Listening to Britten – The Ascent of F6


The Ascent of F6 – first UK edition

The Ascent of F6 – Incidental music for female voice, 2 male voices, chorus, percussion, ukelele and piano duet (4 hands) (6 – 23 February 1937, Britten aged 23)

Overture
IIA Entr’acte [Mr & Mrs A]
IIB Entr’acte [Mr & Mrs A]
III Entr’acte & Gunn’s song
IV Pantomime & Mother’s song
V Chant (unaccompanied)
VIA Climbing music
VIB Climbing music
VIC Funeral march & chorus (off)
VII Gunn’s song
VIII Cabaret jazz song
IX Mother’s song & chorus

Text W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood
Duration tbc

Film and Audio clips

tbc. A preview of the release can be found on the NMC website

Background and Critical Reception

Described by John Bridcut as ‘a substantial score’, that Britten wrote with ‘iron self-discipline’ following the news of the tragically early death of his mother. It includes the Funeral Blues, now often performed as part of the group of cabaret songs.

The Ascent of F6 has just been recorded by NMC for release in November, so this is a place holder to which we shall return!

Thoughts

tbc

Recordings used

Samuel West (narrator), Jean Rigby (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Kennedy (tenor), Ex Cathedra / Jeffrey Skidmore (NMC)

Forthcoming in November

Spotify

tbc

Also written in 1937: Ireland – These Things Shall Be

Next up: Reveille

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