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Britten: Bridge Variations, Etc / Bedford, English Co


Release Date: 06/21/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557200   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


These performances of the Frank Bridge Variations and the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Steuart Bedford (taken from the old Collins Classics catalog) stand among the very few that compare to the composer's own classic Decca recordings, and they feature better sonics. In the Variations, Bedford finds the right balance between accuracy and emotion, delivering (for example) an aptly loony Aria Italiana, a gracious Wiener Walzer, and a grim Funeral March while keeping the string playing sharply focused and admirably precise. He also achieves a fine clarity of texture in the final fugue, which can come off sounding merely muddy in less capable hands.


Clarity also is a
Read more feature of The Young Person's Guide, in the sense that Bedford finds plenty of color in this delightful score and makes sure that we hear all of it. Once again the concluding fugue is outstanding, as physically exciting as any on disc, but the individual contributions of the various LSO soloists and sections are also excellent (especially the brass). Both the Occasional Overture and the Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra come off equally well and make an excellent bonus. There's really no more that need be said: this is Britten at his best, in every respect, and a first-rate bargain to boot.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Date of Recording: 04/1992 
Venue:  All Saints Church, East Finchley, London 
Length: 25 Minutes 54 Secs. 
2. Occasional Overture in C major, Op. 38 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Venue:  Barbican Centre, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Notes: Barbican Centre, London, England (04/23/1991 - 04/25/1991) 
3. Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra, Op. 29 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Date of Recording: 04/1992 
Venue:  All Saints Church, East Finchley, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 
4. Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Venue:  Barbican Centre, London, England 
Length: 16 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Barbican Centre, London, England (04/23/1991 - 04/25/1991) 

Sound Samples

Occasional Overture, Op. 38: Occasional Overture
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Introduction and Theme
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 1: Adagio
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 2: March
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 3: Romance
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 4: Aria Italiana
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 5: Bourree Classique
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 6: Wiener Waltzer
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 7: Moto Perpetuo
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 8: Funeral March
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 9: Chant
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 10: Fugue and Finale
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29: I. Prelude: Grave
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29: II. Fugue: Allegro energico
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29: III. Coda: Grave come prima
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Theme
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation A [The Flutes]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation B [The Oboes]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation C [The Clarinets]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation D [The Bassoons]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation E [The Violins]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation F [The Violas]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation G [The Cellos]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation H [The Double Basses]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation I [The Harp]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation J [The Horns]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation K [The Trumpets]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation L [The Trombones and Bass Tuba]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Variation M [Percussion]
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell, Op. 34: Fugue

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