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Britten: War Requiem CD


Price: £8.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Feb. 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00005V8YU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,185 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Spring Symphony Op.44
2. Hymn To St. Cecilia Op.27
3. Five Flowers Songs Op 47
4. War Requiem Op.66 (Beginning)
Disc: 2
1. War Requiem Op.66 (Cont.)

Product Description

Britten: War Requiem

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Susan Wainwright on 30 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great music but first movement on separate CD to the rest. it is best heard without a break.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Winifred Paine on 10 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I probbably didn't get the message
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0 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 7 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is simply the finest recording on the market - musically and technically - of this work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
well performed Britten choral works 11 Dec. 2007
By R. Rockwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I must thank the Rough Guide for I had never heard of the Spring Symphony and they had recommended Gardiner. As the name suggests, the symphony is for soprano, alto and tenor soloitst and for two different choirs and orchestra interpretinng English poems about pastoral scenes and spring. Britten employs his usual acute sense for fitting music and words. The spring symphony sent chills down my spine it is that good. Each member of the team combine under Gardiner. Despite his reputation for Baroque reporoire Gardiner has an affinity for Britten
The hymn to st. celia for unaccompanied choir is much better known. I beieve that gardiner's is the best of the three that I own. This CD also contain five flower songs which are less exciting.
Even though I mainly bought this for the above , the forces also put on a tremendous War Requiem second only to the composer's.
Please buy. The spring symphony should be heard by all clasical lovers.
Please excuse typos, I have a neurologic disease.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An "ok" buy but not the best 22 Feb. 2013
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 2-CD compilation does provide a relatively inexpensive introduction to some of Britten's most important choral works; however, Gardiner just refuses to smile during his reading of the "Spring Symphony". Admittedly, the work is odd, but it does build to - what should be - a joyous outburst from the both the boy's and adult choirs at the work's concluding canon "Sumer is icumen in". My introduction to the work was Andre Previn's recording from the 70s Britten: Spring Symphony Op. 44 / Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, and I still prefer it over the composer's own recording (although it is very, very good with a wonderful "Hymn to St. Cecilia") Britten: Spring Symphony, op. 44 / Cantata Academica, op 62 / Hymn to St. Cecilia. The sorely missed Richard Hickox made a very good digital recording in 1990 (much better than Gardiner digital trek from winter to summer, IMO, that brillantly highlights Britten orchestral writing) Benjamin Britten: Spring Symphony; Welcome Ode; Psalm 150. In both Previn and Hickox, the boys sing out at the end joyously; not so with the prefunctory Gardiner.

Gardiner's "Hymn to St. Cecilia" is nicely done, but it still lacks the warmth that I heard in the David Willcock's recording that introduced me to the work Britten: Choral Music from King's College, along with a magnificent "Ceremony of Carols". The "big" piece in this set is, of course, the "War Requiem". Nothing "clicked" for me while I listened to it. I wasn't moved. When it was over, I couldn't shake the feeling that the conductor really doesn't like Britten's music very much. Nothing will supersede Britten's own recording, although I keep Hickox's very close. I look forward to hearing/watching Andriss Nelson' blu-ray video of the performance War Requiem [Blu-ray]. In any event, I won't be listening to the Gardiner set again.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Feast for Lovers of Benjamin Britten's Music 7 Dec. 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
How this 2 CD recording lies rather hidden in the files of the music of Sir Benjamin Britten is puzzling. The performances of four major works as conducted by the always reliable and impressive John Eliot Gardiner all on two CDs at a very reasonable price should make every Britten lover add this to the collection.

The opening work is the magnificent and far too seldom heard 'Spring Symphony', a work that explores almost every aspect of Britten's personality in composition. It is a demanding work requiring a large orchestra (here the Philharmonia Orchestra), two choirs (the Monteverdi Choir and the Choristers of the Salisbury Cathedral) and four soloists with rather punishing lines. Gardiner finds all the poetry and grace and explosion of Spring in this recording. The soloists - Alison Hagley, Catherine Robbin, John Mark Ainsley - may not be widely known but they carry their demanding parts well, especially Catherine Robbin in the setting of Auden's poem 'Out on the lawn I lie in bed'.

Gardiner makes use of his very fine Monteverdi Choir in the unaccompanied 'Hymn to St. Cecelia' with the small but well-integrated solo voices of Emma Preston-Dunlop, Gill Ross, Penelope Vickers, Peter Mitchell and Richard Savage - a work so refined that it has become a standard in the repertoires of almost every chorus around the world. Gardiner then follows with the Five Flower Songs - lovely but not part of Britten's finest work.

The comes the big work - The War Requiem - and while other conductors may find more general sweep to the huge forces required of this mammoth work, John Eliot Gardiner somehow makes the Requiem more compact and allows the listener to take in the moments of tragic antiwar sentiment the work calls for. Here he conducts the Norddeutscher Rundfunks Sinfonieorchter and Chorus, the Monteverdi Choir, and Der Tölzer Knabenchor with soloists soprano Luba Orgonasova (who sounds very much like Galina Vishnevskaya who created the role written for her), tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson (who sadly died this year) and baritone Bo Skovhus. It is a remarkably fine achievement and one that will make this important work indelible on the psyche. In all this is a splendid album, far too overlooked. Grady Harp, December 10
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