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Britten's Musical Language (Music in the Twentieth Century) by Philip Rupprecht

By Philip Rupprecht

Mixing insights from linguistic and social theories of speech, ritual and narrative with music-analytic and ancient criticism,Britten's Musical Language deals clean views at the composer's fusion of verbal and musical utterance in opera and music. It offers shut interpretative experiences of the foremost rankings (including Peter Grimes, Billy Budd, The flip of the Screw, struggle Requiem, Curlew River and loss of life in Venice) and explores Britten's skill to style advanced and mysterious symbolic dramas from the interaction of texted tune and wordless discourse of reasons and issues.

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8 The numerous illocutionary forces of speech, John Searle notes, can be divided into five main types of act: we tell people how things are [assertives], we try to get them to do things [directives], we commit ourselves to doing things [commissives], we express our feelings and attitudes [expressives] and we bring about changes through our utterances [declarations]. 1 reveal how different locutions can function with roughly the same illocutionary point (a, c, and d are all directives). Conversely, it is equally clear that a single locution may, in different contexts, assume widely divergent illocutionary forces.

Chorus: (1a) “He’s right! …” Hobson: (3) Mister, find some other — 2. interruption Ellen: (4) Carter! I’ll mind your passenger Chorus: (4a) What! and be Grimes’ messenger? Ellen: Whatever you say, I’m not ashamed Chorus: You’ll be Grimes’ messenger? You! 3. Hobson’s theme, repeated Ellen: (1) The carter goes from pub to pub … (2) The boy needs comfort late at night (x) I’ll mind your passenger plus a new cadence figure Ned Keene: (5) Mrs Orford is talking sense 4. Chorus: (1, ostinato) Ellen, you’re leading us a dance, fetching boys for Peter Grimes because the Borough is afraid you who help will share the blame!

He] not only succumbs to them but also in his own mind becomes the monster he perceives they think him to be” (1983: 76). 30 The rhetorical power of the prayer, I would argue, is bound up with its multiplicity of illocutionary forces and its resistance to any one significance, whether as the public, voluntary proclamation of an identity (Hindley’s “self-affirmation”) or as the outer, verbal manifestation of a social process operating at less conscious levels, linking the individual speaker to power circuits within the collective (“self-oppression”).

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