From the archives:
It’s a bumper year for composer anniversaries. There’s the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, fabulously gifted and with something odd and dark that fascinates us. There’s the 200th of Giuseppe Verdi, musical voice of an entire nation. And there’s also the 200th of Richard Wagner, one of those colossal figures of the 19th century, about whom more books have been written than anyone, so it’s said, except Christ and Napoleon.