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Britten: Simple Symphony; Temporal Variations; Suite on English Folk Tunes CD

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Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Northern Sinfonia
  • Conductor: Steuart Bedford
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (3 Jan. 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0006M4STG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,240 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
  1. Simple Symphony, Op. 4: Boisterous BourreeNorthern Sinfonia 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Simple Symphony, Op. 4: Playful PizzacatoNorthern Sinfonia 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Simple Symphony, Op. 4: Sentimental SarabandeNorthern Sinfonia 6:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Simple Symphony, Op. 4: Frolicsome FinaleNorthern Sinfonia 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): ThemeNicholas Daniel 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): OrationNicholas Daniel 1:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): MarchNicholas Daniel 1:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): ExercisesNicholas Daniel0:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): ComminationNicholas Daniel 1:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): ChoraleNicholas Daniel 2:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): WaltzNicholas Daniel 1:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): PolkaNicholas Daniel 1:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Temporal Variations (arr. C. Matthews): ResolutionNicholas Daniel 1:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): A Cradle SongCatherine Wyn-Rogers 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
15. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): The Highland BalouCatherine Wyn-Rogers 2:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
16. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): Sephestia's LullabyCatherine Wyn-Rogers 1:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
17. A CharmCatherine Wyn-Rogers 2:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
18. A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (arr. C. Matthews): The Nurse's SongCatherine Wyn-Rogers 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: ThemePhilip Dukes 1:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 1: Allegretto, andante moltoPhilip Dukes0:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
21. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 2: AnimatoPhilip Dukes 1:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
22. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 3: TranquilloPhilip Dukes 1:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
23. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 4: Allegro con motoPhilip Dukes0:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
24. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 5: LargamentePhilip Dukes0:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
25. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 6: AppasionatoPhilip Dukes0:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
26. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 7: Alla valse moderatoPhilip Dukes0:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
27. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 8: Allegro marciaPhilip Dukes0:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
28. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 9: LentoPhilip Dukes0:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
29. Lachrymae, Op. 48a: Variation 10: L'istesso tempoPhilip Dukes 3:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
30. Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was ?": Cakes and AleNorthern Sinfonia 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
31. Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was ?": The Bitter WithyNorthern Sinfonia 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
32. Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was ?": Hankin BoobyNorthern Sinfonia 2:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
33. Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was ?": Hunt the SquirrelNorthern Sinfonia 1:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
34. Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 90, "A time there was ?": Lord MelbourneNorthern Sinfonia 5:14£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Simple Symphony - Temporal Variations - Suite sur des airs populaires anglais - A Charm of Lullabies, op. 41 - Lachrymae, op. 48a / Nicholas Daniel, hautbois - Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mezzo-soprano - Philip Dukes, alto - Northern Sinfonia, dir. Steuart Bedford

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Another in the reissues from Naxos from the valuable Britten series on the now-defunct Collins Classics, this program was originally published in 1998. Steuart Bedford is undoubtedly the leading Britten conductor and this is left in no doubt in this delightful collection of Britten works that span forty years of his composing life, from the 1934 'Simple Symphony' to the gorgeous set of variations for viola and orchestra, 'Lachrymae,' from 1976. All are played with clarity and élan.
The 'Simple Symphony' for strings is probably the most familiar piece here. It was put together by Britten from pieces he had written in childhood and the movements have witty titles: Boisterous Bourrée, Playful Pizzicato, Sentimental Sarabande, and Frolicsome Finale. Bedford sorts it forth in appropriately simple fashion, letting the music speak for itself. The Northern Sinfonia strings play beautifully for him. 'Temporal Variations' from 1936 was originally for oboe and piano but the present oboe soloist, Nicholas Daniel, suggested to composer Colin Matthews about ten years ago that he arrange it for oboe and strings and that is the version heard here. It was premièred at the Aldeburgh Festival with Bedford leading the English Chamber Orchestra. It is a neoclassic theme and eight variations in the form of character pieces with titles such as 'March,' 'Oration,' 'Commination' (an archaic term meaning 'denunciation'), 'Resolution.' Daniel is fine advocate for this fourteen-minute miniature oboe concerto.
'A Charm of Lullabies' Op. 41 (1947) is also fairly well-known and has been recorded many times, but usually with the original piano accompaniment. Here we again have an arrangement by Colin Matthews, this time for chamber orchestra, done for the Indianapolis Symphony.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. M. Methven on 28 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a superb jewel of a CD illustrating a less well known side of Benjamin Britten.
Some of the music will be familiar to many people although I suspect many will also be unaware of its origin.
I can heartily recommend the CD and trust other purchasers will gain as much enjoyment as I have from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.Bailey on 25 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ordered this after hearing the symphony live - it brought the performance to life beautifully; Britten at his most approachable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An Important Britten Collection 23 Mar. 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Another in the reissues from Naxos from the valuable Britten series on the now-defunct Collins Classics, this program was originally published in 1998. Steuart Bedford is undoubtedly the leading Britten conductor and this is left in no doubt in this delightful collection of Britten works that span forty years of his composing life, from the 1934 'Simple Symphony' to the gorgeous set of variations for viola and orchestra, 'Lachrymae,' from 1976. All are played with clarity and élan.

The 'Simple Symphony' for strings is probably the most familiar piece here. It was put together by Britten from pieces he had written in childhood and the movements have witty titles: Boisterous Bourrée, Playful Pizzicato, Sentimental Sarabande, and Frolicsome Finale. Bedford sorts it forth in appropriately simple fashion, letting the music speak for itself. The Northern Sinfonia strings play beautifully for him. 'Temporal Variations' from 1936 was originally for oboe and piano but the present oboe soloist, Nicholas Daniel, suggested to composer Colin Matthews about ten years ago that he arrange it for oboe and strings and that is the version heard here. It was premièred at the Aldeburgh Festival with Bedford leading the English Chamber Orchestra. It is a neoclassic theme and eight variations in the form of character pieces with titles such as 'March,' 'Oration,' 'Commination' (an archaic term meaning 'denunciation'), 'Resolution.' Daniel is fine advocate for this fourteen-minute miniature oboe concerto.

'A Charm of Lullabies' Op. 41 (1947) is also fairly well-known and has been recorded many times, but usually with the original piano accompaniment. Here we again have an arrangement by Colin Matthews, this time for chamber orchestra, done for the Indianapolis Symphony. It is sung here with simple intensity and wonderful diction by mezzo Catherine Wyn-Rogers. 'Suite on English Folk Tunes' Op. 90 (1974) subtitled 'A time there was ...' was Britten's last purely orchestral work. It combines some seventeenth-century folksongs from Playford's 'The Dancing Master' with songs collected in the twentieth-century from rural sources. This is vintage late Britten with rhythmic complexity, brilliant orchestration and open-faced tunefulness. One hears echoes of the 'Sea Interludes' and 'Prince of the Pagodas' in the creative orchestration.

For me the most riveting of the works recorded here is Britten's masterful 'Lachrymae' Op. 48a (1976) for solo viola and string orchestra. Originally written for viola and piano for William Primrose in 1950, Britten recast it for viola and strings in 1976 for a performance by Cecil Aronowitz and the ECO at Aldeburgh. It is a theme and variations based on two tunes of Dowland: primarily 'If my complaints could passions be' and, in the sixth variation, 'Flow my tears.' Of course the title 'Lachrymae' is taken from the latter song and generally reflects the overall tone of the piece, although Variation 8 is a lively march. It makes brilliant use of the melancholy timbre of the viola and is played movingly here by Philip Dukes. This is the astringent Britten familiar to us from such works as 'Phaedra' and 'Death in Venice.' For all its restriction of means, it is a brilliant and moving work.

We can only be grateful that Naxos has kept these wonderful performances of Britten's music alive by reissuing the Collins/Bedford series.

Highly recommended.

TT=71:46

Scott Morrison
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Great Britten Collection 12 Aug. 2008
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of Benjamin Britten's music spans his career. The earliest work is the Simple Symphony from 1934 which was composed using juvenilia. Britten preserved his compositions from his earliest years and wove these efforts into the charming Simple Symphony for strings or string quartet. The movement titles: Boisterous Bourree, Playful Pizzicato, Sentimental Sarabande and Frolicsome Finale indicate the childhood origins of the melodies but the symphony shows the maturity of the composer who, at 21, was a master. In particular, the Sarabande exhibits a wonderful depth of feeling while the Bourree, Pizzicato and Finale are delightfully inventive.

The Temporal Variations is another early work (1936) that was performed but not published by the composer. The original work was for oboe and piano but was orchestrated by Colin Matthews for oboe and orchestra and performed in 1994. The Variations, consisting of 9 short movements, is a striking work for oboe and the string orchestra makes this an interesting pairing. A Charm of Lullabies was written in 1947 for Nancy Evans and was scored for voice and piano: the music was orchestrated by Colin Matthews in 1990. The suite is in 5 movements: A Cradle Song, The Highland Balou, Sephestia's lullaby, A Charm and The Nurse's Song.

The Lachrymae was written in 1950 for viola and piano and was revised by Benjamin Britten first in 1970 and in 1976 for viola and string orchestra. The inspiration comes from a song of John Dowland (If my complaints could passions move) and is composed as a theme with 10 variations. The music is introspective and reflective, indicative of the title. The final work, Suite on English Folk Tunes, "A time there was..." was composed during 1974 utilizing an older folk song arrangement of Hankin Booby as the third movement of the suite. The suite was dedicated to the memory of Australian composer Percy Grainger. In fact, Britten quotes the melody Lord Melbourne, the final movement of the suite, from Grainger's transcription. The music is colorful and beautifully orchestrated. The dance-like music of the first four movements is contrasted with the poignant Lord Melbourne, which is quiet with a sad English horn solo; the music fading away.

The CD has, for me, music of Benjamin Britten that I do not have. I was looking for a good performance of the Simple Symphony and I am happy I selected this recording. The music is nicely recorded and beautifully conducted by Britten expert Steuart Bedford.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Really Interesting 13 Jan. 2008
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a very rewarding collection of infrequently performed Britten works. The level of performances by the Northern Sinfonia and soloists are excellent. This collection spans Britten's remarkable career, including both the Opus 4 Simple Symphony and the Suite on English Folk Tunes, Britten's last orchestral work. These pieces show the remarkable progression of Britten's work across the length of his career. All pieces, including the Simple Symphony, display Britten's remarkable melodic gifts. The later works in this set reveal the maturation of Britten's skill at orchestration and his ability to exploit the qualities of individual instruments.
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