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Britten

This week examines the life and work of Benjamin Britten. Called the great communicator, Britten’s works such as "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, "Peter Grimes" and the "War Requiem" are both edgy and accessible.  Happy 100th Brithday, Britten! 

 
Program 1

On Monday  we learn about Britten's childhood nicknames, compositions, and the deep bond between him and his teacher, Frank Bridge. 

 

 

Britten: Simple Symphony, IV
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 423624
2:51
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Bridge: Moonlight fr. The Sea
Royal Liverpool Phil/Groves
EMI 66855
5:18
Purchase

Britten: Sinfonietta, I & III
Hallé Orchestra/Nagano
Erato 25502
8:15
Purchase

Britten: A Boy Was Born (excerpts)
Finzi Singers, Lichfield Cathedral Choir/Spicer
Chan 9701
8:58
Purchase

Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (excerpts)
English Chamber Orchestra/Britten
Lon 417509
7:00
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Britten: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 13, I
English Chamber Orch/Britten; Richter, p.
Lon 417308
12:04
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Program 2

On Tuesday, Britten meets the magnetic W.H Auden and he embarks on an adventure to America.

Britten: Violin Concerto, Op. 15, I
LSO/Rostropovich; Vengerov, v.
EMI 57510
10:04
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Britten: Les Illuminations, Op. 18 (excerpts)
English Chamber Orch/Britten; Pears, ten.
Lon 417153
7:27
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Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20, I
London Phil/Slatkin
RCA 61226
7:57
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Britten: Paul Bunyan (excerpts)
Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Hickox
Chan 9781
4:28
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Britten: Quartet for Strings No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25, I
Endellion String Quartet
EMI 47695
8:39
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Britten: Pastoral & Nocturne fr. Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Op. 31
Boyd Neel String Orchestra/Britten; Pears, ten.; Brain, hn.
Lon 425996
7:06
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Program 3

On Wednesday, the sky darkens and the tide rises with Britten's Peter Grimes and we meet another, equally important Peter, Peter Pears.

Britten: Hymn fr. Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Op. 31
LSO/Britten; Tuckwell, hn.
Lon 417153
2:01
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Britten: Peter Grimes, Op. 33 (excerpts)
Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Haitink; Johnson, ten.; Allen, bar.; Lott, s.
EMI 54832
7:16, 5:17, 1:31, 5:27, :36, 1:16, 2:34
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Britten: Four Sea Interludes fr. Peter Grimes- Moonlight & Sunday Morning
London Phil/Slatkin
RCA 61226
8:21
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Britten: Quartet for Strings No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36, I
Endellion String Quartet
EMI 47696
7:51
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Britten: Rossini Suite, II & IV
Scottish Chamber Orch/Bedford; Bedford, p.
EMI 49480
4:10
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Program 4

On Thursday, we explore Britten's War Requiem and one of his greatest causes: pacifism. 

Britten: Spring Symphony, Op. 44, finale
Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Britten; Pears, ten.; Proctor, contralto; Vyvyan, s.
Lon 425153
7:26
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Britten: Pan from Metamorphoses after Ovid for oboe solo, Op. 49
Carter, ob.
EMI 55398
2:20
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Britten: Suite from Gloriana, Op. 53a, I & II
Bournemouth Symphony/Segal
EMI 69422
8:21
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Britten: The Prince of the Pagodas (excerpts)
London Sinfonietta/Knussen
Virgin 91103
6:50
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Britten: Nocturne for Tenor, 7 Obbligato Instruments & Strings (excerpts)
English Chamber Orch/Britten; Pears, ten.
EMI 417153
5:35
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Britten: Requiem Aeternam fr. War Requiem, Op. 66
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Rattle; Tear, ten.; Allen, bar.; Söderström, s.
EMI 47034
9:51
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Britten: Suite for Solo Cello, Op. 72, II
Rostropovich, vc.
EMI 72016
2:20
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Program 5

Our Friday, two slain soldiers meet in the War Requiem's "Libera Me". Then we sample some folk songs and end on a bright note: Britten's how-to-guide for young classical music listeners.  

Britten: War Requiem, Op. 66 (excerpts)
LSO/Britten; Preston, org.; Vishnev-skaya, s.; Fischer-Dieskau, bar.; Pears, ten.
Lon 414383
9:42, 21:32
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Britten: Folksongs, Vol. 3, No. 6: “Waly, Waly”
Britten Sinfonia/Harding; Bostridge, ten.
EMI 56871
1:23
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Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34
Royal Phil/Previn
Telarc 80126
17:08
Purchase

 

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You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
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Michael Sanders
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Kourtney
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
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Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
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Jean Quay
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