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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

SOCIAL THEMES AND LEITMOTIVES

Chapter:
CHAPTER 5 Standoff (I)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

The “social problematic” may have been the initial impetus for Britten and Pears to build their scenario around the figure of Peter Grimes, but the portrait (already emphasized by Forster) of the furtive outcast brooding in the lonely estuary engaged a different level of response in them. It led to the thorough recasting of the title role, and the whole surrounding dramatic plot. “A central feeling for us,” Britten later told an interviewer,

was that of the individual against the crowd, with ironic overtones for our own situation. As conscientious objectors we were out of it. We couldn't say we suffered physically, but naturally we experienced tremendous tension. I think it was partly this feeling which led us to make Grimes a character of vision and conflict, the tortured idealist he is, rather than the villain he was in Crabbe.18

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005005.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 5 Standoff (I). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 24 Apr. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005005.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 24 Apr. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005005.xml
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