Benjamin Britten Quotes

Benjamin Britten was one of the twentieth century’s great composers. He is best known for his vocal music: choral works, songs and song cycles, and a series of engaging operas that changed the art form.

“Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house. Slowly you see more details of the house-the color of the slates and bricks, the shape of the windows. The notes are the bricks and the mortar of the house.” – Benjamin Britten

“The old idea of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for sleeping.” – Benjamin Britten

“It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony.” – Benjamin Britten

“These two are not two Love has made them one Amo Ergo Sum! And by its mystery Each is no less but more.” – Benjamin Britten

“The restaurant is like a theatre: we do two shows a day and when you are doing Shakespeare you don’t want to throw in something out of Walt Disney.” – Benjamin Britten

“[Music has] the beauty of disappointment & never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature, & everlasting beauty of monotony.” – Benjamin Britten

“Music does not exist until it is performed.” – Benjamin Britten

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