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Thread: Benjamin Britten

  1. #61
    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Manager View Post
    He was one of the most uneven composers of the 20th century
    given his brilliance that outshone the rest in the field, he could well afford writing 'uneven' stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Manager View Post
    I think the comparison of Shostakovich and Wagner doesn't really stand up.
    yes it does, in terms of orchestration. Shostakovitch was one of the best orchestrators ever, his scores do sound as powerful as Wagner's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharik View Post
    given his brilliance that outshone the rest in the field, he could well afford writing 'uneven' stuff.


    yes it does, in terms of orchestration. Shostakovitch was one of the best orchestrators ever, his scores do sound as powerful as Wagner's.
    OK, whatever you say
    Last edited by Delicious Manager; Jan-23-2013 at 13:58.

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    I am unfamiliar with most of Britten's oeuvre. I seen his violin concerto and War Requiem performed live, and while both were riveting, I have come to love the violin concerto, while the War Requiem is not something I imagine myself listening to often. What more along the lines of the violin concerto should I explore?

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    The Cello Symphony

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicalDJ View Post
    I am unfamiliar with most of Britten's oeuvre. I seen his violin concerto and War Requiem performed live, and while both were riveting, I have come to love the violin concerto, while the War Requiem is not something I imagine myself listening to often. What more along the lines of the violin concerto should I explore?
    Try the Sinfonia da requiem as well.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    My choir is singing the War Requiem in April.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Try the Sinfonia da requiem as well.
    Both available on a London CD.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Two other concertante works works investigating are the early Double Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra (Kremer, Bashmet and the Halle Orch. conducted by Kent Nagano) and the string orchestra arrangement of the Lachrymae (after a song by Dowland) for viola and piano (Tomter and the Norwegian Chamber Orch. conducted by Iona Brown).

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    The War Requiem... Never a favorite, it seems, but a purposeful and powerful piece. There were opinions many years back that its appeal would fade if nuclear war were no longer an overriding concern, but I don't think this has happened. Does anybody here favor this music?


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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    The Sinfonia Da Requiem, Violin Concerto, and Four Sea Interludes are my current three favorites. It is possible this would change with greater familiarity with his work.

    I also recall greatly liking one of his String Quartets, possibly his 2nd.

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  15. #71
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    A review of a recently published Britten biography-- 'A Life in the 20th Century' by Paul Kildea.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/...ry-paul-kildea

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  17. #72
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Another article for Britten 100, this from the LA Times.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,6326694.story

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    Senior Member Cheyenne's Avatar
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    Could somebody, on a slightly different note, recommend me some of Britten's conducting catologue? Intrigued as I was with his Brandenburg concertos, which is the first recording under his baton I heard, they now rest, together with Furtwängler's and Klemperer's Brandenburgs, on the pile of 'interesting but ultimately not very durable performances'. I have his own recording of his War Requiem, which was a significant upgrade from the others I heard, though admittedly only in fragments. Is the Decca 7-CD collection of him conducting his own works worthy of purchasing?

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyenne View Post
    Could somebody, on a slightly different note, recommend me some of Britten's conducting catologue? Intrigued as I was with his Brandenburg concertos, which is the first recording under his baton I heard, they now rest, together with Furtwängler's and Klemperer's Brandenburgs, on the pile of 'interesting but ultimately not very durable performances'. I have his own recording of his War Requiem, which was a significant upgrade from the others I heard, though admittedly only in fragments. Is the Decca 7-CD collection of him conducting his own works worthy of purchasing?
    His Mozart is superb & more interesting than his Bach IMO - the symphonies (especially no.40) and the piano concertos with Curzon, both on Decca, with great sound.

    As for his own compositions, I don´t really have enough versions/listening experience to compare them. But overall they seem fine, with enough sentiment, well-integrated, and with good sound. Peter Pears is prominent in many of the vocal works and technically sings OK, but the character of his voice isn´t my cup of tea; most would disagree with my taste there, though. Hickox/ASV seems more dramatic in the Bridge Variations, but still Britten is OK (or more) there too.

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  21. #75
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyenne View Post
    Could somebody, on a slightly different note, recommend me some of Britten's conducting catologue? Intrigued as I was with his Brandenburg concertos, which is the first recording under his baton I heard, they now rest, together with Furtwängler's and Klemperer's Brandenburgs, on the pile of 'interesting but ultimately not very durable performances'. I have his own recording of his War Requiem, which was a significant upgrade from the others I heard, though admittedly only in fragments. Is the Decca 7-CD collection of him conducting his own works worthy of purchasing?
    FYI some of the most prominent recs. with Britten conducting. I'm not recommending...just listing.

    Decca 10 CD box, Britten conducts Britten (includes 2 CDs for War Requiem).

    http://www.allmusic.com/album/britte...n-mw0001552600

    Decca/London Britten PC, VC, with Richter, Lubotsky.

    http://www.amazon.com/Britten-Piano-...ichter+britten

    Decca/London Britten orchestral.

    http://www.amazon.com/Britten-Person...ten+conducting

    Decca/London Mozart Symphonies.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Symphon...britten+mozart

    Decca Mozart PCs 20 & 27 w. Curzon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-C...britten+mozart

    BBC Legends Mozart PC 27 w. Richter.

    http://www.amazon.com/Britten-Perfor...britten+mozart
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Mar-15-2013 at 23:16.

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