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NA 7205
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NA 7205

BRITTEN: Simple Symphony / Temporal Variations / Suite on English Folk Tunes

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2008

Originally recorded in 2008

Artists:

Northern Sinfonia


Steuart Bedford



Catherine Wyn-Rogers

mezzo-soprano

Nicholas Daniel

oboe

Philip Dukes

viola

Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Classical




Total Time - 71:47
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BENJAMIN BRITTEN

 

Simple Symphony, Op. 4

 
1 Boisterous Bourree 3:21
 
     
2 Playful Pizzacato 2:59
 
     
3 Sentimental Sarabande 6:34
 
     
4 Frolicsome Finale 3:03
 
     
 

Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews)

 
5 Theme 1:54
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
6 Oration 1:38
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
7 March 1:13
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
8 Exercises 0:59
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
9 Commination 1:21
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
10 Chorale 2:19
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
11 Waltz 1:34
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
12 Polka 1:09
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
13 Resolution 1:43
 Nicholas Daniel oboe
     
 

A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews)

 
14 A Cradle Song 2:59
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
     
15 The Highland Balou 2:03
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
     
16 Sephestia's Lullably 1:57
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
     
17 A Charm 2:02
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
     
18 The Nurse's Song 4:44
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
     
 

Lachrymae, Op. 48a

 
19 Theme 1:53
 Philip Dukes viola
     
20 Variation 1: Allegretto, andante molto 0:54
 Philip Dukes viola
     
21 Variation 2: Animato 1:29
 Philip Dukes viola
     
22 Variation 3: Tranquillo 1:53
 Philip Dukes viola
     
23 Variation 4: Allegro con moto 0:45
 Philip Dukes viola
     
24 Variation 5: Largamente 0:39
 Philip Dukes viola
     
25 Variation 6: Appasionato 0:53
 Philip Dukes viola
     
26 Variation 7: Alla valse moderato 0:58
 Philip Dukes viola
     
27 Variation 8: Allegro marcia 0:45
 Philip Dukes viola
     
28 Variation 9: Lento 0:50
 Philip Dukes viola
     
29 Variation 10: L'istesso tempo 3:31
 Philip Dukes viola
     
 

Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was …"

 
30 Cakes and Ale 2:30
 
     
31 The Bitter Withy 2:32
 
     
32 Hankin Booby 2:06
 
     
33 Hunt the Squirrel 1:20
 
     
34 Lord Melbourne 5:17
 
 Steuart Bedford


 The works on this recording cover the entire span of Britten’s published output – from the Simple Symphony of 1934, to the string orchestral arrangement of Lachrymae completed in the last year of his life. Britten always retained a special affection for his childhood efforts and in the Simple Symphony reworked his earliest compositions making them ‘more fit for general consumption’. In contrast there is a special poignancy about the works of his final three years, composed after Britten’s unsuccessful heart operation. In its earthy treatment of the folk-song material, the Suite on English Folk Tunes, his last purely orchestral work, is at the furthest remove from the sentimentality often associated with the English pastoral tradition.

"...Not all of Britten’s music is as easily digestive as the works on this CD.It is a lovely program, well played and recorded ..."
 
Jerry Dubins - Fanfare - July/August 2005

"The Trois aquarelles for flute, cello, and piano comprise the most substantial piece on this disc, lasting nearly a quarter hour, and they’re so lovely that it’s almost painful. Also noteworthy: the sexy little Divertissement grec for two flutes and harp, and the charming Suite in four movements that concludes the disc. But really, if you like any of it, you’ll love all of it. Boston Symphony Orchestra flutist Fenwick Smith plays these pieces with a big, full tone and complete absence of irritating breathiness. In the Divertissement, he and his BSO colleague Jacques Zoon play wooden flutes, and his fellow musicians support him admirably. Pianist Sally Pinkas makes a particularly considerate partner, managing to characterize her playing quite well without overwhelming the flute in climactic passages. The sonics also do full justice to Smith’s limpid tone and offer excellent balances between the various performers...this is a delightful disc by any standard, and one that works equally well as a light background or as an engaging foreground."
 
David Hurwitz - ClassicsToday.com - March 2004
 

"Steuart Bedford brings the keenest intelligence and intuitive feeling to everything here. The anthology spans the whole of Britten’s career. The Temporal Variations of 1936, originally for oboe and piano, are effectively scored for strings by Colin Matthews—as, for that matter is his orchestration of A Charm of Lullabies of 11 years later. The elegiac, valedictory Suite on English Folk Tunes is touching and affecting, and Bedford’s is the finest reading of it in the current catalogue. All the soloists are impeccable and the disc fills an important gap in the Britten discography with real distinction, to say nothing of economy."    *** - Key Note Recording
 
Penguin Guide - January 2009



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