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Britten: Cello Symphony, Sinfonia da Requiem

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Britten: Cello Symphony, Sinfonia da Requiem + Britten: War Requiem  (DECCA The Originals)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
  • Conductor: Benjamin Britten
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2011)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: London
  • ASIN: B00000INXW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,529 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op.68 - Allegro maestosoBenjamin Britten12:33£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op.68 - Presto inquietoBenjamin Britten 3:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op.68 - AdagioBenjamin Britten10:35£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op.68 - PassacagliaBenjamin Britten 7:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op.20 - LacrymosaBenjamin Britten 8:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op.20 - Dies IraeBenjamin Britten 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op.20 - Requiem aeternamNew Philharmonia Orchestra 6:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Britten: Cantata Misericordium, Op.69Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau19:52£2.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
It is so strange how one's relationship with a piece of music can evolve. This disc has sat on my shelf for more than ten years, played only a handful of times. Respected because of my profound admiration for its author, but unloved because of my chronic failure to comprehend the first few bars of the Cello Symphony, the opening item, which instilled in me a first impression of the whole disc as one of teeth-grinding disquiet. A recent revival in my interest in Britten has caused me to revisit the disc, whereupon I decided to try and get an alternative take on the offending work via the recent Naxos recording, Britten: Cello Symphony. Persistence with the Naxos version of the Cello Symphony led me to some kind of tentative understanding of the thing, whereby I came to conclude that the work was a coded criticism of the Soviet system under which Rostropvich, its dedicatee, was obliged to abide. I could conceive of no other reason that Britten might have penned such a lump of gauche and lopsided distress. As such I came to view the work as one that was morally admirable, but dated and no longer pertinent to our times. Having arrived at this conclusion I thought to give the Britten/Rostropovich version one last listen before consigning it to the nevermore shelf, and then the magic happened. Suddenly this piece just opened up to me like a thousand petalled lotus, and I was falling into it through layer upon layer of depth and detail. Spurious historicist interpretations left far behind, I found myself inside a world of beauty that bought to mind the intricate inner workings of a living cell, or the ebb and flow of lights across a vast night time metropolis.Read more ›
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Oct 2011
Format: Audio CD
... but this is a CD of greatness. Britten wrote few orchestral works and those he did write were mostly from an early part of his career. A fine example isthe Sinfonia da Requiem that is given here. It is a work that has gained some popularity - attractive, memorable and fairly easy going - but lacks just a little of the bite and focus that Britten was already achieving with his vocal settings.

The Cello Symphony is particularly rare because it is a relatively late, and certainly a mature, orchestral work. It is a masterpiece - one of quite few that Rostopovich caused to be written - and a towering one at that. It is a work of great profundity and depth .... and despite listeners' initial difficulties with the piece that John Ferngrove refers to in the other review here (which are real - it is not an easy piece) it is a piece that truly takes flight in an inspiring way. I'm not sure about the coded anti-Soviet programme that John Ferngrove ascribes to the piece - why is everything that touches on Russia written in code and about how awful the regime there was? - but if a programme helps you to get into a work then so be it. To me it is just Britten's very considerable contribution to the orchestral (and cello) repertoire of the later part of the 20th century. A must know piece of still slightly modern music.

These performances are, of course, authoritative and the recorded sound is pretty good. But they are more than that. Rostopovich was an incredible cellist and a great musician. He brought an intensity and thrill to everything he played - he was brilliant at getting inside the music and speaking from within it. His account of the Britten Symphony is just astonishing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Mar 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Is Britten's centennial year, and I imagine some other admirers of his music are using the occasion, as I am myself, to fill in gaps in our collections. Verdi and Wagner have centenaries in 2013 also, and we would think it a privilege to have recordings of them conducting their own work. On this disc we have another great master directing performances of his, and that alone should make the disc a must. Add to that the presence of three of the 20th century's greatest executants, and this cd is turning into a double-must.

Britten did not write a great deal for instruments alone, and we have two of his most important works of that kind here. The cello symphony is a late piece, intended if fate had allowed to be the first of a succession of compositions for Rostropovich. The Sinfonia da Requiem is a well-loved favourite from Britten's early career, but we are back to his late period with last item, a Latin cantata taking the New Testament story of the good Samaritan, set by the master for chorus and orchestra with two soloists, Piers no less as the Samaritan and Fischer-Dieskau no less as the traveller left for dead by robbers. Three different top-notch orchestras take part, and the chorus is the chorus of the LSO. The recordings date from the early 1960's. They are very good for their time, very clear and with the solo cello given what I would call just about the right balance with the orchestra. Britten obviously knew his own mind when he called this work a symphony and not a concerto. The solo part sounds difficult, but it is not virtuoso stuff, and the prominence given to the cello should be something like the prominence the viola would get in Berlioz's Harold in Italy.

Those are among the credit-marks to the recording.
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