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Britten, Benjamin: Benjamin Britten: The Performer (Decca Classics Audio CD x27)  

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Catalogue No: 4785672

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Subtitle: Complete Decca Recordings Box Set

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

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This 27-CD set brings together for the first time Britten's complete Decca recordings as pianist and conductor in which he performs music by other composers - an astonishing variety of music that ranges from large-scale choral works by Bach and Purcell to Schumann and Elgar, as well as orchestral works by Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. Solo vocal repertory is generously represented with important works by Schubert and Schumann and early twentieth-century English song. Chamber music features Britten the pianist in partnership with two of Britten's closest collaborators: Mstislav Rostropovich and Sviatoslav Richter.

During the research and preparation for this set a major discovery was made. The existence of a few unpublished Schubert songs was already known and a few works which had never appeared on CD already ensured their inclusion at the planning stage. However the discovery of an unpublished tape containing almost 50 minutes of Mozart (including Symphony No. 40) with the London Symphony Orchestra recorded in Kingsway Hall in December 1963 was a genuine once in a lifetime discovery!

Included in the booklet are:-
Article by Britten scholar Dr Philip Reed assesses Britten’s contribution as a performer
Article on Pears and Britten performing Winterreise by one of today’s great accompanists and writers on music, Graham Johnson

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Contents and Reviews

Contents
CDs1-2
Bach: St John Passion, BWV245
Heather Harper (Soprano), Alfreda Hodgson (Mezzo-soprano), Peter Pears (Tenor), Robert Tear (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone), Gwynne Howell (Bass), Wandsworth School Boys' Choir, English Chamber Orchestra

CD3
Bach: Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kommt (Cantata BWV 151)
Bach: Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben (Cantata BWV 102)
Heather Harper (Soprano), Janet Baker (Mezzo-soprano), Helen Watts (Contralto), Peter Pears (Tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Wandsworth School Boys' Choir, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047
English Chamber Orchestra

CD4
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in G, BWV 1050
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in Bb, BWV 1051
English Chamber Orchestra

CDs5-6
Purcell: The Fairy Queen (ed.Britten/Holst/Pears)
Jennifer Vyvyan (Soprano), Mary Wells (Soprano), Norma Burrowes (Soprano), Alfreda Hodgson (Mezzo-soprano), James Bowman (Counter-tenor), Charles Brett (Counter-tenor), Peter Pears (Tenor), Ian Partridge (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirke (Baritone), Owen Brannigan (Bass), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra
Purcell: Celebrate This Festival, Z.321 - Birthday Ode for Queen Mary
Heather Harper (Soprano), Josephine Veasey (Mezzo-soprano), James Bowman (Counter-tenor), Peter Pears (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone), Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra

CD7
Haydn: Symphony No.45 in F# minor, Hob.I/45 - "Farewell"
Haydn: Symphony No.55 in Eb, Hob.I/55 - "The Schoolmaster"

Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C, Hob.VIIb/1
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), English Chamber Orchestra

CD8
Mozart: Symphony No.25 in G minor, K.183
Mozart: Serenata notturna in D, K.239
Mozart: Symphony No.29 in A, K.201
English Chamber Orchestra

CD9
Mozart: Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550
Mozart: Symphony No.38 in D, K.504 - "Prague"
English Chamber Orchestra

CD10
Mozart: Symphony No.41 in C, K.551 - "Jupiter"
Mozart: Symphony No.39 in E flat, K.543
English Chamber Orchestra
Mozart: Si mostra la sorte, K.209 (Live in London)
Mozart: Per pietà, non ricercate, K.420 (Live in London)
Peter Pears (Tenor), English Chamber Orchestra

CDs11-12
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.12 in A, K.414
Benjamin Britten (Piano), Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra
Mozart: Sonata for Piano Duet in C, K.521
Mozart: Sonata for Piano Duet in D, K.448
Sviatoslav Richter (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in Bb, K.595
Clifford Curzon (Piano), English Chamber Orchestra

CD13
Schubert: Symphony No.8 in B minor, D.759 - "Unfinished"
English Chamber Orchestra
Schubert: Sonata for Arpeggione & Piano in A minor, D.821
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Schubert: Divertissement in E minor, D.823
Debussy: En Blanc et Noir
Sviatoslav Richter (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CD14
Schubert: Fantasy in F minor Op.103, D.940
Schubert: Variations on an original Theme in A flat, D.813
Schubert: Grand Duo Sonata in C major Op. posth.140, D.812
Sviatoslav Richter (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CDs15-17
Schubert: Winterreise, D.911
Schubert: Die Schöne Müllerin, D.957
Schumann: Dichterliebe, Op.48
Schubert: Selected Lieder
Peter Pears (Tenor), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CDs18-19
Schumann: Szenen aus Goethes 'Faust'
Elizabeth Harwood (Soprano), Jennifer Vyvyan (Soprano), Felicity Palmer (Soprano), Jenny Hill (Soprano), Pauline Stevens (Soprano), Meriel Dickinson (Contralto), Margaret Cable (Contralto), Peter Peas (Tenor) John Elwes (Tenor), Neil Mackie (Tenor), John Noble (Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone), Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra
Schumann: 5 Stücke im Volkston, Op.102
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CDs20-21
Delius: Summer Night on the River
Delius: Two Aquarelles
Bridge: Christmas Dance, "Sir Roger de Coverley"
Elgar: Introduction & Allegro for Strings, Op.47
English Chamber Orchestra
Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38
Yvonne Minton (Mezzo-soprano), Peter Pears (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone), The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra

CD22
Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello & Piano, Op.40
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Shostakovich: Seven Poems of Alexander Blok, Op.127
Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano), Emanuel Hurwitz (Violin), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Janácek: Pohádka for Cello & Piano
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CD23
Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge
Peter Pears (Tenor), Zorian String Quartet
Bridge: Phantasie in F# minor for Piano Quartet
Norbert Brainin (Violin), Peter Schidlof (Viola), Martin Lovett (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Bridge: Sonata for Cello & Piano
Debussy: Sonata for Cello & Piano in D minor, L.135
Mstislav Rostropovich (Cello), Benjamin Britten (Piano)

CDs24-25
Songs by: Grainger, Purcell, Haydn, Holst, Bridge, Butterworth, Moeran, Warlock, Ireland, Berkeley, Oldham & Tippett

CD26
Schubert: Selected Lieder
Various Artists, Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Byrd: Variations on 'Sellinger's Round'
Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra
Britten: Fanfare from 'Gloriana'
Anon.: God Save The Queen
Chorus of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra



CD27
Handel: Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day, HWV76
Heather Harper (Soprano), Peter Pears (Tenor), Chorus of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra
Mozart: Overture to 'Così fan tutte', K.588
London Symphony Orchestra
Mozart: Si mostra la sorte, K.209
Mozart: Per pietà, non ricercate, K.420
Peter Pears (Tenor), London Symphony Orchestra
Mozart: Maurerische Trauermusik in C minor, K.477/479a
Mozart: Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550
London Symphony Orchestra
  

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