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Benjamin Britten: Canticles Nos. 1-6/The Heart of the Matter (Naxos Audio CD)

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Catalogue No: 8557202
Shop Product Code: 2034604

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Usually despatched within 24 - 48 hours

Department: CDs - Classical CDs: Vocal, Choral & Opera

Publisher: Select Music

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Jean Rigby (mezzo soprano)
Derek Lee Ragin (alto)
Philip Langridge (tenor)
Gerald Finley (baritone)
Frank Lloyd (horn)
Osian Ellis (harp)
Steuart Bedford (piano)

Dame Judi Dench (narrator)

Britten's five Canticles are marvellously vivid, intensely dramatic works.

Although they were not designed to be performed together - they span virtually his whole career, from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s, & were composed for a variety of forces & singers - they form a remarkably effective sequence.

Each is in some way inspired by religion & takes the form of an extended song, scena, miniature cantata, mini opera.

“As ever, Langridge’s declamation is spectacularly vivid. No detail of the vocal or verbal writing escapes him as he presents note and text as if new-minted. … It is as if composer and interpreter see to the heart of Sitwell’s and Eliot’s words respectively; in the third, Frank Lloyd’s evocative playing is a further asset. … Dame Judi Dench reads the texts with total conviction.”
Gramophone on the original Collins Classics issue.

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Contents and Reviews

Contents
Canticle I, Op. 40:
My Beloved is mine

Canticle II, Op. 51:
Abraham and Isaac

The Heart of the Matter (rev. P. Pears, 1983):
Prologue - Fanfare: Where are the seeds of the Universal Fire
Reading: The earth of my heart was broken and gaped low - Fanfare
Reading: In the hour when the sapphire of the bone
Song: We are the darkness in the heat of the day
Reading: In such a heat of the earth
Canticle III, Op. 55: Still Falls the Rain
Reading: I see Christ's wounds weep in the Rose on the wall
Epilogue - Fanfare: So, out of the dark

Canticle IV, Op. 86: Journey of the Magi

Canticle V, Op. 89: The Death of Saint Narcissus
  

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