Benjamin Britten to Peter Pears, 17 November 1974:
"My darling heart (perhaps an unfortunate phrase - but I can't use any other) I feel I must write a squiggle which I couldn't say on the telephone without bursting in to those silly tears - I do love you so terribly, not only glorious you, but your singing. I've just listened to a reboradcast of Winter Words (something like Sept. '72) and honestly you are the greatest artist that ever was - every nuance, subtle and never over-done - those great words, so sad & wise, painted for one, that heavenly sounds you make, full but always colored for words & music. What have I done to deserve such an artist and man to write for? I had to switch off before the folk songs because I couldn't anything after - 'how long, how long.' How long? - only till Dec. 20th - I think I can just bear it.
But I love you,
I love you,
I love you ----
Pears' reply to Britten, 21 November 1974:
"My dearest darling,
No one has ever ever had a lovelier letter than the one which came from you today - You say things which turn my heart over with love and pride, and I love you for every single word you write. But you know, Love is blind - and what your dear eyes do not see is that it is you who have give me everything, right from the beginning, from yourself in Grand Rapids! through Grimes & Serenade & Michelangelo & Canticles - one thing after another, right up to this great Aschenbach - I am here as your mouthpiece and I live in your music - And I can never be thankful enough to you and to Fate for all the heavenly joy we have had together for 35 years.
My darling, I love you ----
Nor can we be thankful enough for all that both of them left us.