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Britten: War Requiem

Benjamin Britten Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 49.90
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Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1913. Although he was already composing vigorously as a child, he nonetheless felt the importance of some solid guidance and in 1928 turned to the composer Frank Bridge; two years later he went to the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Arthur Benjamin, Harold Samuel and John Ireland. While still a student, he wrote his ... Read more in Amazon's Benjamin Britten Store

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Product details

  • Performer: Galina Vishnevskaya, Sir Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Simon Preston
  • Orchestra: Bach Choir, Highgate School Choir
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (17 May 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041Q5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,683 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Requiem aeternam - "Requiem Aeternam"Simon Preston 5:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Requiem aeternam - "What Passing Bells For These Who Die As Cattle?"Melos Ensemble 3:320.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Dies irae"The Bach Choir 3:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Bugles Sang, Saddening the Evening Air"Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 2:330.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Liber Scriptus Proferetur"Galina Vishnevskaya 2:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Out There, We've Walked Quite Friendly Up To Death"Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 1:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Recordare Jesu Pie"The Bach Choir 4:480.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Be Slowly Lifted Up"Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 1:520.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Dies Irae"The Bach Choir 1:110.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Lacrimosa Dies Illa"Galina Vishnevskaya 1:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Dies Irae - "Move Him Into the Sun"Galina Vishnevskaya 4:470.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Offertorium - "Domine Jesu Christe"Simon Preston 3:300.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Offertorium - "So Abraham Rose, and Clave the Wood"Simon Preston 6:060.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Sanctus - "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus"Galina Vishnevskaya 6:020.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Sanctus - "After the Blast Of Lightning From the East"Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 3:510.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Agnus Dei - "One Ever Hangs Where Shelled Roads Part"Melos Ensemble 3:430.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Libera me - "Libera me, Domine"Galina Vishnevskaya 7:370.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Libera me - "It Seemed That Out Of Battle I Escaped"Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 9:340.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 / Libera me - "Let Us Sleep Now...In Paradisum"Galina Vishnevskaya 5:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Requiem Aeternam (Rehearsal)Simon Preston 7:181.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Dies Irae (Rehearsal)Galina Vishnevskaya 9:461.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Dies Irae (Rehearsal)Galina Vishnevskaya 2:030.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Dies Irae (Rehearsal)Galina Vishnevskaya 4:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Offertorium (Rehearsal)Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 8:221.09  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Sanctus (Rehearsal)Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 6:140.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Sanctus (Rehearsal)Galina Vishnevskaya0:170.39  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Agnus Dei (Rehearsal)The Bach Choir 1:040.39  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Libera Me (Rehearsal)Benjamin Britten 1:100.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Libera Me (Rehearsal)Galina Vishnevskaya 5:190.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Britten: War Requiem, Op.66 - Libera Me (Rehearsal)Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 3:160.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and still the best 1 Jun 2005
By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
This was the piece of music that first really turned me on to classical music, listening to the very first performance from Coventry Cathedral on a small tranny radio. What I failed to realise then was that this massive impact was achieved by brilliant structural simplicity.
The whole work is effectively a study on the tritone, the 'diabolus in musica', that most disturbing and unstable of intervals. From the bells at the start to the harmonically ambiguous endings of the first and second movements and of the entire work; from the alternating tonics of the boys' Te Decet Hymnus to the alternating tintinnabulations of the soprano's Sanctus; from the fanfares of the Dies Irae to the two halves of the tenor's ineffable Dona Nobis Pacem at the end of the Agnus Dei. All these and countless other examples revolve around or grow out of the tritone. And what better musical image for war could there be than those two most irreconcilable notes in the scale?
Then, of course, there is the inspired concept of juxtaposing the hieratic incantations of the Latin Mass for the Dead with the burning anger of Wilfred Owen's First World War poems. There are, in fact, three tiers of performers in the War Requiem - the boys' choir and chamber organ, objective and dissociated in the distance; the soprano, chorus and orchestra singing the Latin Mass at, as it were, the centre of things; and the tenor and baritone with the chamber orchestra delivering Owen's bitter poems in the intimate and confidential foreground. The different perspectives of these three groups are a vital aspect of any performance and are ideally realised by producer, John Culshaw (of Golden Ring fame) and his team on this premiere recording.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only one flaw... 7 Feb 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In a way, Britten is to UK as Mozart is to Austria - or more so these days because Britten is contemporary. The "War Requiem" is a monumental lamentation of the meaningless deads from the World War I, but not restricted to that war - it spreads itself to all the misery of Man, when dealing with the issue of sending young ones into certain death. As such, the Requiem is a statement that must never be forgotten.
This production is superb in all but one apsect, that irritates me so much that I only can give 4 stars: The Requiem is placed on 2 CD's, which is needed of course - but after the final tone in the Requiem, there is a silence of some 10-20 seconds and then the "extras" are beginning. The "extras" are soundbites from the rehearsal before the performance, and are in their own rights very interresting. But why - why should they be placed on the same CD where the last tone of this Requiem is lingering out?
What the producer here was thinking of was not compassion, but money! This is naturally a way to save an extra CD, and who gives a damn about the feeling that this otherwise masterly produced piece of art is giving you?...
This is a crying shame, as the whole atmosphere of grief and relief is diminished. Apart from this fault, the rehearsal material is actually extremely well produced and very good if you have the score in front of you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive recording... 28 Aug 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
By a distance this is the best recording of the War Requiem available. Peter Pears as tenor is fantastic, and the overall performance really brings out the drama of the piece. It is simply mesmerising. As an added bonus, the excerpts of Britten in rehearsal are fascinating.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive "War Requiem" 30 July 2001
Format:Audio CD
Anything from Britten with Peter Pears' clear tenor voice in is worth hearing. The Requiem - Wilfred Owen's poetry against a classical Requiem setting - is harrowing and uplifting. I've had this version on vinyl for some twenty years, and am glad to see it out on CD now. A must for any Britten fan (or a wannabe).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best... 25 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
.... no not Tina Turner, this first recording of this moving masterwork.

I cannot see the point of writing a lengthy review of this recording. 1) It speaks for itself, 2) So many reviews have been written before and 3) No one searching Amazon for this piece, with the exception maybe of a first-timer to this music, is likely to read an essay!

However, I will make 2 brief comments. This is simply the best recording of this piece - totally authentic, with the composer conducting, his life-partner singing tenor and arguably one of the greatest baritones in Fischer-Dieskau also starring. Secondly, bravo to Decca for re-releasing this on the Orginals labels.

Don't look around for other versions - this is THE one!
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