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Benjamin Britten: Hymn to St. Cecilia



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Voicing:      SSATB
Format:      Sheet Music
Composer:      Benjamin Britten
Music Category:       Choral
Dimensions:      10.50 X 6.75, 48 pages
Item Code:      48021230

for unaccompanied SSATB with SSATB solos also version for solo voices Text: W.H.Auden Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes Difficulty level: 4 This work had a long gestation as Britten had problems finding a suitable text. Auden was eventually asked and produced the poem in 1940. Britten's setting was immediately recognised as a major addition to the choral repertory and has since become one of his most enduringly popular choral works. It is a nice coincidence that Britten was born on St. Cecilia's day (22 November). Cecilia is, of course, the Patron Saint of musicians who is supposed to have sung praises to God as she was being martyred. The story of her manner of death makes gruesome reading and the act of singing in extremis something of a miracle! Britten responds to Auden's extraordinary imagery with relish. The poem's division into three 'movements' gives Britten his musical structure, and the provision of a refrain ('Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians, appear and inspire.

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