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Albion's unique approach to performance celebrates Britten's song repertoire from a refreshing angle. Alongside brand-new arrangements of folksongs popularised by Britten, the concert features solo repertoire by Britten and his contemporaries.
It was while Britten was in America when he first arranged traditional folksongs, perhaps as a method for the homesick composer to connect to his English roots but also provide lighter repertoire for his recitals with Peter Pears. An interest in arranging these songs would be lifelong, and Britten made six volumes of songs in total, including English, Scottish, Irish and French folk songs. Britten said of the songs in an American magazine article that he was attracted to the ‘weakness of tunes, which seldom have any striking rhythms or memorable melodic features’. Britten’s arrangements are far removed from this tradition putting his own distinguishable mark on them, using his own easily identifiable harmonic language to masterly accentuate the text.
presented in association with A Boy Was Born: