a detail from Portrait of a Young Woman by Lorenzo di Credi (Lorenzo d’Andrea d’Oderigo)
E.M. Forster and Benjamin Britten, 1949
Aldeburgh, Suffolk (or nearby) during Forster’s fraught collaboration with Britten as librettist of Britten’s opera Billy Budd.
‘It is my most important piece of writing … and I did not, at my first hearings, feel it sufficiently important musically … I want passion – love constricted, perverted, poisoned, but nevertheless flowing down its agonising channel; a sexual discharge gone evil. Not soggy depression or growling remorse.’ – Forster to Britten, November 1950 [x]
Photograph by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman), National Portrait Gallery, London. [x]
Took this love and I took it down.
Climbed a mountain and I turned around.
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills,
till the landslide brought me down.