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Britten - Les Illuminations [Hybrid SACD - Works on all CD players] [SACD]

Benjamin Britten Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1913. Although he was already composing vigorously as a child, he nonetheless felt the importance of some solid guidance and in 1928 turned to the composer Frank Bridge; two years later he went to the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Arthur Benjamin, Harold Samuel and John Ireland. While still a student, he wrote his ... Read more in Amazon's Benjamin Britten Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2005)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: SACD
  • Label: Linn Records
  • ASIN: B0007IP5GO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,269 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 -FanfareScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 -VillesScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - PhraseScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen0:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - AntiqueScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - RoyauteScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - MarineScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - InterludeScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - Being BeauteousScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - ParadeScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Les Illuminations, Op. 18 - DepartScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Introduction and ThemeScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - AdagioScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - MarchScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - RomanceScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Aria ItalianaScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Bourree ClassiqueScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Wiener WaltzerScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Moto PerpetuoScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Funeral MarchScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - ChantScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10 - Fugue and FinaleScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 7:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - PrologueScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - PastoralScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - NocturneScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - ElegyScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 4:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - DirgeScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - HymnScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 2:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen28. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - SonnetScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 3:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen29. Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31 - EpilogueScottish Ensemble/Clio Gould/Toby Spence/Martin Owen 1:47£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Pub discussion topic time: What made the charts of the sixties different from today's formularised fodder? Answer: variety. You may have noticed that genres are infinitely more fragmented these days, with hard house, handbag, techno, garage, indie, r'n'b, hip hop, old skool and a million other labels vying for chart action, while what your radio really plays is dance, rock or puerile pop. When the music on this album was made it was all just pop, and what a broad church it was too. Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label was the sixties incarnate; an independent with a commitment to no particular type of music, just a wish to be "part of the industry of human happiness" as the Rolling Stones manager, himself, said. Not until the days of Tony Wilson's Factory was this mission again so perfectly encapsulated. This double CD tells the gloriously checkered story to ample effect, hits misses and total flops included. Every aspect of the ambitious reach of the swinging sixties chart scene is represented, from freakbeat to soul via blues and psychedelia.

Oldham and partner Tony Calder had an uncanny knack for picking the distinctive stuff that a more discerning audience demanded in those heady days. The first release was the McCoy's "Hang On Sloopy" and while it was a good ten months before the label really got on a roll, the slew of early releases now stands as a body of work that contains some of the true legends. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers first single ("I'm Your Witchdoctor", featuring the young blues-purist Eric Clapton), appears here, as do fab waxings which still echo in today's derivative cattle market of pop ephemera. PP Arnold (" Angel Of The Morning") and Chris Farlow (" Handbags and Gladrags") both saw their career highs in the house of Immediate. Jimmy Page (numerous sessions), Keith Emerson (in the Nice), Rod Stewart (with PP Arnold and solo), Nico (the admittedly inappropriate "I'm Not Sayin'") and Andy Fairweather Low (Amen Corner's "If Paradise Is Half As Nice") all experienced their first (albeit fleeting) chart glory under Oldham's banner. It was all pop music in those days.

Even the obscure cuts have an irrepressible optimism that speaks of groovier times. The Fleur De Lys' cover of the Who's "Circles" (featuring a young Gordon Haskell on bass!) just brims with puppy dog energy that has yet to be tarnished by the jaded era about to unfold.

Finally, if you're still unsure, this mighty compilation contains two of the greatest singles EVER released. Fleetwood Mac's doleful "Man Of The World" was released while the band were caught between contracts and still stands as their finest chart entry. The Small Faces were, for a time, Immediate's top house band. Several of their finest moments are preserved here but among them is "Itchycoo Park"; two minutes and forty six seconds of pure psychedelic perfection. They never topped this moment and its summery vibe still most definitely contributes to the industry of human happiness. It's all too beautiful. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb tenor soloist 19 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
My goodness, what a wonderfully satisfying cd. Unfortunately, the label is not easy to come by, and one or two of the reviews were muted about this recording when it first appeared. However, I am very, very glad indeed that I decided to make up my own mind.

The Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings is now available in many versions and, of all Briten's works, this has probably done than any other to extend his reputation beyond this island. There are now recordings of this work by Pregardien (BIS) and Schreier, and Rattle has recently released a superb recording with Bostridege and the Berlin Phil, no less.

For my money, Toby Spence has produced a ravishing recording and need fear no comparisions with Bostridge at his mannered best. Spence was a senational success at the recent production of Barber of Seville at Covent Garden, but this recording confirms him as a substantial musician and artist, with his very own contribution to make.

The recording also features the Frank Bridge variations, to show case the Scottish Ensemble. The movement "Chant" impressed me the most - it really is the most accomplished picture in sound, though elsewhere the ensemble is a little leaner than some.

This cd is worth the purchase price for the Serenade alone - Toby Spence's performance is ravishing. Beautifully and sensitively done, with a highly intelligent use of language and vibrato. Wonderful! Now, what about a solo recital disc (Hahn, Poulenc, Barber?)

o, and technically, the sound quality of the cd is fablous (sacd hybrid)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly satisfying release of Britten greats 6 July 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here are three of Britten's greatest 'intimate' works on SACD. And most welcome they are, too; Britten is not well represented on this medium.

The great Frank Bridge Variations is crisp, incisive, dynamic and alert to all the nuances of Britten's revolutionary string sound. The doom-laden Serenade is graced with fabulous horn playing from Martin Owen and tenor singing from Toby Spence. The Illuminations? Well, I never quite get on with this piece, so I'll take a rain check on commenting.

And the sound? On my high-end stereo system, this SACD is characterised by a remarkably transparent and lifelike recording, with the varying ensembles locked in a convincing auditory space between and behind the speakers. Excellent focus and staging is achieved, together with good dynamics and very neutral balance (with notable string bass foundation) in the Bridge. Linn seems to be very good at recording small groups but - even by those high standards - this one is a real cracker.

Incidentally, overall string sound in the Bridge annihilates the much-praised (incorrectly) sound in the rival Pentatone Recording of this Britten piece, whilst the thoroughly idiomatic performance and playing is also far superior.

All in all, this recording is thoroughly recommended. Auditioned in SACD; as usual, the sonics collapse utterly on the RBCD layer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Showcase 1 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD
Not only does this recording live up to Linn's dedication to high quality sound, it also does it on two levels - as an SACD and as an HDCD. You do feel you're there with the Scottish ensemble.. recommended.
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