BRITTEN HYMN TO ST CECILIA PDF

Britten had actually begun writing Hymn to St Cecilia while he and his partner, Peter Pears were waiting for exit permits and a place on a ship, but the manuscript was confiscated by customs officials in New York who feared that it contained secret code. St Cecilia was a Roman martyr, and her association with music comes from the legend of her wedding night when she refused to surrender her virginity to her husband, and sat apart at the wedding feast, singing in her heart to God. The immediate connection with Britten, beyond her role as patron saint of music, is that he was born on her feast day, 22 November, but Auden draws out deeper parallels between the two in his poem. In the first of the three contrasting sections of poem and music, we have a beautiful picture of St Cecilia sitting in her garden by the sea one legend places her martyrdom in Sicily , the pure, virgin martyr whose music enchants the sensual goddess of love Aphrodite, brings angels down to earth and eases the pain of sinners in hell. The divided sopranos and tenors chase each other playfully through a teasing, elusive dance, whilst the altos and basses, the boring, responsible adults, hold everything together with their drawn out version of the tune. Just before Britten left America, Auden sent him a letter that was both loving and stern, urging him to embrace the chaotic, disordered and ugly side of life instead of taking refuge in bourgeois comfort.

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Britten had actually begun writing Hymn to St Cecilia while he and his partner, Peter Pears were waiting for exit permits and a place on a ship, but the manuscript was confiscated by customs officials in New York who feared that it contained secret code. St Cecilia was a Roman martyr, and her association with music comes from the legend of her wedding night when she refused to surrender her virginity to her husband, and sat apart at the wedding feast, singing in her heart to God.

The immediate connection with Britten, beyond her role as patron saint of music, is that he was born on her feast day, 22 November, but Auden draws out deeper parallels between the two in his poem. In the first of the three contrasting sections of poem and music, we have a beautiful picture of St Cecilia sitting in her garden by the sea one legend places her martyrdom in Sicily , the pure, virgin martyr whose music enchants the sensual goddess of love Aphrodite, brings angels down to earth and eases the pain of sinners in hell.

The divided sopranos and tenors chase each other playfully through a teasing, elusive dance, whilst the altos and basses, the boring, responsible adults, hold everything together with their drawn out version of the tune.

Just before Britten left America, Auden sent him a letter that was both loving and stern, urging him to embrace the chaotic, disordered and ugly side of life instead of taking refuge in bourgeois comfort.

Auden suggested in his letter that Britten needed to suffer, and to accept that he would cause pain to other people too, in order to achieve his full stature as an artist. The music is restless, probing, driven onward by the relentless pounding of a falling scale in the bass. The superficial answer is that Britten wrote it during his journey home to England in , and the ocean is present in both the words and in the gently rocking motion of the music in the first section, bridging the geographical spread of our concert.

If we dig a little deeper into the music and the poem, we find that the Hymn to St Cecilia also draws on the ideas of home and of love that run through everything we sing in this programme. He was returning home physically when he wrote it, albeit to an uncertain future, planning to register as a conscientious objector in wartime Britain, but he was also making a musical return to choral music after a gap of several years — as well as St Cecilia, he began working on the Ceremony of Carols during the voyage home too.

Auden, although neither of them at the time knew that this would be their last joint work. Close Menu. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Ok Privacy policy. John William Waterhouse: St Cecilia.

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Hymn to St. Cecilia

Hymn to St Cecilia , Op. Auden written between and Auden's original title was "Three Songs for St. Cecilia's Day", and he later published the poem as "Anthem for St. For a long time Britten wanted to write a piece dedicated to St Cecilia for a number of reasons. Firstly, he was born on St Cecilia's day; secondly, St Cecilia is the patron saint of music; and finally, there is a long tradition in England of writing odes and songs to St Cecilia. The most famous of these are by John Dryden "A song for St.

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Hyperion Records

Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. So was A Ceremony of Carols. In a sense these two works represent an end and a new beginning. The medieval carols on the other hand signal the return to something fundamentally English, deep rooted, familiar, and conservative in the best sense.

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