The Story Between the Story
Listening: Britten – Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
*Special Guest: Erin Armstrong
Artistic Director, Windsor Abridged Opera
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes – Condensed Piano Score
(you don’t have to be able to read the notes on the page, instead, react to the shapes you see from the notes written on the page).
Opera Cheats: Peter Grimes – 4:00 minute fun summary of the Opera Peter Grimes
1. What are your overall impressions of the piece? How does it make you feel? Do you like it? Dislike it?
2. Try focusing on different aspects of the music such as rhythm (steady or irregular), melody (singable or not singable), texture (block of sound, bursts of sound, dots of sound, or does it sound like a crowded room with everyone talking), or visual (orchestra playing vs watching the score). If you’re unsure about any of these, don’t worry! We will talk about them in more detail.
3. Britten uses these four interludes as scene change music. But rather than it just being pretty music between scenes, Britten continues to tell the story, sometimes transporting us to different physical locations or psychological states of mind. What story would you give or describe for each movement: I. Dawn | II. Sunday Morning | III. Moonlight | IV. Storm.
4. Look up 1 fact about Britten. It can be anything you find interesting.