List of compositions by Benjamin Britten

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This list of compositions by Benjamin Britten includes all the published works by English composer Benjamin Britten with opus number.

By genre[edit]

Operas[edit]

Title Opus Description Libretto and source Premiere Publ.
Paul Bunyan Op. 17 Operetta in two acts, 114' W. H. Auden, after the American folktale 5 May 1941, Brander Matthews Hall, New York Faber
Peter Grimes Op. 33 Opera in a prologue and three acts, 147' Montagu Slater, after the poem The Borough by George Crabbe 7 June 1945, Sadler's Wells, London B&H
RapeThe Rape of Lucretia Op. 37 Opera in two acts, 107' Ronald Duncan, after the play Le Viol de Lucrèce by André Obey 12 July 1946, Glyndebourne B&H
Albert Herring Op. 39 Comic opera in three acts, 137' Eric Crozier, loosely after the short story Le Rosier de Mme. Husson by Guy de Maupassant 20 June 1947, Glyndebourne B&H
BeggarThe Beggar's Opera Op. 43 Ballad opera, 108' after the ballad opera by John Gay 24 May 1948, Cambridge Arts Theatre B&H
LetLet's Make an Opera (The Little Sweep) Op. 45 An Entertainment for Young People, 130' Eric Crozier 14 June 1949, Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh Festival B&H
Billy1Billy Budd Op. 50 Opera in four acts, 162' E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, after the novella by Herman Melville 1 December 1951, Royal Opera House, London B&H
Billy2Billy Budd (revised) Op. 50 Opera in two acts, 158' 9 January 1964, Royal Opera House, London (revised version) B&H
Gloriana Op. 53 Opera in three acts, 148' William Plomer, after Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey 8 June 1953, Royal Opera House, London B&H
TurnThe Turn of the Screw Op. 54 Opera in a prologue and two acts, 101' Myfanwy Piper, after the novella by Henry James 14 September 1954, Teatro La Fenice, Venice B&H
Noye's Fludde Op. 59 Music-theatre for community performance, 50' After the Chester Miracle Play 18 June 1958, Orford Church, Aldeburgh Festival B&H
MidsummerA Midsummer Night's Dream Op. 64 Opera in three acts, 144' the composer and Peter Pears, after the play by Shakespeare 11 June 1960, Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh Festival B&H
Owen Wingrave Op. 85 Opera for television in two acts, 106' Myfanwy Piper, after the short story by Henry James 16 May 1971, BBC2 TV broadcast; 10 May 1973, Royal Opera House, London (staged) Faber
Death in Venice Op. 88 Opera in two acts, 145' Myfanwy Piper, after the novella by Thomas Mann 16 June 1973, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh Festival Faber

Church parables[edit]

Ballets[edit]

Orchestral[edit]

Concertante[edit]

  • Rondo Concertante for piano and strings (1930)
  • Double Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (1932, incomplete, realised by Colin Matthews)
  • Piano Concerto (1938, rev. 1945, the original third movement - Recitative and Aria - replaced by a March)
  • Violin Concerto (1939, rev. 1958)
  • Young Apollo, for piano, string quartet and string orchestra (1939)
  • Diversions for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra (1940 rev. 1954)
  • Scottish Ballad, for two pianos and orchestra (1941)
  • Clarinet Concerto (incomplete: 1st movement only, 1942/3, orch. by Colin Matthews; Matthews later added two further movements to this torso, derived from sketches Britten also wrote in the early 1940s, a Sonata for Orchestra and a Mazurka Elegiaca; the resulting 3 movement work, called "Movements for a Clarinet Concerto" was first performed in 2008)
  • In memoriam Dennis Brain (c. 1958), unfinished sketch for 4 horns and orchestra.
  • Cello Symphony (1963)

Vocal/choral orchestral[edit]

  • Quatre Chansons Françaises, for soprano and orchestra (1928)
  • Two Psalms, for chorus and orchestra (1931)
  • Our Hunting Fathers, for soprano or tenor and orchestra (words W. H. Auden) (1936)
  • The Company of Heaven, for speakers, soloists, chorus and orchestra (1937, not performed again until 1989)
  • Les Illuminations, for soprano or tenor and strings (words Arthur Rimbaud) (1939; three further songs, not included in the cycle, also exist — another setting also called 'Phrase', and 'Aube' and 'A une raison'; they have been orchestrated by Colin Matthews; there also exists a sketch for a fourteenth Rimbaud setting)
  • Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1943)
  • The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard, for male voices and piano (1943)
  • Saint Nicolas, for tenor soloist, children's chorus, chorus, and orchestra (1948)
  • Spring Symphony, for soprano, contralto, and tenor soloists, mixed chorus, boys' choir and orchestra (1949)
  • Nocturne, for tenor, seven obbligato instruments and strings (1958)
  • Cantata academica for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1959)
  • War Requiem for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists, chamber ensemble, boys' chorus, mixed chorus, and orchestra (1961)
  • Cantata misericordium for tenor and baritone soloists, small chorus, string quartet, string orchestra, piano, harp, timpani (1963)
  • Phaedra for mezzo-soprano, cello, harpsichord, percussion, and string orchestra (Robert Lowell after Jean Racine's Phèdre, 1975)
  • Praise we great men, for soloists, chorus and orchestra (Edith Sitwell) (1976, completed by Colin Matthews 1985)
  • Sea Symphony, for soloists, chorus and orchestra (unrealized, 1976)

Vocal[edit]

  • Beware! (1922)
  • O that I had ne’er been married (1922)
  • Epitaph: The Clerk (1923)
  • The Birds (Belloc; 1929, rev. 1934)
  • On this Island for high voice and piano (1937)
  • Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo for tenor and piano (1940)
  • The Holy Sonnets of John Donne for tenor and piano (1945)
  • Canticle I: My beloved is mine for tenor and piano (1947) (Five Canticles)
  • A Charm of Lullabies for mezzo-soprano and piano (1947)
  • Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac for alto (or countertenor), tenor, and piano (1952) (Five Canticles)
  • Canticle III: Still falls the rain for tenor, horn and piano (words Edith Sitwell) (1954) (Five Canticles)
  • Winter Words for tenor and piano, poetry by Thomas Hardy (1954)
  • The Heart of the Matter for narrator, tenor, horn, and piano (1956)
  • Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente for tenor and piano (1958)
  • Songs and Proverbs of William Blake for baritone and piano (1965)
  • The Poet's Echo for soprano and piano (1965)
  • Canticle IV: Journey of the Magi for countertenor, tenor, baritone, and piano (1971) (Five Canticles)
  • Canticle V: The Death of Saint Narcissus for tenor and harp (1974) (Five Canticles)
  • A Birthday Hansel for high voice and harp (1975)
  • Eight books of Folksong Arrangements from the British Isles and France, for voice and piano, guitar and harp
  • Many realizations of songs by Henry Purcell

Choral[edit]

  • A Hymn to the Virgin for chorus and soli (1930; revised 1934)
  • Christ's Nativity for unaccompanied chorus (1931)
  • A Boy was Born for treble voices and choir (1933; revised 1955)
  • Jubilate Deo in E flat for chorus and organ (1934); published posthumously
  • Te Deum in C for treble solo, chorus, trumpet, and organ (1934)
  • Friday Afternoons for children's voices and piano (1935)
  • Advance Democracy for unaccompanied choir (1938)
  • A.M.D.G. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam), seven settings of Gerard Manley Hopkins for unaccompanied SATB (1939)
  • A Ceremony of Carols for treble voices and harp (1942); an alternative arrangement for mixed voices and harp (or piano) is popular as well
  • Hymn to St. Cecilia for unaccompanied choir; poem by W. H. Auden (1942)
  • Rejoice in the Lamb for 4 soloists, choir, and organ; text by Christopher Smart (1943)
  • Festival Te Deum in E for chorus and organ (1944)
  • A Wedding anthem 'Amo Ergo Sum' for soprano, tenor, SATB and organ (1949)
  • Five Flower Songs for SATB (1950)
  • Hymn to St. Peter for treble soloist, SATB and organ (1955)
  • Antiphon for SATB and organ, (1955)
  • Missa Brevis for boys' voices and organ (1959)
  • Jubilate Deo in C for chorus and organ (1961)
  • A Hymn of St Columba for chorus and organ (1962)
  • The Golden Vanity for 5 boy soloists, treble chorus and piano (1966)
  • The Building of the House for chorus or organ or brass and orchestra (1967)
  • Children's Crusade for 9 boy soloists and chorus, percussion, organ and two pianos; text Bertolt Brecht, trans. Hans Keller (1968)
  • Sacred and Profane (8 medieval lyrics) for SSATB (1974-5)

Chamber/Instrumental[edit]

Solo piano[edit]

  • Five Waltzes, for piano (1923–25, rev. 1969)
  • Three Character Pieces, for piano (1930)
  • Twelve variations on a theme, for piano (1930)
  • Holiday Diary, for piano (1934)
  • Sonatina romantica, for piano (1940)
  • Night-Piece (Notturno) for piano, written for Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (1963)
  • Variations for piano (1965)

Two pianos[edit]

  • Introduction and Rondo alla burlesca, for 2 pianos (1940)
  • Mazurka elegiaca, for 2 pianos (1941; written as part of the collaborative album Homage to Paderewski)

Organ[edit]

String quartet[edit]

  • String Quartet in F major (1928)
  • Rhapsody (1929)
  • Quartettino (1930)
  • String Quartet in D major (1931, rev. 1974)
  • Alla Marcia (1933)
  • Three Divertimenti, for string quartet (1933, rev. 1936): March, Waltz, Burlesque
  • String Quartet No. 1 in D major (1941)
  • String Quartet No. 2 in C major (1945)
  • String Quartet No. 3 in G major (1975)

Violin and piano[edit]

  • Suite for Violin and Piano (1935)

Viola and piano[edit]

Violin, viola and piano[edit]

  • Two Pieces (written 1929; first performance 2003)[1]

Solo viola[edit]

  • Etude (1929)
  • Elegy (1930)

Cello and piano[edit]

  • Cello Sonata in C major (1960)

Solo cello[edit]

Oboe and piano[edit]

  • Two Insect Pieces, for oboe and piano (1935)
  • Temporal Variations, for oboe and piano (1936)

Oboe quartet[edit]

  • Phantasy, for oboe quartet (1932)

Solo oboe[edit]

Flute, violin and piano 4-hands[edit]

  • Gemini Variations, for flute, violin and piano four hands (1965)

Solo timpani[edit]

  • Timpani Piece for Jimmy, timpani solo (1955) for James Blades

Three trumpets[edit]

Guitar[edit]

Harp[edit]

  • Suite for Solo Harp (1969)

Film music[edit]

By opus number[edit]

  • Op. 1, Sinfonietta, 1932
  • Op. 2, Phantasy, oboe quartet, 1932
  • Op. 3, A Boy was Born for mixed chorus with organ ad lib, 1933, revised 1955
  • Op. 4, Simple Symphony for strings, 1934 (+ also version for string quartet)
  • Op. 5, Holiday Diary for piano, 1934
  • Op. 6, Suite for violin and piano, 1935
  • Op. 7, Friday Afternoons for children's voices and piano, 1935
  • Op. 8, Our Hunting Fathers for soprano or tenor and orchestra (words W. H. Auden), 1936
  • Op. 9, Soirées musicales for orchestra (after Rossini), 1936
  • Op. 10, Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge for string orchestra, 1937
  • Op. 11, On this Island for soprano or tenor and piano (words W. H. Auden), 1937
  • Op. 12, Mont Juic, suite of Catalan dances, with Lennox Berkeley), 1937
  • Op. 13, Piano Concerto, 1938, revised 1945
  • Op. 14, Ballad of Heroes for tenor or soprano, chorus and orchestra (words W. H. Auden and Randall Swingler), 1939
  • Op. 15, Violin Concerto, 1939, revised 1958
  • Op. 16, Young Apollo for piano and strings, 1939 (withdrawn)
  • Op. 17, Paul Bunyan, opera (libretto W. H. Auden), 1941, revised 1976
  • Op. 18, Les Illuminations, for soprano or tenor and strings (words Arthur Rimbaud), 1939
  • Op. 19, Canadian Carnival overture, 1939
  • Op. 20, Sinfonia da Requiem, 1940
  • Op. 21, Diversions for piano (left hand) and orchestra, 1940, revised 1954
  • Op. 22, Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo for tenor and piano, 1940
  • Op. 23
    • No. 1, Introduction and Rondo alla burlesca for two pianos, 1940
    • No. 2, Mazurka elegiaca for two pianos, 1941
  • Op. 24, Matinées musicales for orchestra (after Rossini), 1941
  • Op. 25, String Quartet No. 1, 1941
  • Op. 26, Scottish Ballad for two pianos and orchestra, 1941
  • Op. 27, An American Overture, 1941 [first performance 1983]
  • Op. 27, Hymn to St. Cecilia for SSATB, 1942
  • Op. 28, A Ceremony of Carols for trebles and harp, 1942
  • Op. 29, Prelude and Fugue for 18 strings, 1943
  • Op. 30, Rejoice in the Lamb for soloists, chorus and organ, 1943
  • Op. 31, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, song cycle, 1943
  • Op. 32, Festival Te Deum for chorus and organ, 1945
  • Op. 33, Peter Grimes, opera (libretto Montagu Slater after George Crabbe), 1945
    • Op. 33a, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
    • Op. 33b, Passacaglia from Peter Grimes
  • Op. 34, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell (The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra), 1946
  • Op. 35, The Holy Sonnets of John Donne for soprano or tenor and piano, 1945
  • Op. 36, String Quartet No. 2, 1945
  • Op. 37, The Rape of Lucretia, opera (libretto Ronald Duncan after André Obey), 1946 revised 1947
  • Op. 38, Occasional Overture, 1946
  • Op. 39, Albert Herring, opera (libretto Eric Crozier after Guy de Maupassant), 1947
  • Op. 40, My beloved is mine (Canticle I) for soprano or tenor and piano (words Francis Quarles), 1947
  • Op. 41, A Charm of Lullabies for mezzo soprano and piano, 1947
  • Op. 42, Saint Nicolas for soloists, chorus, strings, piano (4 hands), percussion and organ, 1948
  • Op. 43, The Beggar's Opera after John Gay, 1948
  • Op. 44, Spring Symphony for soloists, mixed choir, children's choir and orchestra, 1949
  • Op. 45, The Little Sweep, opera (libretto Eric Crozier), 1949
  • Op. 46, A Wedding anthem Amo Ergo Sum for soprano, tenor, SATB and organ (words Ronald Duncan), 1949
  • Op. 47, Five Flower Songs for SATB, 1950
  • Op. 48, Lachrymae for viola and piano, 1950
    • Op. 48a, Lachrymae for viola and strings, 1976
  • Op. 49, Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for oboe, 1951
  • Op. 50, Billy Budd, opera (libretto E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier after Herman Melville), 1951, revised 1960
  • Op. 51, Abraham and Isaac (Canticle II) for alto, tenor and piano (Chester miracle play), 1952
  • Op. 52, Winter Words for soprano or tenor and piano (words Thomas Hardy), 1953
  • Op. 53, Gloriana, opera (libretto William Plomer after Lytton Strachey), 1953
    • Op. 53a, Symphonic Suite "Gloriana" for tenor or oboe and orchestra, 1954
  • Op. 54, The Turn of the Screw, opera (libretto Myfanwy Piper after Henry James), 1954
  • Op. 55, Still Falls the Rain (Canticle III) for tenor, horn and piano (words Edith Sitwell), 1954
  • Op. 56a, Hymn to St. Peter for treble, SATB and organ, 1955
  • Op. 56b, Antiphon for SATB and organ, 1955
  • Op. 57, The Prince of the Pagodas, ballet, 1956
    • Op. 57a, Pas de six from The Prince of the Pagodas
  • Op. 58, Songs from the Chinese for soprano or tenor and guitar, 1957
  • Op. 59, Noye's Fludde, opera (Chester mystery play), 1957
  • Op. 60, Nocturne for tenor, 7 obbligato instruments and string orchestra, song cycle, 1958
  • Op. 61, Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente for voice and piano, 1958
  • Op. 62, Cantata academica, 1959
  • Op. 63, Missa brevis for boys' voices and organ, 1959
  • Op. 64, A Midsummer Night's Dream, opera (libretto Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears after William Shakespeare), 1960
  • Op. 65, Sonata for cello and piano, 1961
  • Op. 66, War Requiem, 1961
  • Op. 67, Psalm CL for children's chorus and instruments, 1962
  • Op. 68, Cello Symphony, 1963
  • Op. 69, Cantata misericordium, 1963
  • Op. 70, Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar, 1963
  • Op. 71, Curlew River, church parable (libretto William Plomer after Noh), 1964
  • Op. 72, Cello Suite No. 1, 1964
  • Op. 73, Gemini Variations for flute, violin and piano four hands, 1965
  • Op. 74, Songs and Proverbs of William Blake for baritone and piano, 1965
  • Op. 75, Voices for Today for boys' voices, chorus and organ ad lib, 1965
  • Op. 76, The Poet's Echo for soprano or tenor and piano (words Alexander Pushkin), 1965
  • Op. 77, The Burning Fiery Furnace, church parable (libretto William Plomer after The Book of Daniel), 1966
  • Op. 78, The Golden Vanity for boys' voices and piano (words Colin Graham), 1966
  • Op. 79, The Building of the House overture, for chorus or organ or brass and orchestra, 1967
  • Op. 80, Cello Suite No. 2, 1967
  • Op. 81, The Prodigal Son, church parable (libretto William Plomer), 1968
  • Op. 82, Children's Crusade (words Bertolt Brecht/Hans Keller), 1968
  • Op. 83, Suite for Harp, 1969
  • Op. 84, Who are these Children? for tenor and piano (words William Soutar), 1969
  • Op. 85, Owen Wingrave, opera (libretto Myfanwy Piper based on Henry James), 1970
  • Op. 86, The Journey of the Magi (Canticle IV) for countertenor, tenor, baritone and piano (words T. S. Eliot), 1971
  • Op. 87, Cello Suite No. 3, 1972
  • Op. 88, Death in Venice, opera (libretto Myfanwy Piper based on Thomas Mann), 1973
  • Op. 89, The Death of Saint Narcissus (Canticle V) for tenor and harp (words T. S. Eliot), 1974
  • Op. 90, A Suite on English Folk Tunes "A Time There Was" for chamber orchestra, 1974
  • Op. 91, Sacred and Profane (8 medieval lyrics) for five voices (SSATB), 1975
  • Op. 92, A Birthday Hansel for high voice and harp (words Robert Burns), 1975
  • Op. 93, Phaedra, cantata (words Robert Lowell after Jean Racine), 1975
  • Op. 94, String Quartet No. 3, 1975
  • Op. 95, Welcome Ode for young people's voices and orchestra, 1976

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cambridge Journals

References[edit]

  • Diane McVeagh (ed.) (1986). English Masters (New Grove Composer Biography). Grove Publications. ISBN 0-333-40241-3.