A documentary marking the centenary of Britten’s birth
John Bridcut presents a documentary exploring Britten’s final years and the impact the spectre of death had on his last compositions.
Britten raced to complete his final opera, Death in Venice, before a heart operation that left him feeling too frail to compose. Over the ensuing months he gained strength and two late masterpieces – String Canticle V and Quartet No. 3 – were to emerge.
Bridcut’s film features exclusive performances of Britten’s music by mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, tenors John Graham-Hall and Allan Clayton, cellist Xavier Phillips and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Paul Kildea as well as the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, conducted by James Burton and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.