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Britten: Prince of Pagodas Suite; McPhee / Slatkin, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Release Date: 11/11/2003 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5017   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin BrittenColin McPhee
Performer:  Michael DavisElizabeth BurleyJohn AlleyColin McPhee,   ... 
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This selection is a Hybrid Multichannel Super Audio CD. The Stereo Hybrid SACD program can be played on any standard compact disc player. The DSD Surround and Stereo programs require an SACD player for playback.

Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra deliver a coolly new-age performance of Colin McPhee's proto-minimalist masterpiece Tabuh-Tabuhan, very similar to Dennis Russell Davies' recording for Argo. It's very well played and very beautiful although quite different from Howard Hanson's speedier and more dynamic rendition on Mercury Living Presence. The Britten/McPhee recording of Balinese Ceremonial Music has been available previously but makes an apt coupling, especially in the company of this new suite (arranged
Read more by Donald Mitchell and Mervyn Cooke) from Britten's The Prince of the Pagodas. This contains a huge slice (some 50 minutes) of the ballet, including the exotic "pagoda" music inspired by the composer's trip to Bali, but unaccountably omits some of the best numbers from the usual suite, such as the final pas de deux of Belle Rose and the Prince. All the same, like the McPhee it's very well played and finely recorded too, making this enterprising release well worth owning from just about any point of view.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Prince of the Pagodas, Op. 57 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Michael Davis (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
Notes: Arranged: Donald Mitchell and Mervyn Cooke 
Tabuh-tabuhan by Colin McPhee
Performer:  Elizabeth Burley (Piano), John Alley (Piano)
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
Balinese Ceremonial Music by Colin McPhee
Performer:  Colin McPhee (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Date of Recording: 1941 
Notes: This selection is a monaural recording. 

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