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Britten: The Masterpieces


Release Date: 08/13/2013 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001880702  
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Rachel MastersViola TunnardGillian SaundersPatricia Garrod,   ... 
Conductor:  Benjamin BrittenStephen CleoburyGeorge GuestGeorge Malcolm,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraEnglish Chamber OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Peter Pears, tenor; Barry Tuckwell, horn; London Symphony Orchestra [?]/Benjamin Britten. Original issue: London 417 153-2 [with Les Illuminations, Op. 18, and Nocturne, Op. 60]. The composer made two recordings of his Serenade, the first in 1944 with the preternatural Dennis Brain as horn soloist, the second in 1963 with Barry Tuckwell. Both featured Peter Pears as tenor, and while the earlier account may never be bettered, the latter one blazes throughout with imaginative fire and has the advantage of remarkably vibrant sound. Pears’ miraculous flexibility enables him to wing through the roulades on the words “excellently bright” in the Serenade’s penultimate number, but it is his insights into the settings themselves that are most Read more valuable. In the “Nocturne,” for example, rather than simply getting softer, he invests each repetition of the word “dying” with a different shade of meaning, producing a haunting effect. All of this is captured in a recording that can still be considered state-of-the-art, even though it was made 50 years ago. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 16 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Simple Symphony for Strings, Op. 4 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1933-1934; England 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Venue:  The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh 
Length: 17 Minutes 17 Secs. 
3.
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Date of Recording: 1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 26 Minutes 44 Secs. 
4.
Peter Grimes: Sea Interludes (4), Op. 33a by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; England 
5.
A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Rachel Masters (Harp)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Language: English 
6.
A Boy was Born, Op. 3 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933/1955; England 
Language: English 
7.
Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  George Guest
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930/1934; England 
8.
Festival Te Deum in E major, Op. 32 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  George Guest
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
9.
Jubilate Deo in C major by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  George Guest
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; England 
10.
Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  George Malcolm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1961 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Friday Afternoons, Op. 7 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Viola Tunnard (Piano)
Conductor:  Derrick Herdman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purley Downside School Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933-1935; England 
12.
Noye's Fludde, Op. 59 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Gillian Saunders (Soprano), Patricia Garrod (Soprano), Eileen O'Donovan (Soprano),
Kathleen Petch (Soprano), Owen Brannigan (Bass), Sheila Rex (Mezzo Soprano),
David Pinto (Boy Soprano), Darien Angadi (Treble), Stephen Alexander (Treble),
Trevor Anthony (Spoken Vocals), Caroline Clack (Soprano), Marie-Thérèse Pinto (Soprano),
Margaret Hawes (Soprano)
Conductor:  Norman Del Mar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Opera Group Orchestra,  East Suffolk Children's Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; England 
Date of Recording: 1961 
Venue:  Live  Orford Parish Church, Aldeburgh Festival 
Language: English 
13.
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 
14.
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Op. 31 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Pears (Tenor), Barry Tuckwell (French Horn)
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Language: English 
15.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Janine Jansen (Violin)
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939/1958; England 

Sound Samples

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Theme - Allegro maestoso e largamente
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation A: Flutes & Piccolo - Presto
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation B: Oboes - Lento
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation C: Clarinets - Moderato
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation D: Bassoons - Allegro alla marcia
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation E: Violins - Brillante - alla polacca
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation F: Violas - Meno mosso
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation G: Cellos
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation H: Double Basses - Cominciando lento ma poco a poco accelerando
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Spring Carol
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation I: Harp - Maestoso
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation J: Horns - L'istesso tempo
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Deo Gracias
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation K: Trumpets - Vivace
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Recession
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation L: Trombones & Bass Tuba - Allegro pomposo
A boy was born, Op.3: A Boy Was Born (Theme)
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 1: Lullay, Jesu
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Variation M: Percussion - Moderato
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 2: Herod
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34 - without spoken text: Fugue - Allegro molto
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 3: Jesu As Thou Art Our Saviour
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 1. Boisterous Bourrée
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 4: The Three Kings
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 2. Playful Pizzicato
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 5: In The Bleak Mid-Winter
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 3. Sentimental Saraband
A boy was born, Op.3: Variation 6: Finale - Noel!
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 4. Frolicsome Finale
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 1. Introduction & Theme
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 2. Adagio
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 3. March
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 4. Romance
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 5. Aria Italiana
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 6. Bourrée Classique
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 7. Wiener Waltzer
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 8. Moto Perpetuo
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 9. Funeral March
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 10. Chant
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10: 11. Fugue & Finale
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: Interlude I: On the beach (Dawn)
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: Interlude II: The Storm
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: Interlude III: Sunday Morning
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: Interlude V: Evening (Moonlight)
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Procession
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Wolcom Yule!
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: There Is No Rose
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: That Yongë Child
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Balulalow
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: As Dew In Aprille
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: This Little Babe
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: Interlude
Ceremony of Carols, Op.28: In Freezing Winter Night
A Hymn to the Virgin (1930, rev. 1934)
Festival Te Deum, Op.32 (1944)
Jubilate Deo in C (1961)
Hymn to St. Cecilia (1942), Op.27: In a Garden Shady
Hymn to St. Cecilia (1942), Op.27: I Cannot Grow
Hymn to St. Cecilia (1942), Op.27: O Ear Whose Creatures

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