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Britten: Phaedra/ a Charm of Lullabies [CD]

Edward Gardner Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 13.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner began his tenure as Music Director of English National Opera in May 2007 with a critically acclaimed new production of Britten’s Death in Venice. Under his direction, the ENO has presented a series of stellar productions, including Damnation of Faust, Boris Godunov, Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci, ... Read more in Amazon's Edward Gardner Store

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Product details

  • Conductor: Gardner
  • Composer: B. Britten
  • Audio CD (26 April 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B004SVNIGA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,888 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Phaedra, Op. 93Sarah Connolly15:09Album Only
Listen  2. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): A Cradle SongSarah Connolly 2:240.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): The Highland BalouSarah Connolly 1:490.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): Sephestia's LullabySarah Connolly 1:560.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. A CharmSarah Connolly 1:510.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): The Nurse's SongSarah Connolly 4:230.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Lachrymae, Op. 48aMaxim Rysanov15:40Album Only
Listen  8. 2 Portraits: No. 1. David Layton: Poco prestoMaxim Rysanov 9:05Album Only
Listen  9. 2 Portraits: No. 2. E.B.B.: Poco lentoMaxim Rysanov 6:110.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Sinfonietta, Op. 1: I. Poco presto ed agitatoBBC Symphony Orchestra 4:140.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Sinfonietta, Op. 1: II. VariationsBBC Symphony Orchestra 6:210.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Sinfonietta, Op. 1: III. TarantellaBBC Symphony Orchestra 4:110.59  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Review

Vivid soloists in works that span Britten's career.Imaginative programme,Highly recommended. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone,July'11

This disc,part of a series that clearly deserves the most serious attention from Britten collectors,is very strongly recommended. --IRR,May'11

Maxim Rysanov compels in introspective conversation with the excellent BBC Symphony strings in Lachrymae and is also behind the very fine self portrait of the teenage composer in Two Portraits. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,July'11

Britten's extraordinary ability to sound engagingly fresh and contemporary without resorting to gimmicks or 'isms' comes bubbling to the surfce in these fine performances. **** --Classic fm Magazine,July'11

Most people will, I suspect, be drawn to this disc by the thought of Sarah Connolly singing Phaedra, the cantata that Britten wrote in 1975 for Janet Baker, with whom Connolly has often been compared. And she is indeed very fine in it, albeit more self-dramatising than Baker and therefore less sympathetic. The real stunner, however, is Lachrymae, Britten's Reflections on a Song of Dowland, originally written for viola and piano in 1950, though given here in the orchestral version Britten completed shortly before his death in 1976. An austere meditation on the relationship between art and mortality, it benefits immensely from Edward Gardner's lean conducting and the sparse intensity of Maxim Rysanov's playing. Rysanov also plays the effusive yet melancholy Two Portraits, composed when Britten was only 16, while Connolly is notably haunting in Colin Matthews's orchestration of the 1947 song cycle A Charm of Lullabies. Another early work, the Sinfonietta rounds off the disc. Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are particularly good in the second movement, in which English pastoral collides with the Second Viennese School and Britten's distinct voice begins to emerge, unmistakably. **** --The Guardian,09/06/11

Product Description

Phaedra, op.93 - A Charm of Lullabies (orch. Colin Matthews) - Lachrymae - Two Portraits - Sinfonietta, op.1 / Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano - Maxim Rysanov, alto - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Edward Gardner, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 23 Jan 2014
By Nico W
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I saw sarah Connelly and young Mr Gardner perform both Phaedra and A Charm of Lullabies at the Barbican and at the time I found both performances captivating. I was very excited, therefore when this recording appeared, and I waited several months to buy it from Amazon at a slighlty cheaper price. I really wish I liked it more than I do.
There is no question that Sarah Connelly is one of the finest singers around, but in Phaedra, she does not sound at her best. To me, anyway. She over-characterises, bending the vocal line out of shape to underline a dramatic point, and this makes the sound sometimes forced and unpleasant. If you want high drama, this performance will be for you, but if you value beauty of tone, then you should definitely go for the wonderful performance by Dame Janet Baker, for whom the piece was written,and whose singing is both dramatic and beautiful. And moving. Connelly doesn't, for me, find any of the tragedy in the last section, something Baker does with seemingly no effort and no need to overstate. Baker's Phaedra is reticent and dignified, and all the more hesartbreaking when she faces her death. Connelly is distraught, and a little mad, and much less moving in the final moments. Baker's performance is, however, only available as a 'filler' on her recording of Britten's under-rated Rape of Lucretia, but as this, too, is an unsurpassed performance, it is worth paying out for both. As for the work itself, Phaedra is a masterpiece, a condensed opera for one singer written at the very end of Britten's life. It is fierce, dramatic, and in the final section, ravishingly beautiful. Anyone who cares even a little for Britten's music should have this in their collection (and there are a number of recordings).
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SENSATIONAL SARAH CONNOLLY 18 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
THOSE WHO WERE LUCKY TO SEE SARAH CONNOLLY PERFORM PHAEDRA AT CADOGAN HALL WILL NEVER FORGET IT.SHE WORE A STUNNING RED DESIGNER GOWN AND SHE SUNG THE PIECE THAT MUST BE DESCRIBED AS MAGICAL .SHE WAS SENSATIONAL.
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