© Luca Concas

The Canticles
by Benjamin Britten

Ian Bostridge tenor
Alexandre Chance countertenor
Mauro Borgioni baritone
Julius Drake piano
Antonella De Franco harp
Federico Fantozzi horn

The sacred and the profane are intimately intertwined in the five miniatures Britten composed at various times during his career, between 1947 and 1974, based on ancient poems as well as contemporary works by Edith Sitwell and T.S. Eliot. All written for performance by tenor Peter Pears, they are now entrusted to Ian Bostridge, with pianist Julius Drake one of the most authoritative interpreters of Britten’s Canticles. Especially worth noticing are the amorous and nostalgic tones of My beloved is mine—a meditation on a poem by the XVII-century poet Francis Quarles, itself inspired by the Song of Solomon; and the astonished pain of Abraham and Isaac—a father, a son, and a sacrifice. The theatricality of these works comes from the very composer of Billy Budd and The Turn of the Screw, but the dramatic action gets sublimated here in the scoring for solo voices and just a few instruments.

The event will be streamed starting from 9 June at 9.30 pm on ravennafestival.live

The Programme