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Britten: The Prince of the Pagodas [Box set, Import]

Benjamin Britten , Oliver Knussen , London Sinfonietta Audio CD

Price: 21.89
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff 25 Jan 2014
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I would not hesitate to buy this CD. While the length (2 cd's) may seem daunting, the music is superb and establishes Britten as one of the great English Composers of the 20th century. He went to Bali to hear the gamelon music that was native to the Bengalese, and incorporated it into this piece. That music can be heard in the 2nd act. The music is mysterious, powerful, eerie at times, and full of colorful harmonies and scales indicative of the gamelon. He never uses the gamelon in the orchestration, but instead uses the harp and other percussion instruments to imitate the sound.

There are so many other wonderful moments in the music, I could spend all day retelling them. If you want to listen to a piece that is not quintessential Britten like the War Requiem, then this CD is a must.
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten recorded "Prince of the Pagoda's" over fifty years ago. 14 Oct 2013
By John Pearsall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Britten's late fifties recording on Decca Records is very fine, but it's
not as complete or as well played as Knussen's 1990 effort on Virgin Classics.

Knussen's approach is always rhythmically cleaner and more dynamic than the
composer's earlier analog effort. And his London Sinfonetta players
seem completely at home in the many complex passages that Britten composed after
hearing and seeing hypnotic Balinese music and dance for the first time.
He and some friends vacationed there in the late fifties and, in my opinion,
he succeeded brilliantly in creating one of the great, unsung twentieth century ballets.

Highly recommended.
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