Children's Crusade Kinderkreuzzug Op. 82 A Ballad for children's voices and orchestra... Words by Bertolt Brecht Illustrations by Sidney Nolan A limited facsimile edition of the composer's manuscript
by BRITTEN, Benjamin 1913-1976
[London]: Faber, 1973. Limited to 300 copies signed by both the composer and artist, this no. 22.Written to be performed in St. Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Save the Children Fund on May 19, 1969. "The down-to-earth style and impersonal tone of Brecht's Kinderkreuzzug, a ballad about the death of a wandering band of children in the war-torn Poland of 1939, allowed Britten's anger to surface. The manipulations of a 12-note row appear to symbolize, here as elsewhere, the dying civilization of Europe, reflected through the fate of the children and their dog, whose death ends ‘a very grisly piece' (as Britten himself called it) on an unsentimental note." Grove Music Online."... Britten ensured in two ways that his tribute - to an ideal that is persistently reflected in his own work - should not fall a lifeless victim to stiffly charitable sentiments: he chose a text from Brecht, and he conceived the work for the heterogeneous resources of a school music group - the very skilled Wandsworth School Boys' choir and a large band of percussion players, together with two pianists and an organist. The work that resulted is not directly related to the rest of Britten's output either in genre or in the manner of the muiscal discourse... Of all Britten's works for children, this one most bluntly reminds us how much their world is a microcosm of our own." Evans: The Music of Benjamin Britten, pp. 285 and 292.. Large folio. Original publisher's quarter mid-tan morocco with paper boards, "Kinderkreuzzug" stamped in gilt to upper, titling gilt to spine. 1f. (half-title), 1f. (title), 1f. (limitation statement), 1f. (dedication), 1f. (notes on the manuscript by Britten), 1f. (list of Illustrations), 2ff. (libretto in both German and English), 1f. (facsimile of autograph title), 34 pp. + 1f. (autograph musical manuscript facsimile) + 6 double-sided plates printed in colour. Includes partial page of manuscript facsimile tipped-in between pp. 18-19 and fragment tipped-in to p. 22, as published. Housed in dark ivory paper slipcase.Signed by both the composer and artist at lower margin of limitation leaf. Binding slightly worn; slipcase slightly soiled. A very attractive copy overall.
(Inventory #: 26693)
Musical Autographs and Manuscripts; Rare Books on Music and Dance; First and Early Editions of Printed Music; Prints, Drawings and Ephemera relating to Music and Dance including Opera and Ballet.
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