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Benjamin Britten

Publisher: Chester Music

Simple Symphony, Op. 4 (1933)
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Orchestra
Sub Category
String Orchestra
Year Composed
1933
Duration
18 Minutes
Orchestration
Alternate Orchestration
string quartet


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Programme Note
Benjamin Britten Simple Symphony, Op. 4 (1933)
Britten's note states that 'this "Simple Symphony" is entirely based on material which the composer wrote between the ages of nine and twelve. (The actual sources are given in footnotes to each movement.)'. In fact Britten's references are rather brief and imprecise; the sources (with their original opus numbers) are:

Boisterous Bourrée
(a) 'From Suite No. 1 (for piano) - 1926': Suite No. 1 in E, op. 24 no. 1 (18 October 1925), second movement (Bourrée: Allegro vivace)
(b) 'Song - 1923': A Country Dance ('Now the King is home again'), text from Tennyson's The Foresters, for voice and piano ([1923])

Playful Pizzicato
(a) 'Scherzo (piano) 1924': Sonata for Piano in B flat major, op. 5 ([probably summer 1925]), Scherzo and Trio (Molto vivace)
(b) 'Song - 1924': The Road Song of the "Bandar-Log" ('Here we go in a flung festoon', text by Rudyard Kipling), for voice and piano ([1923?])

Sentimental Saraband
(a) 'From Suite No. 3 (for piano) - 1925': Suite No. 3, in F# minor, for piano, op. 25 (October 1925), Prelude (Allegro di molto)
(b) 'Waltz for piano - 1923': [Waltz in B major for piano] (1923), (Tempo di valse)

Frolicsome Finale
(a) 'From Piano Sonata No. 9 - 1926': Piano Sonata No. 9, in C# minor, op. 38 (March 1926), Finale
(b) 'Song - 1925': not identified. The only dates in the composition draft are 'Jan 20th 1934' (no. 4) and 'Feb. 10th 1934' (no. 1); from Britten's diary it appears that work on the Symphony began with the scherzo (23 December-17 January).


Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
    Decca - Classic FM:
  • Ensemble
    European Camerata
    Conductor
    Laurent Quenelle
    Fuga Libera:
  • Ensemble
    Northern Sinfonia
    Conductor
    Steuart Bedford
    Naxos:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 02 JUL 2015
    München, Germany
    Münchner Kammerorchester
    Daniel Giglberger, conductor
  • 19 DEC 2014
    Sala de Plenos del Ayuntamiento, San Sebastián.
    Joven Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid
    Ana Valderrama, conductor

    Other Dates:
    20 December - Centro Cultural Caja de Miranda de Ebro, Burgos.
  • 15 NOV 2014
    Ingelheim, Germany
    Sinfonieorchester der Musikschule Ingelheim
    Christian Ferel, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16 November - Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 02 NOV 2014
    Greece
    Nerit SA Music Ensembles
  • 27 SEP 2014
    Straßburg, Germany
    Akademisches Orchester Karlsruhe
    Michael Klubertanz, conductor
  • 06 SEP 2014
    Kulturhus Ytterjärna, Sweden
    studerende
    Matts Zetterqvist , conductor

    Other Dates:
    8 September - Missionskyrkan Uppsala, Sweden
  • 06 SEP 2014
    Wuppertal, Germany
    Toshiyuki Kamioka
    Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal, conductor
  • 06 AUG 2014
    Boswil, Switzerland
    Jugendorchester Freiamt
    Anne-Cécile Gross, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7 August - Sins, Switzerland
    8 August - Niederwil, Switzerland
  • 23 JUL 2014
    Feldberg, Germany
    Neubrandenburger Philharmonie
    Jörg Pitschmann, conductor
  • 29 JUN 2014
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Skyline Symphony - Frankfurter Kammerorchester
    Michael Sanderling, conductor
  • 21 JUN 2014
    Hengsberg, Austria
    Modus 21
    Erich Polz, conductor
  • 15 JUN 2014
    Leer, Germany
    Collegium Musicum Leer
    Dirk Ellèe, conductor
  • 12 JUN 2014
    Neubrandenburg, Germany
    Neubrandenburger Philharmonie
    Stefan Malzew, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 June - Güstrow, Germany
    15 June - Neustrelitz, Germany
  • 07 JUN 2014
    Sala Filharmonii, Krakow, Poland
    Orkiestra Filharmoni Krakowskiej
    Michal Dworzynski, conductor
  • 04 JUN 2014
    Mainz, Germany
    Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz
    Stephan Zilias, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 June - Mainz, Germany
  • 31 MAY 2014
    Delfshaven, Holland
    Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings
    Yannick Nezet -Seguin, conductor
  • 11 MAY 2014
    Prague, Czech
    Czech Philharmony
  • 16 MAR 2014
    Neuss, Germany
    Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss
    Florian Donderer, conductor
  • 21 FEB 2014
    Busan Culture Arts Centre, South Korea
    Busan Philharmonic Orchestra
    Li Xincao, conductor
  • 10 JAN 2014
    Royal Academy of Music
    RAM Students
  • 13 DEC 2013
    L'Auditori, Barcelona.
    Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona
    John Nelson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14,15 December - L'Auditori, Barcelona.
  • 13 DEC 2013
    St Jospeh's Church, Ireland
    St Joseph's Church
  • 26 NOV 2013
    Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
    Trinity String Ensemble
  • 23 NOV 2013
    Essex
    Essex Youth Chamber Orchestra
  • 16 NOV 2013
    St Edmunsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds
    Bury St Edmunds Bach Choir
  • 12 NOV 2013
    Central Conservatory of Music Beijing, China
    Central Conservatory of Music Students
    Lionel Friend, conductor
  • 08 NOV 2013
    Universitetets Aula Oslo, Norway
    Det Norske Kammerorkester
    Terje Tønnesen, conductor
  • 07 NOV 2013
    San Antonio, U.S.A
    Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio
    Francisco J. Nuñez, conductor
  • 17 OCT 2013
    London
    Unversity College London
  • 15 OCT 2013
    Poly Theater Beijing, China
    China National Symphony Orchestra
    Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor

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