The Faber Pocket Guide to Britten

Faber and Faber

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Benjamin Britten was one of the greatest opera composers of the twentieth century, and produced a feast of songs, orchestral and chamber music, as well as a wide range of music for children and amateurs. He was also both a first-rate conductor and pianist. In this incisive Pocket Guide, John Bridcut discusses Britten’s music piece by piece, and explores his musical influences, his complex personality, his emotional and professional relationships with men, women, and children, and the fascinating nooks and crannies of his daily life which are normally overlooked: his pets, his cars, his prizes, his homes, his travels and his ailments. Dotted through them all are a number of Round Britten Quizzes. An indispensable source of fresh insights into this towering figure in British music.

This book is no longer available in this edition.  It has been updated for the Britten centenary in 2013 and reissued as Essential Britten.



'An unconventional biography that, rather brilliantly, takes a Schott's Original Miscellany approach to its subject – chapters like 'The Things They Said About Britten', 'The Things Britten Said About Them' [...]  Bridcut is forthright in his opinions and frequently illuminating.  Yet for all its critical acuity, this pocket primer is winningly down to earth.'

Classic FM Magazine

‘John Bridcut’s delightful and original guide to Britten’s life and music... Bridcut's expert and entertaining tour of Britten’

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

‘One of the most impeccably executed and informative guides of the Faber Pocket Guide series thus far.’ 

Classical Music

'This book really provides everything you need to know about the composer, his life and his music.’

Liverpool Daily Post

‘An informal yet highly informative guide to Britten and his music.’

BBC Music Magazine

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