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Benjamin Britten: A publishing story

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‘Voices that will not be drowned’

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The publishing history of Benjamin Britten is an alternative chronicle of the life and works of England’s finest composer of the 20th century and is usually relegated to biographical footnotes and factual appendices in the exploration of Britten’s musical oeuvre. The purpose of this research article is to thread together the disparate elements of Britten’s publishing history, using examples of his work to provide a chronological guide. This history forms a triptych comprising his early juvenilia with Oxford University Press, the majority of his professional career with Boosey & Hawkes, and his late years with Faber Music, a subdivision of Faber & Faber which Britten himself instigated, acting as an editorial director until his death in 1976. Faber Music still enjoys a worldwide reputation as one of the leading independent British publishers of classical, contemporary, and educational music.

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