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[Letter from Benjamin Britten]

Author(s): Benjamin Britten

Source: Tempo, New Series, No. 34 (Winter, 1954-1955), p. 39
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL: .
Accessed: 22/06/2014 05:00

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marked with opposite instructions in the two

scores. Or is that miniature score rallcntando
an unofficial marking?
Yours sincerely,
Donald Mitchell replies:-If Mr. Tillett is
SCORES right-as he doubtless is-then I owe Mr.
net Ormandy an apology. I have never seen the
score of the three Wozzeckfragments and have
ALBINONI Sonata a Cinque
always assumed that the senza rit. of the
Op. 5, No. 9. opera's closing bars would apply equally to
Concerto in D, the suite. Since, when one knows the opera
Op. 7, No. I for very well, one listens to the suite through, as
it were, one's total emotional experience of
strings and continuo. the opera, the rit. molto comes as a nasty
Elaborated by Ber-
jar. After all, the whole point of the senza
nard Paumgartner 2/- rit. in the opera is to avoid burdening the
children's scene with sentiment. The senza
BRITTEN Symphonic Suite, rit. in fact, ensures the senza esprcss with
Gloriana," Op. which the children receive the news of the
dead Marie. This deliberate non-sentiment-
53a 30/-
ality, of course, touches off the deepest springs
DONATONI Sinfonia per of feeling. Why Berg abandoned this central
feature in the three fragments I do not know.
Orchestra d'Archi 2I/-
Perhaps he thought a ritardando made for a
more effective close in the concert hall.
FINZI Grand Fantasiaand
Perhaps he thought the senza rit. had no
Toccata for piano- point when detached from the main body of
forte and orchestra 2I/- the opera. It is my view that he was wrong on
both points. But there seems no doubt that
MUDGE Concerto No. 4 in Mr. Ormandy was strictly fulfilling Berg's
D minorfor orches- intentions in his Scheveningen performance
and I regret having blamed him for what-
tra and continuo, thinking it over-seems to have been an
edited and arranged aberration on the part of the composer.
by Gerald Finzi . . I 2/- THE EDITOR,
STANLEY Concerto No. 4 13th December,1954
in D minor for SIR,
string orchestra or Your review of the new Decca recording
piano (organ or
STRINGS has recently been shown to me. I
harpsichord) with
should like, if you will allow me, to make a
string accompani- comment on it.
ment 8/- In the Prologue and Epilogue the horn is
Concerto No. 5 directed to play on the natural harmonics of
for string orchestra I 0/- the instrument; this causes the apparent " out-
of-tuneness " of which your reviewer com-
VLAD Divertimento plains, and which is, in fact, exactly the
per effect I intend.
i instrumenti .. 25/- In the many brilliant performances of his
part that Dennis Brain has given he has always
I am sure, played it as I have marked it in the
score. Anyone, therefore, who plays it "in
Published by tune " is going directly against my wishes!
If the critics do not like this effect they
Boosey & Hawkes should blame me and not Mr. Brain.
Yours etc.,

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