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

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Catalogue No: 4785672
Benjamin Britten: The Performer (Decca Classics Audio CD x27)

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Subtitle: Complete Decca Recordings Box Set

Department: CDs - Save up to 15% - 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 The existence of a few unpublished Schubert songs was already known and a few works which had never appeared on CD already ensured their inclusion at the planning stage. However the discovery of an unpublished tape containing almost 50 minutes of Mozart (including Symphony No. 40) with the London Symphony Orchestra recorded in Kingsway Hall in December 1963 was a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

Contents and Reviews


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