The Modern Age

twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Benjamin Britten



Benjamin Britten was without doubt the leading British composer of the postwar period. Born in Lowestoft in Suffolk, he began composing at the age of five and completed a string quartet within four years. He studied theory with Frank Bridge, who shared his distaste for the prevailing English pastoral style, preferring such Continental figures as Bartok and Schoenberg; later composition studies with John Ireland at the Royal College of Music were therefore disappointing. A project to study with Berg in Vienna in 1934 fell through, but the success of his Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge at the 1937 Salzburg Festival established Britten on the international scene.

At the same time Britten was writing documentary him music for the postal service, as part of a team which included the poet W.H. Auden, with whom he went on to collaborate on other projects. When Auden left for the United States in 1939, Britten followed, together with the singer Peter Pears. Pears became his lifelong companion and lover, and their artistic relationship proved uncommonly fruitful. They were ardent pacifists and conscientious objectors during World War II and, after returning to England in 1942, toured as a duo (with Britten at the piano) giving concerts in hospitals and bombed areas.

During the war Britten worked on his first major opera, Peter Grimes, based on George Crabbe s depiction of a rough yet poetic fisherman as an outsider m a closed community. The music shows Britten's huge talent for scene-setting, especially in the four orchestral Sea interludes that capture the austere atmosphere of the Suffolk coast. Peter Grimes also reveals a typical sympathy with his main character, the violent and tragically complex Grimes, sung by Pears in the first production in I 945.

The work was an instant success and Britten's operatic output tor the rest of his life was prolific. Several works are chamber operas, among them The turn of the screw and The rape of Liicretia, for which he formed the English Opera Group in 1946; they were often performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, inaugurated in 1948. He and Pears settled in this Suffolk coastal town, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Britten composed two full-scale operas for Covent Garden, Billy Budd (1952) and Gloriana (1953), and the ballet The prince of the pagodas (1956).

Britten's pacifism re-emerged with the War requiem, written in 1962 for the consecration of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral. Probably his greatest work for the concert hall, it combines the requiem text with the war poems of Wilfred Owen. Here, again. Britten shows his genius for matching significant music to the subject.

Britten and Pears were great travellers, visiting Shostakovich and the cellist Rostropovich in the Soviet Union. Their tour of the Far East included Bali, where Britten was deeply impressed by the traditional gamelan music. He used gamelan effects extensively m his final opera. Death in Venice (1973), based on Thomas Mann's novella. Again he identified with his mam character, Aschenbach, whose one-sided infatuation with the boy Tadzio (played by a dancer) is expressed largely in soliloquy. It was Pears's most demanding role.

By the time Death in Venice was completed Britten's health was failing and he returned to smaller-scale instrumental music with the still forward-looking Third string quartet (1975). In the year of his death, he became the first British musician to receive a peerage in recognition of his achievements.


Benjamin Britten



Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)



Gary Rodriguez, guitarist

Nocturnal Op 70 Part 1of 8 Meditativo

Nocturnal Op 70 Part 2 of 8 Agitato"  
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 3 of 8 Inquieto
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 4 of 8 Ansioso
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 5 of 8 Marcia
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 6 of 8 Sognante
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 7 of 8 Cullante
Nocturnal Op 70 Part 8 of 8 Passacaglia

5 Flower Songs

Fountain Valley High School
Ballad of Green Broom
Fancie and Rejoice in the Lamb
Fountain Valley High School

A Hymn to the Virgin
St. Peters Choir

Rejoice in the Lamb
MIT Chamber Chorus
For I am under the same accusation

A Ceremony of Carols
Fountain Valley High School
Wolcum Yole!
There Is No Rose
As dew In Aprille
This Little Babe
Spring Carol
Deo Gracias

Fountain Valley High School
Quand j'etais chez mon pere
Oliver Cromwell


Pablo Picasso


















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