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Britten: Sinfonia Da Requiem / Gloriana Suite / Sea Interludes
 
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Britten: Sinfonia Da Requiem / Gloriana Suite / Sea Interludes

1 May 2005 | Format: MP3

£4.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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30
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4:36
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5:12
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0:52
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1:22
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2:45
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1:05
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2:00
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1:25
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0:59
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6:53
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3:53
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4:00
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4:26
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4:29
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7:47
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8:51
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5:22
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6:08
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 May 2005
  • Release Date: 1 May 2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2005 Naxos
  • Total Length: 1:11:51
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LZZ95Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,103 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Most people think of Britten primarily in terms of his operas, but he was an undisputed master of orchestral composition as well, and this CD taken from a 1990 release of the now-defunct Collins Classics is one of the really good ones in their Britten series conducted by supreme Britten conductor Steuart Bedford. It contains the suite from his coronation opera 'Gloriana,' the 'Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia' from 'Peter Grimes,' and the 'Sinfonia da Requiem.' Amazon does not as yet seem to note that this CD contains the 'Gloriana' Suite, which is probably the least-recorded of the music here, and it's a corker. Assisted by Imogen Holst, Britten concocted the suite about a year after the disappointing première of the opera before an uncomprehending audience during Elizabeth II's coronation season. It contains 'The Tournament' (a fanfare-y section full of vigor), 'The Lute Song' (a lovely Dowlandesque piece that in this recording features the inimitable harpist Osian Ellis and oboist Keiron Moore), a set of 'Courtly Dances' from Act II, and 'Gloriana Moritura,' Elizabeth I's death. The suite is a marvelous concoction because on the one hand one could not hear more than a few bars before realizing it to be Britten, and yet it is a very skillful pastiche of Elizabethan music. It is played brilliantly by the London Symphony.
The set of pieces from 'Peter Grimes' are surely among Britten's most popular works and they have been recorded many times. They are tours de force of brilliant orchestration as well as aptly setting the emotional tone for their particular scenes in the opera. Bedford and the LSO give us a marvelous performance. I honestly can't find anything to quibble about here, but recognize that many musiclovers will already have at least one recording of the 'Grimes' set.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tango Oblivion on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great selection of pieces and the Sinfonia not the most important for my listening although I love it. Overall, sounds great for for a 20+yr old recording (but there are more 'dynamic' others). Great value for the money though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Jones on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I enjoy listening to this again and again . It is brilliant and extremely good entertainment . a great buy !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katy B on 1 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As described and arrived in time
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Quintessential Britten Works in Fine Performances 5 Jun. 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Most people think of Britten primarily in terms of his operas, but he was an undisputed master of orchestral composition as well, and this CD taken from a 1990 release of the now-defunct Collins Classics is one of the really good ones in their Britten series conducted by supreme Britten conductor Steuart Bedford. It contains the suite from his coronation opera 'Gloriana,' the 'Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia' from 'Peter Grimes,' and the 'Sinfonia da Requiem.' Amazon does not as yet seem to note that this CD contains the 'Gloriana' Suite, which is probably the least-recorded of the music here, and it's a corker. Assisted by Imogen Holst, Britten concocted the suite about a year after the disappointing première of the opera before an uncomprehending audience during Elizabeth II's coronation season. It contains 'The Tournament' (a fanfare-y section full of vigor), 'The Lute Song' (a lovely Dowlandesque piece that in this recording features the inimitable harpist Osian Ellis and oboist Keiron Moore), a set of 'Courtly Dances' from Act II, and 'Gloriana Moritura,' Elizabeth I's death. The suite is a marvelous concoction because on the one hand one could not hear more than a few bars before realizing it to be Britten, and yet it is a very skillful pastiche of Elizabethan music. It is played brilliantly by the London Symphony.

The set of pieces from 'Peter Grimes' are surely among Britten's most popular works and they have been recorded many times. They are tours de force of brilliant orchestration as well as aptly setting the emotional tone for their particular scenes in the opera. Bedford and the LSO give us a marvelous performance. I honestly can't find anything to quibble about here, but recognize that many musiclovers will already have at least one recording of the 'Grimes' set.

The 'Sinfonia da Requiem' has an interesting history. It was commissioned in 1939 by the Japanese government as part of their celebration of the 2600th anniversary of the founding of Japan's imperial dynasty. In the event, it was turned down by the Japanese owing to its basis in Christian ritual. It is assumed that Britten, a staunch pacifist, knew what he was doing in writing a work that implies divine judgment (there is a section called 'Dies irae') at a time when war clouds were gathering. It was finally given its première by John Barbirolli and the New York Philharmonic in 1941. Never one of my favorite Britten works, nonetheless this committed performance by Bedford and the LSO makes a strong case for this stern and minatory work.

Although the Collins Classics issue can still be found in various places (including here at Amazon) a full price, this superbudget issue trumps it and I would suggest that anyone wanting good performances of any of these pieces, or combination of pieces, would be rewarded if they obtained this excellent reissue.

TT=72:10

Scott Morrison
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
First rate Britten orchestral music 4 Mar. 2006
By E. Weed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This has been very well-reviewed already...and sometimes the main point of a review may be to join in the critical consensus. As reported, the Symphonic Suite: Gloriana is a very charming and, at the same time, not insubstantial work. It is a work of Britten's maturity, and this listener, at least, is likely to come back to it more often that the Sinfonia de Requiem.

The Four Sea Interludes has been one of my favorite 20th Century orchestral pieces for years. With it, Britten demonstrated in a striking fashion that tonally-centered music was very much alive at the time (1940's), and, that there was much yet to be explored within the tonal language (including, as here, unique and very effective ways to tug at the edges).

It's a hard piece to pull off because of its unusual and somewhat fragmentary structure. Bedford does a nice job here, and the sound is very good. However, he doesn't quite maintain the tension of my favorite performance by Colin Davis, which hasn't made it to CD, that I'm aware. In the interim, Bedford will do fine.

Overall, this is another welcome and hard-to-beat bargain from Naxos. If all the Britten you know is the Young Person's Guide and the Frank Bridge variations, I would call this a must-have release.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Three Britten Orchestral Works conducted by Steuart Bedford 25 July 2012
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This disc contains three Britten orchestral scores, presented in reverse chronological order. Steuart Bedford (no typo there) has long been closely associated with Benjamin Britten's work and is something of a specialist as a conductor, focusing on contemporary British music. The London Symphony produced numerous excellent recordings in the 1980s and is in fine form here.

The most impressive part of the program, factoring in both music and performance, is the Sinfonia da Requiem from 1940. This is the first time I have listened to the Sinfonia so while I tend to think Bedford's interpretation is very good, I don't have a basis for comparison. The Sinfonia is an austere three-movement work which intensively uses a few short themes and whose central Dies Irae is clearly influenced by Igor Stravinsky. Though prejudiced against it by some negative commentary, the Sinfonia grew on me as I listened to it more.

The two other works included here are both taken from Britten operas. The Interludes and Passacaglia from "Peter Grimes" may be the composer's most famous single piece. I found Bedford's interpretation to be pretty good, but not up to the extremely musical version done by Andrew Davis with the BBC Symphony. Another excellent interpretation of the Interludes was done by Andre Previn, again with the London Symphony. The symphonic suite from "Gloriana" was pulled from an opera whose 1954 premiere marked probably the low point of Britten's entire career. The suite contains a lot of neo-Elizabethan writing, some of it very attractive. However, I was puzzled that a world famous composer like Britten would have released the finale, "Gloriana Moritura", to the public. It's fair to say that Britten, obviously an extremely gifted musician, did have some "quality control" problems, to use business-speak, which are seen elsewhere besides the Gloriana Suite.

This 1989 recording was originally released by Collins and then reissued by Naxos. It is recorded impeccably and stands out from most Naxos releases on the engineering front.

In short, generally good performances of Britten music of varying quality.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Britten and Bedford fan 19 Sept. 2013
By Brian Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
As an orchestral musician I have performed the Four Sea Interludes and the entire opera Gloriana. Steuart Bedford conducts stunning performances of the suite from Gloriana as well as the Interludes. While I'm not a huge fan of the Sinfonia da Requiem, I still must rate this recording with five stars.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Not bad. 24 July 2011
By TruthAndBeauty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this to hear another interpretation of a piece on which I had previously played percussion, and was preparing to conduct in concert (Courtly Dances from Gloriana). I'm probably biased, but I think my orchestra actually did a better job! Not all of the percussion transitions are accurate to the score, there are some brass clams in the Pavane, there are some odd moments in the Lavolta that I have a hard time believing were conscious choices, etc. But I'm a picky, pain-in-the-neck conductor type. Your mileage may vary.
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