"… Among new issues, I especially like Signum’s complete recording of the five Canticles whose compositions spanned almost Britten’s entire creative career ... The tenor Ben Johnson and his pianist James Baillieu have the measure of this often dense and difficult music ... Some canticles require other performers, including the baritone Benedict Nelson, and the harpist Lucy Wakeford. All perform well ..." ****
David Mellor - The Mail on Sunday - March 2013
"Ben Johnson is rising rapidly through the richly stocked ranks of young British tenors. His musical range is wide (as demonstrated by the current ENO production of La Traviata), but Johnson has already made a particular name for himself singing Britten, as is confirmed by this very fine disc of the five canticles composed for Peter Pears between 1947 and 1974... If the other vocal contributions don’t always quite match Johnson’s impeccable phrasing and subtle control and colouring, this is nonetheless a superb collection containing some of the most intensely beautiful of all Britten’s vocal writing." ****
Andrew Clements - The Guardian - February 2013
"...There’s nothing precious or pained about Ben Johnson’s tenor in his admirable recording of the five Canticles. The tone is sturdy, open and direct..."
Geoff Brown - The Times - March 2013
"Tenor Ben Johnson, accompanied by James Baillieu, performs Britten’s five Canticles. The music embraces a variety of styles, including song, opera, cantata and chamber music. The album includes contributions from countertenor Christopher Ainslie and baritone Benedict Nelson. Released as part of the celebration of Britten’s centenary, this CD comes highly recommended."
Gavin Engelbrecht - Northern Echo - February 2013
"One of the more interesting of the tide of Britten centenary tributes... Set to piano parts occasionally refelcting the influence of the French Romantics, the most intriguing realisation are those on which tenor Ben Johnson is joined by other voices - with baritone and countertenor as the three Magi in ’Canticle IV", and most sublimely, paired countertenor for the Abraham and Issac story of Canticle II."
Andy Gill - The Independent - 22 February 2013
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