New video: A sardonic ode for Benjamin Britten’s birthday

New video: A sardonic ode for Benjamin Britten’s birthday


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2013

Something to dispel the waft of sanctimony that will envelop the actual birthday, on Saint Cecilia’s Day, this Friday. It’s a remake of the Flanders & Swann radio upsend.

Not quite in the class of Dudley Moore, but who is?


Benjamin Britten at Blythburgh church


  • David Boxwell says:

    Less side-splittingly cruel than Dud performing “Little Miss Britten.”

  • Tim Benjamin says:

    That video is not particularly funny (imho anyway!) … not as funny as the Dudley Moore take-off, such as:

    (which apparently Pears thought was funny but Britten got touchy about – I dread to think what he’d have made of that “Flanders and Swann”!)

  • V.Lind says:

    The truly frightening thing was that, back in the day, in a stage comedy show, people “got” the send-ups on Britten and Weill. Nowadays you would be hard-pressed to find people who had even heard of either, let alone who had nodding acquaintance with their styles. You can;t have satire without culture.

  • Barbara Chasson says:

    Absolutely brilliiant!! I met Britten and Pears in Mexico City in 1967 at the British Ambassador’s home for an evening of fun and music. BTW I am a professional violist, lived in the UK for 20 years and re-met with Pears in Aldeborough after Britten’s death. Thank you for this, Norman!

  • fandsfan says:

    Wonderful! Not so much a remake, as a revival of this largely forgotten masterpiece. I wonder how many today understand the full range of double entendres? Who now recognises the name of Joan Cross? But I hope everyone will enjoy the subtlety of Bundles for Britten and Piles for Piers. Anyway, BB evidently hated it.