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Britten: Young Person's Guide... / L. Slatkin


Release Date: 02/18/2009 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 61226   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A strikingly alert, fresh-faced reading of the Young Person's Guide, but the major attraction is the Sinfonia da Requiem, which immediately impresses with the focus and sheen of the orchestral playing.

I haven't enjoyed Britten's endlessly resourceful Young Person's Guide so much in ages... [A] strikingly alert, fresh-faced reading... When it comes to the Grimes Interludes, [Slatkin] concentrates on meticulous refinement, with radiantly airy textures throughout: the results are more coolly detached than we are used to hearing and often strikingly beautiful... [W]hat's more, [he] offers a notable bonus in the shape of a lucid and (once again) strikingly refined account of the ''Passacaglia'' from the same
Read more opera.

So what is left on the RCA collection? Well, there's a most eloquent, beautifully poised rendering of the Purcell Chaconne—Britten's loving realization can rarely have sounded more beguiling. But the major attraction here is the Sinfonia da Requiem. This could hardly start more promisingly, with fearsome ff timpani blows and balefully growling tuba. Again, what immediately impresses is the focus and sheen of the orchestral playing, but there's a price to pay, perhaps, in the shape of some lack of emotional thrust. It's the Dies irae centrepiece which bears this observation out most clearly: the demons certainly don't scamper quite as malevolently as they do on the composer's own 1964 Decca recording (which still, by the way, sounds absolutely stunning three decades on!)... Of course, this movement's shattering disintegration is as hair-raising as ever, and in the concluding ''Requiem aeternam'' Slatkin transmits a soothing, consolatory glow that many will find deeply moving.

In sum, [a] superior, finely engineered [addition] to the Britten discography; indeed, I can't imagine the majority of collectors will find much to disappoint them here.

-- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone [3/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
2.
Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
3.
Peter Grimes: Sea Interludes (4), Op. 33a by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; England 
4.
Peter Grimes: Passacaglia, Op. 33b by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in C major, Op. 36: Chacony by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Sinfonia da Requiem: III. Requiem aeternam
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

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