WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Britten: The Complete Orchestral Song Cycles Vol 1/ Bedford


Release Date: 09/21/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557206   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Felicity LottPhyllis Bryn-Julson
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here's another excellent Britten program compiled by Naxos from the former Collins Classics catalog. These selections were last issued as the first half of a two-disc set, The Complete Orchestral Song Cycles, released in 1994. Although there are other superb versions of Les Illuminations--Lott's own on Chandos is a top choice for soprano renditions--this one is equally good, with sharply defined, characterful accompaniments by Steuart Bedford and the ECO (always reliable caretakers of the Britten legacy), who perfectly match Lott's playful, ardent, dramatic vocalism. (That high B-flat in "Phrase" and the subsequent delicate glissando never have been better sung.) The Quatre Chansons are as stylish and sonically vibrant--relishing the color Read more of language and orchestral effects--as we remember, and again Lott is an ideal interpreter, consistently faithful to Britten's unadorned expressive manner yet always aware of these songs' (and their opera-composer creator's) innately theatrical sensibility. Phyllis Bryn-Julson's Our Hunting Fathers may not offer the degree of sturdy and powerful vocalism this often-savage, brutal work requires, but the orchestra is brilliant, and together the singer, instruments, and conductor give a respectable account of Britten's edgy, vocally formidable Auden settings. As on the original releases, the sound is excellent. Britten fans who didn't get these performances the first time around will grab this--an even better value now at Naxos' rock-bottom price. [9/21/2004]

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Chansons françaises (4) by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano)
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; England 
Date of Recording: 07/1994 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 11 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: English 
2. Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 27 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: EMI Abbey Road Studios, London (06/1990 - 07/1990) 
3. Les illuminations, Op. 18 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano)
Conductor:  Steuart Bedford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1994 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 22 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

4 Chansons francaises: Nuits de Juin
4 Chansons francaises: Sagesse
4 Chansons francaises: L'Enfance
4 Chansons francaises: Chanson d'Automne
Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8: Prologue
Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8: Rats Away!
Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8: Messalina
Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8: Dance of Death (Hawking for the Partridge)
Our Hunting Fathers, Op. 8: Epilogue and Funeral March
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. Royaute
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. Depart

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook