Britten Folksongs and Their Traditional Counterparts
author(s): Phoebe Kirrage
published in: KC Research Portal
Research Supervisor: Anna Scott
Britten's Folksong Arrangements and Their Traditional Counterparts
Question: How do the Britten Folksong arrangements relate to their traditional counterparts, with an emphasis on text?
This research explores the relationship between traditional British folk songs and their Benjamin Britten counterparts.
The function of this research is to create a new relationship between the original songs and their values and the impressions brought about by Britten through his edits. Primarily through harmonic arrangements, changes in melody and textual edits made by Britten.
Both folk and classical music have been crucial components in my life and have shaped me as a performer. There have been a great number of folk songs and tunes arranged for classical music yet there is very little dialogue between the two styles.
I have used a combination of my own fieldwork, interviews, rehearsals, recordings and historical research to create an in depth research into the differences made to the traditional songs by Britten in his arrangements. The final results have come to fruition in the creation of an in depth analysis of the differences between the arrangements and the songs, and a full recording of the sixth book of folk songs with guitar. The outcome is a combination of the two musical styles to create a new sound. A concert will follow in which the new arrangements will be performed in a space and atmosphere inspired by both classical and folk performance spaces. A noticeable difference in my classical performing has also come about through the research into storytelling and freeness in folk performance in combination with classical performance.
Phoebe Kirrage is a British soprano, having previously studied Musicology at Royal Holloway University of London, she is now pursuing her masters degree in classical singing under the teaching of Noa Frenkel. Having sung from a very early age, Phoebe has had the privilege of performing in some of the UKs most prestigious performance venues, including The Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican. In the Netherlands Phoebe has had the opportunity to perform in spaces such has the Grote Zaal in TivoliVredenburg. Upcoming performances include Britten's Turn of the Screw and Psalm 42 by Mendelssohn.