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Britten: Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra / Britten


Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 417509   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Like the similarly generous CD coupling of Britten's own recordings of his three song-cycles with orchestra, the Serenade, the Nocturne and Les illuminations this compilation brings together three unique performances to be cherished not just by Britten devotees but by the widest possible range of music-lovers. This is Britten at his most immediately appealing, though his brisk account of the most popular piece of all, the Young Person's Guide, may startle some by its fierceness in relation to almost any other reading on record.

I rather wish that oldest and least sweet of the recordings had been put at the end, for the string sound of the English Chamber Orchestra in the other two works is superb, fuller and richer with a
Read more good, firm bass response set against a warm and helpful ambience. The Variations were in fact recorded at Kingsway, the same hall as was used for the Young Person's Guide, while the Simple Symphony, done a couple of years later, was able to use the newly converted Maltings at Snape. Bands are provided for all the separate variations of the Frank Bridge set, but not for those of the Young Person's Guide, which is a pity but that is a minor irritation in relation to the delight of having such classic, unique performances on Compact Disc.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [1/1987]
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Works on This Recording

1. 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. 
2. 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. 
3. 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. 
Notes: Benjamin Britten conducts the English Chamber Orchestra in a version of the "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" without narration. 

Sound Samples

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 1. Boisterous Bourrée
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 2. Playful Pizzicato
Simple Symphony, Op.4: 3. Sentimental Saraband
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

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