centenary publications, including the previously unpublished 6 Early Songs.

These early songs were writt en during the composer’s schooldays, whilst he was studying with Frank Bridge. But even at this tender age, Britten already had such accomplished works as Quatre Chansons Francaises under his belt. The songs on the one hand display Britten’s school-boyish imagination (witches, owls and moths), while on the other show a more brooding side, not to menti on confident piano writi ng and an innate understanding of vocal drama. Previously unpublished, these six songs are an important new addition to the solo song repertory.

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