Analysis Of The Song ' My Beloved Is Mine '

1646 WordsDec 18, 20157 Pages
In Canticle I, composed by Benjamin Britten, the song has been praised for its beautiful composition to its seventeenth-century poem by Francis Quarles, entitled “My beloved is mine”. Britten has written this song for a “high voice”, with no specific type of a voice. Thus, this song could be sung by a tenor or a mezzo, although often times by a tenor. The poem, derived from the Song of Solomon, has seven stanzas in all. However, Britten has omitted the fourth stanza and combined the first and the second, and the last two stanzas to make a four-movement song of this poem. This poem is unique in a sense that at the end of each stanza (with the exception of one), this poem concludes with “So I my best-beloved’s am; so he is mine.” Although the poem is said to be adapted from the Song of Solomon and thus the bible, Britten chose this specific poem to represent his personal relationship with the pianist who accompanied this very song, Peter Pears. In this paper, I will be looking at each movement carefully and how the text relates to the music Britten has composed. This song is clearly divided into four movements, along with the poem. The first movement is entitled Andante alla barcarola, and by definition, is a folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers. This movement contains the first two stanzas of the poem, and right away, we see the symbolism within the music by Britten. This first stanza specifically discusses of the metaphor of two streams (people) coming together to be one.
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