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Benjamin Britten

Publisher: Chester Music

Simple Symphony (1933), 4
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 (1933), 4
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:

Performances
Date
Title
  • 17 NOV 2012
    Wigmore Hall London
    Nash Ensemble
  • 12 NOV 2012
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest
  • 14 OCT 2012
    Leeds Town Hall, Leeds
    National Festival Orchestra
    Darius Batiwalla, conductor
  • 07 OCT 2012
    Sala koncertowa Filharmonii Narodowej, Warsaw, POLAND
    Sinfonia ViVA
    Tomasz Radziwonowicz, conductor
  • 05 SEP 2012
    Lucerne Festival
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Lucerne Festival Academy
  • 29 JUL 2012
    Setagaya Kuminkaikan Setagaya JAPAN
    Junior Orchestra
    Kamon; Setagaya, conductor
  • 10 JUN 2012
    Jena, Germany
    Jenaer Philharmonie
  • 06 JUN 2012
    Seoul, South Korea
    Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 26 MAY 2012
    The Free Church Hampstead
    North London Colourstrings
  • 11 MAY 2012
    St Swithuns School
  • 28 APR 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Münchner Philharmoniker
    Paavo Järvi, conductor

    Other Dates:
    29,30 April - Munich, Germany
  • 21 APR 2012
    Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes
    Milton Keynes City Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    12 May - Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes
  • 18 APR 2012
    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria SPAIN
    Orquesta Filharmonica de Canarias
  • 17 FEB 2012
    Hanoi, VIETNAM
    Hanoi Philharmonic
  • 04 FEB 2012
    Highgate United Reformed Church, London
    Senior Strings of the North London Colourstrings Centre
  • 15 JAN 2012
    Nettersheim GERMANY
    Laienensemble
  • 13 JAN 2012
    Bari, ITALY
    Orchestra Sinfonica di Bari
    Paolo Olmi, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 January - Bari, ITALY
  • 27 NOV 2011
    Kulturekirche Bremen, GERMANY
    Kammer Sinfonie Bremen
    Tim Gunther, conductor
  • 16 NOV 2011
    North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
    English Sinfonia
  • 12 NOV 2011
    Hodonin, CZECH REPUBLIC
    Music School
  • 21 OCT 2011
    Aldeburgh Music Club
  • 17 OCT 2011
    Istanbul TURKEY
    Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sascha Goetzel, conductor
  • 27 AUG 2011
    Centaur Cheltenham Race Course
    Greenbelt String Orchestra
  • 14 AUG 2011
    Rudersdal sommerkoncerter
    Rudersdal, Denmark
    Rudersdal kammerorkester
    Martin Sell, conductor
  • 04 AUG 2011
    Ansbach, Germany
    Ensemble Resonanz

    Other Dates:
    5 August - Ansbach, Germany
  • 29 JUN 2011
    Romanian Athenaeum Hall, Bucharest, ROMANIA
    National University of Bucharest
  • 27 JUN 2011
    Greece
    Orchestra of Colours
  • 18 JUN 2011
    Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK
    CBSO / CBSO Chorus / CBSO Youth Chorus / CBSO Children's Chorus
    Simon Halsey, conductor
  • 29 MAY 2011
    Zürich, Switzerland
    Camerata Zürich
    Kevin Griffiths, conductor
  • 24 MAY 2011
    Fairfax, VA
    Trinity Christian School
    Stephanie Powell, conductor

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