Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Miller, Carl. "Meditations on Benjamin Britten's Nocturnal." Guitar Review 42 (Fall 1977): 15-16.

The Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70, for solo guitar can be described as a set of variations on Come Heavy Sleep, a song for voice and lute from John Dowland's First Book of Songs (London, 1597). The "theme" appears at the end, rather than the beginning of the composition. The composition is in nine sections, the final section of which is a transcription of the Dowland song. The eight preceding variations consist of "bits and pieces" of the song, subjected to various techniques such as abbreviation, transposition, inversion, and other forms of manipulation. All of the variations are somber in character; the overall effect of the composition is macabre, sparse and anxious, with the exception of the final section, which is calm and peaceful.

Works: Britten: Nocturnal after John Dowland (15-16).

Sources: Dowland: Come Heavy Sleep (15-16).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Scott Grieb

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