Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto: A Musicological Narrative
Nes, P.A.B. van
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Although there is not much known of Benjamin Britten's views on his Violin Concerto, musicology has created a complex and enthralling narrative of musical and extra-musical influences, which undoubtedly has played a valuable part in the appreciation of the work. This thesis discusses three main elements from this narrative: the Spanish Civil War, Russian composers and Alban Berg, focussing on the extent to which these separate elements are useful in understanding the concerto, as well as the relevance of these conflated narratives for music historiography regarding Benjamin Britten. It is argued that although some of these narrative elements are certainly meaningful, the coherence of these influences is not as unswerving as one would hope from a narrative perspective, rendering it musicologically problematic.