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The Boston Globe

Music

third ear

At home with Benjamin Britten

ALDEBURGH, England – The rugged, pebbly beach in this small coastal town looks out onto the limitless expanse of the North Sea. On a recent evening at dusk, the light was flat, the sky low and vast, the air made thick by a mist blowing in from the shore.

A composer’s art of course cannot be reduced to the landscapes that first held his gaze or nurtured his imagination, but neither can the meaning of such vistas be easily dismissed. Especially here. In the austere and solitary beauty of this Suffolk coastline, there is something essential about the music of Benjamin Britten.

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