Author Topic: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works  (Read 3321 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2019, 05:38:44 PM »
I'm a little astonished at how lightly Les Illuminations is polling.

It’s a great work, SimonNZ, but could you tell me why you feel this way? I mean Britten wrote so many fine works that really a ‘Top 5’ is kind of a joke.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online SimonNZ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7546
  • Location: Christchurch, NZ
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2019, 06:59:56 PM »
It’s a great work, SimonNZ, but could you tell me why you feel this way? I mean Britten wrote so many fine works that really a ‘Top 5’ is kind of a joke.

Nothing specific, I just imagine it being more popular. I have the feeling its been recorded more often than most Britten works and, more importantly, no matter who your favorite singers are some will have done it and you're likely to have heard it in multiple versions. But certainly there are many great Britten works to choose from.

Nice to see Turn Of The Screw getting some love.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2019, 07:22:02 PM »
Nothing specific, I just imagine it being more popular. I have the feeling its been recorded more often than most Britten works and, more importantly, no matter who your favorite singers are some will have done it and you're likely to have heard it in multiple versions. But certainly there are many great Britten works to choose from.

Nice to see Turn Of The Screw getting some love.

Well, to be fair, I actually think the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra has been recorded more than any other Britten work. This isn’t to say that Young Person’s is a better work than Les Illuminations because it’s not, but according to Arkivmusic, Les Illuminations has been recorded 41 times whereas Young Person’s has been recorded 63 times.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online SimonNZ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7546
  • Location: Christchurch, NZ
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2019, 07:37:23 PM »
Yeah, I expressed that thought badly. I should have added that it "felt" as though the work was being recorded ever more frequently as it was continually gaining popularity. But again I don't have any data to back up that feeling.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2019, 07:43:56 PM »
Yeah, I expressed that thought badly. I should have added that it "felt" as though the work was being recorded ever more frequently as it was continually gaining popularity. But again I don't have any data to back up that feeling.

I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over this, SimonNZ. ;) Have you contributed a list, btw? I’m not sure if I remember your choices.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline JBS

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3216
  • If music be the food of love, play on!
  • Location: USA
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2019, 08:09:19 PM »
My list
Nocturne for tenor, etc
Albert Herring
Paul Bunyan
War Requiem
Diversions

Mind you, there are some Britten operas I have yet to hear,  including  Death in Venice, Owen Wingrave, and Turn of the Screw.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2019, 09:08:08 PM »
Some great choices, Jeffrey. There’s still many Britten operas I haven’t heard, but I’m working on it. So far, I’ve heard Peter Grimes, The Turn of the Screw, The Rape of Lucretia, Noye’s Fludde (fantastic one-act opera!), and Death in Venice.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 705
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2020, 10:37:10 AM »
That could easily be my list as well. I played the 1st cello suite about a year ago - it’s wickedly difficult but very rewarding music! And yes, hearing the Violin Concerto live is quite a special experience. I had the privilege of doing so about 5 or 6 years ago and it was quite unforgettable.

The Violin Concerto was a real revelation. Many unperceived details sprung to my ears.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 705
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2020, 10:38:47 AM »
I mean Britten wrote so many fine works that really a ‘Top 5’ is kind of a joke.

Very true. The same thing applies to many really great composers.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16225
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2020, 02:52:10 AM »
My list
Nocturne for tenor, etc
Albert Herring
Paul Bunyan
War Requiem
Diversions

Mind you, there are some Britten operas I have yet to hear,  including  Death in Venice, Owen Wingrave, and Turn of the Screw.
The Diversions has been a recent very nice discovery for me.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2020, 07:38:52 AM »
The Diversions has been a recent very nice discovery for me.

Have you heard any of the operas, Jeffrey?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 07:31:27 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1230
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2020, 12:58:09 PM »
Full disclosure: I've heard very little Britten (no operas) but I have otherwise become quite fond of his music over the past month.

String Quartet No.2 (though any of his great string quartets could have taken this spot)
Variations on a Theme of Bridge
War Requiem (need to spend more time with this, but it's obvious to me and anyone that it's a masterpiece)
Sinfonia da Requiem
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings

Need to hear the violin and piano concertos (for the latter, I really want to hear Richter play it, a favorite of mine and a friend of the composer), and the cello symphony. I suspect I will find love for all of them.

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17417
  • Location: Oulu, Finland
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2020, 05:37:49 AM »
Full disclosure: I've heard very little Britten (no operas) but I have otherwise become quite fond of his music over the past month.

String Quartet No.2 (though any of his great string quartets could have taken this spot)
Variations on a Theme of Bridge
War Requiem (need to spend more time with this, but it's obvious to me and anyone that it's a masterpiece)
Sinfonia da Requiem
Serenade for tenor, horn & strings

Need to hear the violin and piano concertos (for the latter, I really want to hear Richter play it, a favorite of mine and a friend of the composer), and the cello symphony. I suspect I will find love for all of them.

The Hyperion series of the concerto works with BBC Scottish Symphony with Volkov/Manze and Alban Gerhardt, Anthony Marwood, Steven Osborne are a great option as well.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 49051
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...mist floating above the water...
Re: Top 5 Favorite Britten Works
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2020, 02:38:47 PM »
The Hyperion series of the concerto works with BBC Scottish Symphony with Volkov/Manze and Alban Gerhardt, Anthony Marwood, Steven Osborne are a great option as well.

I can only nod my head in agreement. It’d be nice if these three recordings got boxed up to save some other people money (I bought mine all individually of course), but I doubt this will happen.

FWIW, vers la flamme, I was seriously underwhelmed by Richter’s performance of the Piano Concerto. He’s obviously a phenomenal pianist, but, IMHO, he doesn’t understand Britten’s idiom at all.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy