Having experience this wonderful piece live in Oslo, I was inspired to seek out a better recording than Britten's own. While no one can surpass Britten's own recordings in terms of musicality, the recording quality is alas not up to scratch for modern hifi enthusiasts. This piece is an exceptional challenge to record, comprising a symphony orchestra, a chamber orchestra, men's choir, women's choir, children's choir, organ and three soloists.
I listened to four of the most recent releases, including Brittens own, and pick this one as the best overall performance and recording. I believe it truly captures the piece's extraordinary range and dynamics.