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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).


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Performances
Date
Title
  • 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
  • 19 MAY 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian Chamber Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    25 May; 12 August - Melbourne, Australia
  • 19 MAY 2011
    Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London
    Royal Academy of Music Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    20 May - The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
  • 19 MAY 2011
    St John's Waterloo, London
    Southbank Sinfonia
  • 05 MAY 2011
    Lübeck, Germany

    Other Dates:
    8 May - Lübeck, Germany
  • 04 MAY 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Joffrey Ballet
  • 01 MAY 2011
    St Miklaaskerk, Neerpelt, Belgium
    Chamber Orchestra Archetti
    Maciej Kocur, conductor
  • 06 APR 2011
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Prague Symphony Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    7 April - Prague, Czech Republic
  • 03 APR 2011
    CAEM of Salamanca
    City Salamanca Orchestra
    Marcus Bosch, conductor

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