Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Neary, Westminster Abbey

Release Date: 3/27/2008
Label: Sony
Catalog Number: SONY62615
Conductor: Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$17.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
"One of the most unlikely of mystics, Benjamin Britten penned his Hymn to the Virgin when he was just sweet 17. In its antiphonal responses between eight-part choir hymning the Virgin’s virtues in English and four-strong semi-chorus echoing their phrases back at them in Latin, it’s a gift to the Choir of Westminster Abbey, singing on its home ground, under Martin Neary. This all-Britten collection surrounds the familiar Ceremony of Carols – surely the most affecting anthology of its kind ever composed – with less familiar items like the Wedding Anthem for Lord Harewood and Marion Stein (now Thorpe) and the Christopher Smart setting Rejoice in the Lamb, plus a guest performance, as it were, of Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac with its other-worldly opening for unison alto and tenor (Michael Chance and Ian Bostridge) as the Voice of God – worth a million dollars, as BB himself confided to Tippett...This disc is one of the best things [Neary and the Westminster Choir] have done."

-- BBC Music Magazine
Works on This Recording
1. Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30 by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Ian Bostridge (Tenor), Martin Baker (Organ), Timothy Dickinson (Treble), Simon Birchall (Bass), Michael Chance (Countertenor)
Conductor: Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943 ; England
2. Canticle II, Op. 51 "Abraham and Isaac" by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Ian Bostridge (Tenor), Julius Drake (Piano), Michael Chance (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1952 ; England
3. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Richard Farnsworth (Treble), Timothy Dickinson (Treble), Aline Brewer (Harp )
Conductor: Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1942 ; England
4. Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten
Conductor: Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1930/1934 ; England
5. Wedding Anthem, Op. 46 by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Martin Baker (Organ), Richard Farnsworth (Treble), Ian Bostridge (Tenor)
Conductor: Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1949 ; England
6. Antiphon, Op. 56b by Benjamin Britten
Performer: Martin Baker (Organ), Timothy Dickinson (Treble), Richard Farnsworth (Treble), Toby Dunham (Treble)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1956 ; England
Customer Reviews