Author Topic: Benjamin Britten  (Read 102183 times)

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Online MusicTurner

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #620 on: December 08, 2021, 10:59:01 AM »
Oh, cool!  How is the recording quality of the pieces?

Enjoy the Britten; I hope to put it on after a quick errand.

PD

Thanks. The concertos are in mono, so not the best - but one can be more tolerant, when it's about Russian music :) I'd normally hate it with delicate ~impressionist music, for example - unless it's just a piano.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #621 on: December 08, 2021, 11:18:13 AM »
Getting back to Britten...

If you could only pick two song cycles from Britten to carry with you to the desert island, what would they be?
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Offline absolutelybaching

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #622 on: December 12, 2021, 10:18:04 AM »
Getting back to Britten...

If you could only pick two song cycles from Britten to carry with you to the desert island, what would they be?

I shall cheat!

If I'm allowed an orchestra, then it would have to be the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, followed by the Nocturne.
If we're talking song cycles with just voice and piano, I'd take the Winter Words and Who Are These Children -though that leaves me bereft of the Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, which would be a bit sad!
My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #623 on: December 12, 2021, 08:45:14 PM »
I shall cheat!

If I'm allowed an orchestra, then it would have to be the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, followed by the Nocturne.
If we're talking song cycles with just voice and piano, I'd take the Winter Words and Who Are These Children -though that leaves me bereft of the Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, which would be a bit sad!

All fine choices, indeed. 8) Winter Words I found especially good when I last listened to it. Of course, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and Nocturne are masterpieces.
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline Artem

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #624 on: December 15, 2021, 12:01:59 PM »
Any specific recordings for those pieces?

Offline absolutelybaching

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #625 on: December 17, 2021, 01:53:52 AM »
Any specific recordings for those pieces?

Well, there are all the obvious ones.

Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings was recorded by Britten and Pears in 1944 with the Boyd Neel Orchestra: mono, but Pears is in fine, young voice. I have the original 78rpms, but it was released on CD (for example: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7923805--british-music-collection-britten-walton). A later recording combines the Britten/Pears/London Symphony Orchestra recording of 1963 with the Britten/Pears/English Chamber Orchestra recording of the Nocturne in 1959 (see https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7932216--britten-serenade-nocturne-and-les-illuminations for an example).

The 1963/1959 recordings are really the reference recordings for both those works: good stereo sound, conducted by the composer, with excellent orchestral playing and Pears in good voice.

For Winter Words, there's the mono Britten/Pears recording of 1954, https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7949646--benjamin-britten-song-cycles. If you insist on better stereo sound, however, you aren't going to find it with those performers. I have the Daniel Norman/Christopher Gould recording of 2005 (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7965287--britten-who-are-these-children), which I like a lot: the tenor is Pears-ish clear and bright and the piano is Britten-esque crisp. I also have the Eric Rieger/J Penna recording of 2017, but I like it considerably less, because the piano sounds muted and the voice somewhat strangulated for my tastes. Both performers sound like they're piping their performance in from the next room over, too (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8459377--poets-journey-song-cycles-of-benjamin-britten).

For Who Are These Children, the reference recording remains the Britten/Pears one of 1972 (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7949646--benjamin-britten-song-cycles). However, that's also on the Norman/Gould recording previously mentioned, and is fine. There is quite a good Naxos recording of it too, with Mark Wilde and David Owen Norris (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8001121--britten-complete-scottish-songs), at budget price.

Hope that helps some. (And, PS, I'm not affiliated with Presto Music in any way! I just find them easy to search, sample and buy in both physical and digital formats).

« Last Edit: December 17, 2021, 01:57:11 AM by absolutelybaching »
My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Benjamin Britten
« Reply #626 on: December 17, 2021, 04:41:48 AM »
I'm no Britten expert but for Winter Words this cycle with the very great Ian partridge is hard to beat (I much prefer him to PP)



currently a copy is on Amazon UK for £1.76.... (plus p&p)

On the theme of Partridge ..... his Serenade is excellent too with Nicholas Busch the very fine horn soloist



also on Amazon for £1.84 for the 2 discs.  This set includes a very good Handley/Tippett/Double Concerto, Handley/RVW/Prelude & Fugue and Tallis Fantasia and a not bad Britten Violin Concerto and a not great Belshazzar's Feast.  The Tippett and the Serenade are the highlights.......