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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

ALLEGORY (BUT OF WHAT?)

Chapter:
CHAPTER 5 Standoff (I)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
Allegory (But of What?)

ex. 5-6 Benjamin Britten, Peter Grimes, Passacaglia (Interlude IV), beginning

Britten's and Pears's strong personal identification with the title character has already been cited as a motive not only for composing the opera in the first place, but also for the hefty alterations that distinguish the musical treatment from the original poem. (“Neglect Crabbe,” one critic warned audiences, if they wanted to be able to see the characters “from the composer's standpoint” and really understand the opera.20) That identification is most conspicuous in the libretto when Grimes rejects Balstrode's suggestion that he seek employment as a merchant seaman rather than put up with the difficulties of life in the town, saying “I am native, rooted here/by familiar fields,/marsh and sand,/ordinary streets,/prevailing wind.” Anyone who knew Britten's own circumstances, driven by homesickness from the safety of voluntary exile to the uncertainties of life within a possibly hostile society at war, could recognize these lines as autobiography; and many did.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005006.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 21 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005006.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 21 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005006.xml
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