In the past years we
have had many losses in the world of music to mourn. Why did the date of
Benjamin Britten’s death – 4 December 1976 – touch such a chord in me?
this time I was obviously at the point where I could recognize the magnitude of
such a loss. Inexplicable feelings of guilt, more than that even, arose in me.
I had just discovered Britten for myself. Just before his death I began to
appreciate the unusual purity of his music – I had had the impression of the
same kind of purity in the ballads of Guillaume de Machaut. And besides, for a
long time I had wanted to meet Britten personally – and now it would not come
centenary of Benjamin Britten, here are the first three pages of Arvo Pärt’s autograph of Cantus
in Memory of Benjamin Britten (Cantus
Benjamin Britteni mälestuseks), a piece commemorating the great English
composer.You can click on the
images to see high resolution zoomable scans.
By the end of this day,
the piece will have been performed more than 1150 times in the last 20
years, there are more than 150 entries in our performance database for 2013 alone.