BJ. William Plomer

22. Programme notes for the Festival of the City of London performance of Curlew River (18). July 1968.

  Reprinted in Electric Delights.  

Plomer recalls his advice to Britten about seeing the nô while he was in Japan, his own doubts about the feasibility of adapting Sumidawaga to the ‘Western operatic stage’, and finally his acquiescence to Britten’s repeated entreaties to attempt the project (see notes at 18). He includes further notes here about the nô itself, tracing briefly its development and the refinements brought to it by Zeami (Ap), particularly ‘that supreme kind of beauty’ to which the word yûgen applies, a ‘beauty hinted at or half revealed, elusive but significant, and tinged with a wistful sadness’. Reprinted in 25.






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