Benjamin Britten: Britten: The Collectors Edition (EMI Classics Audio CD x37)

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Catalogue No: 2175262
Britten: The Collectors Edition (EMI Classics Audio CD x37)

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Department: CDs - Save up to 15% - Classical CDs: Orchestral

Publisher: EMI Classics

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Born on the festival of St. Cecilia (the patron saint of music), Benjamin Britten is the most widely performed British 20th century composer. His craftsmanship and versatility produced works for every genre, from large-scale symphonic and operatic scores, to choral and vocal works, many of which were written for his partner Peter Pears. From 1945 onwards he founded a new English-language opera tradition, with works such as Peter Grimes and The Turn of the Screw now established in the international repertoire. His enormously successful War Requiem summed up his deeply-held pacifism.

Britten displayed insight into both the dark and light sides of human nature. Recurring themes in his works include conflicts between the outsider and society, moral good and lurking evil, innocence and experience. Partly as a vehicle for such themes and partly for educative purposes, he enjoyed writing a notable amount of works for, or involving, children - such as his famous The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell), and the Ceremony of Carols.

His music has strong links to literature. He had a lifelong collaboration with the poet WH Auden, and showed tremendous skills at setting words in adventurous ways which proved extremely communicative with the audience. His accompanying clarity of harmony enabled him to create scenes of perfect naïvity, menace, or sharp satire - indeed, he claimed it was his aim to achieve "perfect clarity of expression".

Discover every major Britten composition within this special 37-disc collector's edition from EMI Classics.
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Contents and Reviews

Contents

Disc 1 Sinfonia da Requiem Op. 20 Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes Op. 33 The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Op. 34 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor Pesek. rec. 1989 Disc 2 Canadian Carnival Op. 19 Wesley Warren, trumpet. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1982 Diversions for Piano (left hand) and Orchestra Op. 21 Peter Donohoe, piano. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1990 Scottish Ballad Op. 26 Peter Donohoe, Philip Fowke, pianos. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1982 An American Overture Op. 27 Occasional Overture Op. 38 City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1984 Building of the House Op. 79 CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1990 Disc 3 Piano Concerto Op. 13 Leif Ove Andsnes, piano. City of Birmingham SO/Paavo Järvi. rec. 1997 Violin Concerto Op. 15 Ida Haendel, violin. Bournemouth SO/Paavo Berglund. rec. 1977 Young Apollo Op. 16 Peter Donohoe, piano. Felix Kok, Jeremy Ballard, violins. Peter Cole, viola. Michal Kaznowski, cello. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1982 Disc 4 Simple Symphony Op. 4 (rec. 1990) Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge Op. 10 (rec. 1988) Prelude and Fugue Op. 29 Lachrymae Op. 48a Lars Anders Tomter, viola. Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Iona Brown. rec. 1991 Disc 5 Symphonic Suite from `Gloriana' Op. 53a Royal Liverpool PO/Takuo Yuasa. rec. 1994 Cello Symphony Op. 68 Steven Isserlis, cello. City of London Sinfonia/Nicholas Ward, Richard Hickox. rec. 1987 Men of Goodwill (Variations on a Christmas Carol for orchestra) Minnesota Orchestra/Sir Neville Marriner. rec. 1983 Disc 6 Sinfonietta Op. 1 Pauline Lowbury, Julian Tear, violins. Britten Sinfonia/Daniel Harding. rec. 1997 Russian Funeral City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1994 Suite on English Folk Tunes `A time there was...' Op. 90 Peter Walden, cor anglais. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1984 Matinees Musicales Op. 24 Soirees Musicales Op. 9 English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Alexander Gibson. rec. 1982 Rossini Suite original version of Soirees Musicales Boys of the Choir of Paisley Abbey chorus/George McPhee Scottish Chamber Orchestra/John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec. 1998 Disc 7 The Prince of Pagodas Op. 57 Acts I and II London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen. rec. 1989 Disc 8 The Prince of Pagodas Op. 57 Act III London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen. rec. 1989 Disc 9 Rhapsody for String Quartet Elegy for Solo Viola - Garfield Jackson, viola String Quartet in D - Nicholas Logie, viola Disc 10 Phantasy for Oboe and String Trio Op. 2 Three Divertimenti for String Quartet String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 25 Disc 11 String Quartet No. 2 in C Op. 36 String Quartet No. 3 Op. 94 Endellion String Quartet. rec. 1986 Disc 12 Cello Suite No. 1 in G Op. 72 Cello Suite No. 2 in D Op. 80 Cello Suite No. 3 Op. 87 Truls Mørk, cello. rec. 1998 & 2000 Disc 13 The Music For Solo Piano: Holiday Diary Op. 5 Three Character Pieces From Sonatina Romantica Five Waltzes - Stephen Hough, piano Two Lullabies for Two Pianos Introduction & Rondo alla burlesca Op. 23 No. 1 Stephen Hough, Ronan O'Hara, pianos. rec. 1990 Disc 14 Suite for Violin and Piano Op. 6 Alexander Barantschik, violin. John Adey, piano. rec. 1994 Cello Sonata in C Op. 65 Moray Welsh, cello. John Lenehan, piano. rec. 1994 Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for Solo Oboe Op. 49 Roy Carter, oboe. rec. 1995 Nocturnal after John Dowland Op. 70 Julian Bream, guitar. rec. 1992 Disc 15 War Requiem, Op. 66 Words from the Missa pro defunctis; poems by Wilfred Owen Requiem aeternam Dies irae Offertorium Sanctus Agnes Dei Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone) Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (directed by Francis Grier) CBSO Chorus (chorus master: Simon Halsey) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle, Mark Blatchly (chamber organ) Disc 16 War Requiem, Op. 66 Libera Me Elisabeth Soderstrom, soprano. Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Thomas Allen, baritone. Mark Blatchly, chamber organ. Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford/ Francis Grier CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1983 Spring Symphony Op. 44 Parts I-IV Sheila Armstrong, soprano. Dame Janet Baker, contralto. Robert Tear, tenor. St. Clement Danes School Boys' Choir/Keith Walters. London Symphony Chorus/Richard Hickox LSO/Andre Previn. rec. 1978 Disc 17 Hymn to St. Cecilia Op. 27 A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28 James Clark, Julian Godlee, trebles. Osian Ellis, harp Miss brevis in D Op. 63 Julian Brown, Christopher Anderson, Anthony Sackville, Rory Phillips & James Clark, trebles. Ian Hare, organ. Festival Te Deum Op. 32 Simon Channing, treble. James Lancelot, organ Rejoice in the Lamb Op. 30 Simon Channing, treble. James Bowman, countertenor. Richard Morton, tenor. Marcus Creed, bass. James Lancelot, organ. David Corkhill, percussion. Te Deum in C Rory Phillips, treble. James Lancelot, organ Jubilate Deo James Lancelot, organ. Choir of King's College, Cambridge/Sir David Willcocks, Sir Philip Ledger. rec. 1971, 72 & 74 Disc 18 A Hymn to the Virgin Stephen Barton, Hugh Hudleston, treble. Warren Trevelyan-Jones, tenor Francis Pott, bass Winchester Cathedral Choir/David Hill. rec. 1996 Saint Nicolas Op. 42 Robert Tear, tenor. Bruce Russell, treble. Andrew Davis & Ian Hare, piano duet. Cambridge Girl's Choir, Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner, Sir David Willcocks. rec. 1970. Hymn to St. Peter Op. 56a Mark Emney, Peter Rowe, trebles. Timothy Farrell, organ. Wandsworth School Choir/Russell Burgess. rec. 1968 A Hymn of St. Columba - Regis regum rectissimi Op. 56a Mark Emney, Peter Rowe, trebles. Christopher Hughes, Timothy Farrell, organ. Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Wandsworth School Choir/Russell Burgess. rec. 1968 Sacred and Profane Op. 91 Vasari Singers. Jeremy Backhouse. rec. 1992 Disc 19 The Little Sweep - A Children's Opera in 3 Scenes Op. 45 rec. 1977 A Boy was Born Op. 3 London Sinfonietta Chorus. Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral/John Scott, Terry Edwards A Shepherd's Carol for unaccompanied chorus, words by W. H. Auden Sarah Leonard, soprano. Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano. Peter Hall, tenor. Gordon Jones, baritone. London Sinfonietta Chorus/Terry Edwards. rec. 1988 Disc 20 Noye's Fludde Op. 59 rec. 1898 AMDG words by Gerard Manley Hopkins London Sinfonietta Chorus/Terry Edwards. rec. 1987 & 1988 The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard Baccholian Singers of London. Rogers Covey-Crump, Ian Partridge, Ian Thompson, Paul Elliott, tenors Ian Humphris, Stephen Varcoe, baritones. Michael George, Brian Etheridge, bass. rec. 1976 Disc 21 The Company of Heaven Parts I, II & III Peter Barkworth, Sheila Allen, narrators. Cathryn Pope, soprano. Dan Dressen, tenor. Christopher Herrick, organ London Philharmonic Chorus/Richard Cooke. English Chamber Orchestra/Philip Brunelle rec. 1989 Ballad of Heroes Op. 14 Robert Tear, tenor. CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle Praise We Great Men Alison Hargan, soprano. Mary King, contralto. Robert Tear, tenor Willard White, bass. CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1990 Disc 22 Les Illuminations Op. 18 Heather Harper, soprano. Northern Sinfonia Orchestra/Sir Neville Marriner. rec. 1970 Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings Op. 31 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (Tennyson) Neil Mackie, tenor, Barry Tuckwell, horn. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec. 1988 Nocturne Op. 60 Robert Tear, tenor. English C.O./Jeffrey Tate. rec. 1987 Disc 23 Quatre Chansons Francaises Jill Gomez, soprano. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1982 Our Hunting Fathers Op. 8 Folksong Arrangements Elisabeth Soderstrom, soprano. Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera/ Richard Armstrong. rec. 1982 Phaedra Op. 93 Felicity Palmer, mezzo-soprano. Jane Salmon, cello. Melvyn Tan, harpsichord. Endymion Ensemble/John Whitfield Five French Folksong Arrangements Felicity Palmer, mezzo-soprano. Endymion Ensemble/John Whitfield. rec. 1986 Disc 24 Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo Op. 22 Peter Pears, tenor, Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1942 Holy Sonnets of John Donne Op. 35 Peter Pears, tenor, Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1947 On This Island Op. 11 Winter Words Op. 52 Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Philip Ledger, piano. rec. 1973 Disc 25 The Five Canticles Folksong Arrangements Ian Bostridge, tenor. David Daniels, counter-tenor. Christopher Maltman, baritone Timothy Brown, horn. Aline Brewer, harp. Julius Drake, piano Disc 26 Two Songs by Thomas Hardy Beware! Three Early Songs Two Songs by W. H. Auden Three Rhymes by William Soutar Neil Mackie, tenor. Roger Vignoles, piano. rec. 1986 Tit for Tat (5 settings of poems by Walter de la Mare) Jonathan Lemalu, bass baritone. Malcolm Martineau, piano. rec. 2005 Two Ballads for Two Voices and Piano Felicity Lott, soprano. Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano. Graham Johnson, piano. rec. 1991 Folksong Arrangements Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Philip Ledger, piano. rec. 1974 Sarah Brightman, soprano. Geoffrey Parsons, piano. rec. 1986 Disc 27 Realisations of Henry Purcell - Odes and Elegies The Queen's Epicedium Peter Pears, tenor. Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1947 Orpheus Britannicus Felicity Lott, soprano. Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano. Graham Johnson, piano. rec. 1991. Neil Mackie, tenor. Roger Vignoles, piano. rec. 1986 Suite of Songs for High Voice and Orchestra Neil Mackie, tenor. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec. 1988 Orchestrations of Schubert & Schumann Neil Mackie, tenor. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec. 1988 Disc 28 Paul Bunyan - Operetta in 2 acts and prologue Op. 17 - ACT I rec. 1987 Disc 29 Paul Bunyan - ACT II Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series / Philip Brunelle Disc 30 & Disc 31 Peter Grimes rec. 1992 Anthony Rolfe Johnson; Felicity Lott; Thomas Allen; Patricia Payne; Maria Bovino; Gillian Webster; Stuart Kale; Stafford Dean; Sarah Walker; Neil Jenkins; Simon Keenlyside; David Wilson-Johnson Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Bernard Haitink Disc 32 + Disc 33 The Turn of the Screw rec. 2002 Ian Bostridge; Joan Rodgers; Julian Leang; Caroline Wise; Jane Henschel; Vivian Tierney Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Harding Disc 34 & Disc 35 A Midsummer Night's Dream rec. 1990 James Bowman; Lillian Watson; Dexter Fletcher; John Graham-Hall; Henry Herford; Della Jones; Jill Gomez; Norman Bailey; Penelope Walker Trinity Boys' Choir; City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox Disc 36 & Disc 37 The Rape of Lucretia Op. 37 Opera in 2 acts rec. 1947 Peter Pears; Joan Cross; Norman Lumsden; Denis Dowling; Frederick Sharp; Nancy Evans; Flora Nielsen; Margaret Ritchie English Opera Group Chamber Orchestra/Reginald Goodall Scenes from Peter Grimes Op. 33. rec. 1948 Peter Pears, tenor; Joan Cross, Tom Culbert, Herbert Dawson, BBC Theatre Chorus, Orchestra of the ROH Covent Garden/Reginald Goodall