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Thread: SS 08.09.18 - Britten "Spring Symphony"

  1. #16
    Member Iota's Avatar
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    The above is the recording I've been listening to.

    I find the Spring Symphony a haunting and expressive work, Britten seems to me such a lean composer, his music always stripped of anything superfluous to expressive intent.
    There certainly seems to be something of an irony in its often muted colours and moods, in light of its 'Spring' title, and yet within that palette it's emotionally vivid and moving. And when he finally does let his hair down, tossing a 2/4 'Sumer is icumen in' into 3/4 proceedings in the Finale, the result is spine tingling!

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    I hadn't given this Symphony a spin for a good long while, not being a great Britten fan it isn't high on the list of "to be listened to discs". That is why I like this thread - it gets me digging out music I would otherwise bypass.
    I enjoyed the work as much as any other Britten work and better than most but I must confess I won't be rushing back to it in great haste.

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  5. #18
    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I enjoyed listening to this again more than I had in the past (I heard the Previn recording). My problem is I just don't think of it as a symphony, even though it's called one. I'll be listening to it more when I'm in the mood for choral works. Thanks for suggesting it RDB.

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    Senior Member Weird Heather's Avatar
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    I got busy with other things and didn't get to it until now. I listened to the live performance in the YouTube link near the beginning of this thread.

    I like Britten now, although it took time for me to warm up to his music. I hadn't previously heard this one, but it is the sort of thing I like - a big choral/orchestral piece with a good variation in moods and interesting orchestral colors. Also, I am somewhat interested in music that is inspired in some way by nature and/or seasonal cycles and how such music changed over the centuries; for example, the differences between the Pastoral Symphonies of Beethoven and Vaughan Williams, or perhaps the contrasts among this symphony and Schumann's and Raff's "Spring" symphonies. There are parallels in literature, and music with a text, such as this, could be analyzed closely and compared to trends in the literary world. I might eventually start up a thread on the subject if I can properly organize my thoughts.

  8. #20
    Senior Member Pat Fairlea's Avatar
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    A fascinating recording of Sprinng Symphony is of the 1949 premiere performance, informally recorded then released by Decca on 440 063-2. The sound quality is poor, especially at the outset, but it's a joyous, optimistic performance. Blending of the three principal voices (Jo Vincent, Kathleen Ferrier, Peter Pears) is quite beautiful. And there is something wonderful about this hymn to rebirth being premiered in shattered Amsterdam just a few years after the War.

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