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Britten: Serenade, Les Illuminations / Britten, Pears


Release Date: 09/07/1993 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 436395   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Pears
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraEnglish Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: n/a 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

...[This disc] brings together the three orchestral song cycles that are most deeply associated with Peter Pears's voice (although Les illuminations was written for Sophie Wyss), in his performances with the composer directing, recorded in 1959 and 1963. These are unfailingly convincing, sensitive and powerful by turns: and listening, one remembers how people said that only Pears could sing such music well and then realizes, now these are repertory pieces for British singers, how influential his voice and artistry were during the 1950s and 1960s. I have a special fondness for the Nocturne, a marvellous and disturbing piece that has certain affinities with the opera A Midsummer Night's Dream... Strongly recommended.

--
Read more Christopher Headington, Gramophone [9/1993]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Op. 31 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Pears (Tenor)
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Language: English 
2.
Les illuminations, Op. 18 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Pears (Tenor)
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Prologue
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Pastoral - The Day's Grown Old
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Nocturne - The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Elegy - O Rose, Thou Art Sick
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Dirge - This Ae Night
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Hymn - Queen and Huntress Chaste and Fair
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Sonnet - O Soft Embalmer of the Still Midnight
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings, Op.31: Epilogue
Les Illuminations, Op.18: I. Fanfare
Les Illuminations, Op.18: II. Villes
Les Illuminations, Op.18: IIIa. Phrase
Les Illuminations, Op.18: IIIb. Antique
Les Illuminations, Op.18: IV. Royauté
Les Illuminations, Op.18: V. Marine
Les Illuminations, Op.18: VI. Interlude
Les Illuminations, Op.18: VII. Being beauteous
Les Illuminations, Op.18: VIII. Parade
Les Illuminations, Op.18: IX. Départ
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 1. "On A Poet's Lips I Slept"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 2. "Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 3. "Encintured With A Twine Of Leaves"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 4. "Midnight's Bell Goes Ting, Ting, Ting"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 5. "But That Night When On My Bed I Lay"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 6. "She Sleeps On Soft, Last Breaths"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 7. "What Is More Gentle Than A Wind In Summer?"
Nocturne for tenor, 7 obligato instruments & strings, Op.60: 8. "When Most I Wink, Then Do Mine Eyes Best See"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Terrific Introduction to or Reminder of, the Ex February 17, 2014 By Irene O. See All My Reviews "Having recently read Neil Powell's biography of Benjamin Britten, I became curious about the smaller Britten works I had never heard. This disc offers a wonderful chance to assess Britten's exceptional use of poetry and unusual instrumentation. I was particularly curious about the "Seranade for tenor horn and strings." Britten uses this odd combination as a setting for six English poems which, as does all the music presented here, fits Pears light, but flexible tenor. I am more familiar with Britten's "Illuminations," but I'm completely delighted to now have it in my collection. I am still getting acquainted with the last piece "Nocturne." In this work, Britten uses short poems. The recording was made in the 1960s and remastered in 1993. To my ears, the music has both intimacy and vitality. I make no claim to musical expertise. I can only say that I continue to find this disc a delight." Report Abuse
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