This fascinating documentary tells the story of leading British composer Benjamin Britten, focusing on his passionate relationship both to music and to his lifelong partner Peter Pears.
DVD Tracklist 1. Love Letters 2. Britten & Pears: Art and Life:- Part 1: Peter Grimes 3. Britten in America:- Part 1: Peter Grimes 4. Returning to Britain - "Peter Grimes" 5. 7 June 1945: The Premiere of Peter Grimes:- Part 1: Peter Grimes 6. A Legendary Premiere:- Part 1: Peter Grimes 7. Introduction:- Part II: War Requiem 8. Britten and Critics:- Part II: War Requiem 9. War Requiem & Peter Pears:- Part II: War Requiem 10. Galina Vishnevskaya and the War Requiem premiere:- Part II: War Requiem 11. Premiere at Coventry Cathedral:- Part II: War Requiem 12. Immediate and lasting impact:- Part II: War Requiem 13. Introduction:- Part III: Death in Venice 14. Britten's most personal statement:- Part III: Death in Venice 15. Confronting Demons:- Part III: Death in Venice 16. Heart surgery and the aftermath:- Part III: Death in Venice 17. The last weeks:- Part III: Death in Venice 18. A final love letter:- Part III: Death in Venice
NR (Not Rated)
Britten / Griffiths
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This DVD paints a very good portrait of the extraordinary love and collaboration between these two artists. Both Britten and Pears were the muse that inspired the other to greatness. Having their story told within the context of three of Britten's most profound compositions clearly showed the impact their relationship had on their individual contributions to the creative process, while illustrating the respect and devotion they had for each other.
My wife and I have a special fondness for the works of composer Benjamin Britten and the career of tenor Peter Pears. We had thought this documentary would focus primarily on the great love and working relationship of these amazing gay men, and while it certainly remembers to go there on occasion (mainly at the beginning and at the end), REALLY it's a documentary about Britten creating three of his greatest works (and by extension, Peter Pears' role in these three works as the featured singer): "Peter Grimes," the "War Requiem," and "Death in Venice." Pears' importance as the primary voice of Britten's music and the great love of Britten's life is mentioned, but it is not really the focus of the film.
I would highly recommend this documentary for any serious fan of Britten's music, and of English music history. But it's only peripherally about their great partnership, their great marriage. Perhaps a fully-fleshed, respectful biographical film of Britten's life will...
This is a magnificent film. Presented in a kind of "three movement" sonata form, it focuses on Britten's and Pears' personal relationship more than Tony Palmer's excellent film, "A Time There Was". Much is revealed throughout about Britten's and Pears' love relationship. It's a comprehensive, moving study of their life together, revealed deliberatively without speculation, with the dignity both men deserve. Besides offering copious footage of Pears' incandescent singing -something Palmer's effort noticably lacks in measure- the three sections are charged through with music, each using a specific work of Britten's to tell the story. Comments from intimates, the dowager Countess of Cranbrook and critic John Amis among a unique group, seem tailored to match the mood of each segment. The working relationship between Auden and Britten is detailed, including Auden's letters. Director Teresa Griffith's vision and cool editing is a worthy mark of love for her subject and his music. Segment 2...
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