Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Matthews, David. "First Performances: Britten's Third Quartet." Tempo, no. 125 (June 1978): 21-24.

Britten's Third Quartet uses material from Death in Venice, his last opera. Like Mahler with his late works and Aschenbach in the opera, Britten's inspiration "returned only under the shadow of death," and a preoccupation with life, death, peace, and beauty may be observed in the quartet. The final movement, "Passacaglia," subtitled "La Serenissima," is prefaced by five quotations from Death in Venice. The first quotation is the Barcarolle, which, in the opera, is "a transformation of the chorus's repeated calls of 'Serenissima'"; the final quotation is the love motive from the end of Act I (Aschenbach's confession of love for Tadzio, "I love you"). E Major, associated in Death in Venice with Aschenbach's quest for ideal beauty, is also used for the Passacaglia.

Works: Britten: String Quartet No. 3.

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Nikola D. Strader

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