We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

EXOTIC/EROTIC

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

ex. 5-8a Benjamin Britten, Peter Grimes, Prologue, “When women gossip…”

Exotic/Erotic

ex. 5-8b Benjamin Britten, Peter Grimes, Grimes's replique in Act I, scene 1

None of this means that Peter Grimes was actually envisioned or presented by Britten and Pears as homosexual, or that he should be played that way. The plight depicted is not that of sexual “inversion” as such but rather its social consequences, which do not differ in the case of homosexuals from those affecting other persecuted minorities. And yet there are other aspects of the opera that indirectly broach matters associated with, or tangential to, the theme of homosexuality, matters that recur in later works of Britten as well. Unlike Chaikovsky or Copland, or any other previous composer known or thought to be homosexual, Britten did consciously (and perhaps also unconsciously) “thematize” the topic repeatedly. That, too, is an aspect of modernity, and a particularly compelling one that transcends the narrowly stylistic issues to which discussions of musical modernity are often confined.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 Standoff (I)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005007.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 31 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005007.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 31 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-005007.xml
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.