The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra originated as music for an educational film, Instruments of the Orchestra (1946), before being transformed by the composer into a piece for the concert hall. No earlier sketches are known to survive, and it seems that Britten composed the piece directly into this draft score. The manuscript reveals the astonishing fluency with which Britten was able to construct a large-scale work. Almost every aspect of the piece is already worked out in detail in this draft, which was completely unknown until 2011. It was acquired by the British Library in 2012.
- Full title:
- Benjamin Britten: Music for the film Instruments of the Orchestra, later published as The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Variations on a theme of Purcell), op. 34. Autograph draft
- Benjamin Britten
- © Boosey & Hawkes and Britten-Pears Foundation
- Usage terms
Reproduced by kind permission of the publishers: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.
Except as otherwise permitted under your national copyright law this material may not be copied or distributed further.
- Held by
- British Library
- MS Mus. 1769
- Article by:
- Lucy Walker
- Music and modernism, Music for stage and screen, Musical style
Lucy Walker surveys three orchestral masterpieces of the early 20th century.
- Article by:
- Nicholas Clark
- Creative process, Music for stage and screen
Music formed an important component of the propaganda and educational films produced during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath. In this article, Nicholas Clark explores the film scores composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten between 1940 and 1948.