Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Britten's Rejected Ballet Points to Greater Things; CLASSICAL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Britten's Rejected Ballet Points to Greater Things; CLASSICAL

Article excerpt

Byline: BARRY MILLINGTON

Britten Premiere/ RCM Sinfonietta/ Rosewell Royal College of Music

THE Royal College of Music scored a considerable coup last night with the world premiere of a piece by one of its most illustrious past students: Benjamin Britten. The ballet Plymouth Town, written in the summer following Britten's first year at the College (1931), was not accepted for performance and went into the bottom drawer. There it remained along with a staggering number of other juvenilia (some 250), of which only a dozen have in recent years seen the light of day.

Plymouth Town is the latest to be deemed worthy of exposure by the grail guardians, Donald Mitchell and Colin Matthews, and one applauds their decision, for it is a substantial score (23 minutes) that looks forward in a number of fascinating ways to the mature Britten.

For a start, dance was to play a significant role in Britten's oeuvre, through the courtly numbers of Gloriana to the pivotal choreography of Tadzio in Death In Venice - even though there is only one ballet, The Prince Of The Pagodas, in the composer's official worklist. …

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