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English Song Series 7 - Britten / Langridge, Bedford


Release Date: 03/16/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557201   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Philip LangridgeSteuart Bedford
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tenor Philip Langridge is today's most thoughtful and musically adept interpreter of Britten's songs, and this effort--traversing some of the composer's most difficult and introspective vocal scores--results in some of this singer's more intellectually astute and artistically compelling performances. In fact, herein lies some very "heavy" stuff, some of the 20th century's most important and original songs, at once personal (the Michelangelo sonnets were Britten's first settings for tenor Peter Pears) and profoundly expressive treatments of texts selected from John Donne, Michelangelo, and Thomas Hardy.


You don't fool around with a subject such as "Oh my blacke Soule!" or "Death, be not
Read more proud", nor do you casually saunter through a love sonnet or a lament for innocence lost, and Britten is nothing less than a master of matching mood to text and utilizing voice and piano to create a unique and unforgettable sound world totally within the context of the poetry. Langridge's luxurious, lyrical, very Pears-like vocal quality and similarly Pears-esque phrasing suits this music perfectly. This disc was an essential addition to the catalog when it first appeared on Collins in 1996 (joining Britten's and Pears' own indispensible recordings for Decca), and it remains so in this welcome Naxos reissue. [3/17/2004]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Philip Langridge (Tenor), Steuart Bedford (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
2. Sonnets (7) of Michelangelo, Op. 22 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Philip Langridge (Tenor), Steuart Bedford (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
3. Winter Words, Op. 52 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Philip Langridge (Tenor), Steuart Bedford (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
4. If it's ever spring again by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steuart Bedford (Piano), Philip Langridge (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
5. Children and Sir Nameless by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Steuart Bedford (Piano), Philip Langridge (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 

Sound Samples

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet VI: Oh my blacke Soule!
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet XIV: Batter my heart
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet III: O might those sighes and teares
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet XIX: Oh, to vex me
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet XIII: What if this present
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet XVII: Since she whom I lov'd
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet VII: At the round earth's imagin'd corners
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet I: Thou hast made me
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: Sonnet X: Death, be not proud
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XVI: Si come nella penna e nell'inchiostro
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XXXI: A che piu debb'io mai l'intensa voglia
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XXX: Veggio co' be' vostri occhi un dolce lume
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto LV: Tu sa' ch'io so, signior mie, che tu sai
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XXXVIII: Rendete a gli occhi miei, o fonte o fiume
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XXXII: S'un casto amor, s'una pieta superna
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: Sonetto XXIV: Spirto ben nato, in cui si specchia e vede
Winter Words, Op. 52: At Day-close in November
Winter Words, Op. 52: Midnight on the Great Western
Winter Words, Op. 52: Wagtail and Baby
Winter Words, Op. 52: The Little Old Table
Winter Words, Op. 52: The Choirmaster's Burial
Winter Words, Op. 52: Proud Songsters
Winter Words, Op. 52: At the Railway Station, Upway
Winter Words, Op. 52: Before Life and After
If it's ever spring again: If it's ever Spring again
The Children and Sir Nameless

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