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4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag - top notch recording of Young Person's Guide to Orchestra., 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge; The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Audio CD)
I bought this to obtain the Variations on a Theme of Purcell after checking that despite being titled Young Person's Guide, fortunately this recording exclude the narration intended for children. This work is excellently recorded and performed, actually in a different location from the other items.

It is a matter of taste but the other items, though of some interest, seemed to me rather lack lustre in performance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Showcase, 25 Nov 2013
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Mr. A. R. Boyes "Alan Boyes" (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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Naxos have done a great service to classical listeners by releasing many of these Collins recordings from the 1990s. This recording is aided by being led by Steuart Bedford with fine support from the ECO and the LSO. Pairing the Frank Bridge Variations with The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra makes great sense with them being showpieces for their ensembles and both being in variation form. The Frank Bridge variations are remarkable for their array for diverse stylistic vignettes that still maintains enough weight and shape to be more than just a showpiece. The Young Persons Guide is a little more basic but is aimed as musical education, superbly played here in excellent Collins sound.

The other two pieces contrast with each other. The Prelude and Fugue is quite an austere work for string orchestra and makes a good counter balance to the lighter Frank Bridge variations. The Occasional Overture is a work discarded by the composer but is like so many other shorter orchestral works of that time by Britten - it is light, optimistic, athletic and a perfect concert opener. It is no masterpiece but is very enjoyable and well worth getting to know. So, all in all, a fine and thoroughly enjoyable programme from start to finish.
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