commentary to opus 62a2

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Adagio in memoriam B. Britten for Piano, op. 62a2 (1976)


Duration: 6 Minutes

Publisher: Schott Music ED 20279 / ISMN: M-001-14971-6

Musicaphon 55719


The Adagio for Strings in memoriam Benjamin Britten, op.62a, was composed immediately on receiving news of the death of the great English composer and was written down between 8:00 and 9:30 on the evening of the 4th December, 1976. It is a composition for three polyphonal parts and can be performed by soloists or ensemble. A gesture from Britten's "Simple Symphony" closes the brief, expressive piece.

Bertold Hummel


I met B. Britten at various music festivals. He was a personality and colleague of wonderfully fine feelings. In him I met a figure of importance not only for his operas of essential significance for our century and for his influential works of absolute music, but also for his work as a conductor, chamber musician and accompanist of song.

Bertold Hummel

Amongst his music, I found an Adagio for Strings in three parts on the death of Benjamin Britten. It takes its place in the tradition of the Funeral Music by Lutoslavsky for Bartok and a series of other pieces of great beauty. It is an Adagio with many long notes, with many plaintive seconds and held chords which are carried away in the wind, a work of memories and sadness. I found it very powerful.

Wilfried Hiller (in the Programme notes for the Münchner Kammerorchester season-ticket concerts 2002/2003)


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