MY DEAR BENJAMIN
The great English composer Benjamin Britten's first love was a young German man named Wulff Scherchen. This idyllic relationship was shattered by World War II when Wulff was incarcerated as a Prisoner of War. The heartbreaking letters during their separation chart an intense relationship – "The one person constantly in my thoughts and on my mind without fail was you. No one else occupied my heart, my mind or my body."
Britten died 40 years ago. Wulff Scherchen passed away just last month, a 96-year-old man living in Australia, not far from Brisbane. He consented to have these letters brought to life in a beautiful new song cycle by Lyle Chan featuring the musical symbol of him that Britten himself used – a saxophone.
Hear the Queensland Symphony Orchestra perform My Dear Benjamina Serenade for Tenor, Saxophone and Orchestra and Britten’s Simple Symphony Op.4 and Johnson over Jordan Suite, conducted by Paul Kildea, Britten expert and author of Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century.