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Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £10.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position ... Read more in Amazon's London Symphony Orchestra Store

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Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra + Britten: War Requiem  (DECCA The Originals)
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Product details

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2011)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041S6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,050 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
Listen  1. The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34London Symphony Orchestra16:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 1. Boisterous BourréeBenjamin Britten 3:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 2. Playful PizzicatoBenjamin Britten 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 3. Sentimental SarabandBenjamin Britten 7:56£1.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 4. Frolicsome FinaleBenjamin Britten 3:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 1. Introduction & ThemeBenjamin Britten 2:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 2. AdagioBenjamin Britten 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 3. MarchBenjamin Britten 1:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 4. RomanceBenjamin Britten 1:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 5. Aria ItalianaBenjamin Britten 1:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 6. Bourrée ClassiqueBenjamin Britten 1:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 7. Wiener WaltzerBenjamin Britten 2:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 8. Moto PerpetuoBenjamin Britten 1:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 9. Funeral MarchBenjamin Britten 3:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 10. ChantBenjamin Britten 1:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 11. Fugue & FinaleBenjamin Britten 7:35£1.09  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Back in the 1960s, Benjamin Britten's recordings of his own music set new standards, not only for the quality of the performances, but also for that of the recordings. Take the Young Person's Guide: every solo instrument is naturally highlighted, but within an ambience that allows the full orchestra to make a real impact in the closing fugue. And with Britten giving them their head, the LSO really let rip! There's still no better work to introduce the orchestra to enquiring minds, and the other two works featured here continue that process of learning through enjoyment at which Britten had few equals. The Frank Bridge Variations take a quaint melody by the composer's mentor, and fashion a wealth of new ideas from it--running the gamut of emotions from the uproarious to the tragic. The Simple Symphony is the teenage Britten's artful recycling of a number of tunes written in boyhood--a testament to his startlingly early maturity. The LSO strings combine virtuosity and insight to telling effect. Educational, enlightening and, above all, fun! --Richard Whitehouse

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive performance 21 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is sometimes said that the composer of a work is not the best person to conduct its performance. In this case, this assertion could not be more incorrect. In fact, in the case of his 'Variations on a Theme of Franck Bridge', Britten's performance with the ECO is the only one I have heard that completely expresses the subtle changes of mood of each variation, and captures the cerebral atmosphere of the composition.

I have read some reviews complaining the 'Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' has no spoken introduction to each piece. For me this a great relief, because intermittant talking would spoil the music. Better to think of the work by its sub-title of 'Variations and Fugue on a theme of Henry Purcell' and to appreciate it as a mature composition.

In summary, this is the definitive disc of these works by Benjamin Britten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By I. Giles HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This disc compiles recordings originally published in 1964 (YPG), 1968 (Variations) and 1969 (SS). Britten was renowned for being an excellent conductor of his own work and so it transpires here. Decca provide recordings that have survived the passing of time very well and these give a pleasing mixture of glow plus brilliance. Both of these characteristics reproduce the playing of the musicians of course.

The three works on this disc are among the most easily accessed works that Britten composed and together they make a most attractive package. The Young Person's Guide sparkles with brilliant playing by members of the LSO and this is probably the most satisfying performance available on disc regardless of its age. The recording is very vivid with lots of 'presence.' It needs to be noted that this is the orchestral concert version without the additional descriptive script.

The Variations also offers superlative playing from the strings of the ECO and here there is a glowing sumptuousness added to the recording which is totally appropriate to the music. The Simple Symphony likewise gets wonderful playing.

All these pieces gain immeasurably from Britten's skilful direction. To say that his readings are perceptive or show enormous empathy seems ridiculous bearing in mind that he wrote the music, but that is exactly where these recordings score over all the competition.

Definitive recordings are generally doubtful descriptions given the wealth of recorded material now available, but in this case one is sorely tempted to use that description.

I would therefore suggest that collectors of either multiple versions or just single versions would do well to consider this disc as a priority option.

I would therefore suggest that collectors of either multiple versions or just single versions would do well to consider this disc as a priority option.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten conducts Britten 18 May 2006
By Robert E. Nylund - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
British composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a master composer AND a master conductor. Not only did he make numerous recordings conducting his own compositions, he also conducted very competent performances of other composers, including J.S. Bach and Robert Schumann. He was an exclusive London/Decca artist throughout his life and the recordings in this compilation were originally released on LPs on that label. They have now been superbly remastered for really high fidelity sound on compact disc.

The CD features a wonderful color photograph of Britten on the cover. He was a musician's musician, who challenged both singers and instrumentalists to strive harder. In an interview, Britten admitted that his music was often difficult to perform correctly. That became apparent when this writer had the opportunity to sing some of Britten's choral music, including "Ceremony of Carols," "Rejoice in the Lamb," and "War Requiem." His choral music IS singable, despite the great challenges, and not as "impossible" to sing as portions of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," which I have also sung.

The 1963 recording of "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is a benchmark performance by the fabulous London Symphony Orchestra, truly one of the greatest of all orchestras. The individual performers, as well as the sections, all get a chance to "shine" as Britten uses a theme by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) to present a series of variations highlighting all of the sections and some of the individual instruments in the orchestra. Some recordings included narration; this performance simply presents the music in topnotch performances with great virtuosity throughout. The sound is exceptionally clear, too, making it possible to thoroughly enjoy this inspiring performance.

The compilation also includes Britten's delightful "Simple Symphony," one of his earliest and most popular works. Using the excellent string section of the English Chamber Orchestra, Britten was able to give a performance that again can set the standards for all future performances of this charming, sometimes very moving, music. The second movement is noted for its pizzicato playing; this extremely delicate and intricate music is performed with great precision by the British musicians. The third movement is, by far, the longest and most intense part of the symphony; Britten took a rather simple but profound melody and built upon it, until it reached an almost agonizing intensity.

There are also outstanding moments throughout Britten's "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge." Again using a theme and variations approach, Britten's recording with the English Chamber Orchestra not only showcases the outstanding performers but shows his incredible variety as he utilized numerous musical forms. Some of this music is enchanting and delightful. There are also sections which are very dramatic and even agonizing in their intensity. Frank Bridge, who died in 1941, was Britten's teacher and mentor; remarkably, the student has eclipsed the teacher in fame and popularity, but there's no question the student remained deeply devoted to his teacher, even after Bridge was no longer living.

For those unfamiliar with Britten's music, this compilation is a very good introduction to the wonderfully tonal but imagination music he produced during his all-too-short life. One should also listen to a recording of the four orchestral interludes from the opera "Peter Grimes," and then go on to listening to the complete opera (perhaps the greatest opera every written in English), followed by "War Requiem" and some of the other choral music he composed.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By definition...definitive 6 Dec 2003
By Frank C. Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Unlike most listeners, I bought this for the 'Frank Bridge' work; I originally had it on LP, from over 20 years ago. The variations are, I think, one of the masterpieces of 20th century music. It was his first commission to receive widesprad attention and for good reason: his mastery of string instrumentation and sonics is truly astonishing. It is a piece I constantly return to.
The 'Young Person's Guide' is totally satisfying as well. Britten's interpretation is much more 'baroque' than the full orchestral sound we are used to; but it is much more convincing, particarly as the theme is by Purcell. And the 'Simple Symphony' is as charming as others have noted. All are recorded with excellent sound.
Britten as interpreted by Britten has to be considered definitive!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Person's Guide without the talk 21 Mar 2007
By HB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra can be performed with or without narration. I prefer without since the music speaks for itself so eloquently. The theme is by Henry Purcell and it is gorgeous. After each section plays the theme for a few seconds, variations begin with the woodwinds, strings, brass and finally percussion. The work ends with a fugue and final proclamation of the glorius theme. It is a thrilling work that all ages can enjoy. The rest of the music is also wonderful and the composer directed performances are superior in every way. Although the sound is from the analog era, it is just perfect. Amazon says the CD is essential. I totally agree.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I should have researched more carefully 6 Oct 2012
By Susannah Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this because I wanted the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, but I wrongly assumed that all versions were the narrated version I had when I was a kid. I'm going to have to find out where my mom got that one from, because that one broke up the piece into sections, so you could listen to a narrated description of just the woodwind section, for instance. This one just plays straight through the whole work with no narration. The other selections on the cd are fine, but not amazing, certainly not as good as Britten's many masterpieces! So the cd is fine, I just didn't realize what it was.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are very few truly definitive recordings but this one qualifies for consideration 30 Oct 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This disc compiles recordings originally published in 1964 (YPG), 1968 (Variations) and 1969 (SS). Britten was renowned for being an excellent conductor of his own work and so it transpires here. Decca provide recordings that have survived the passing of time very well and these give a pleasing mixture of glow plus brilliance. Both of these characteristics reproduce the playing of the musicians of course.

The three works on this disc are among the most easily accessed works that Britten composed and together they make a most attractive package. The Young Person's Guide sparkles with brilliant playing by members of the LSO and this is probably the most satisfying performance available on disc regardless of its age. The recording is very vivid with lots of 'presence.' It needs to be noted that this is the orchestral concert version without the additional descriptive script.

The Variations also offers superlative playing from the strings of the ECO and here there is a glowing sumptuousness added to the recording which is totally appropriate to the music. The Simple Symphony likewise gets wonderful playing.

All these pieces gain immeasurably from Britten's skilful direction. To say that his readings are perceptive or show enormous empathy seems ridiculous bearing in mind that he wrote the music, but that is exactly where these recordings score over all the competition.

Definitive recordings are generally doubtful descriptions given the wealth of recorded material now available, but in this case one is sorely tempted to use that description.

I would therefore suggest that collectors of either multiple versions or just single versions would do well to consider this disc as a priority option.
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