on 3 March 2014
This may be mainly for the Britten fan or completest, as NMC release some more little or unknown BB material. It's a curious mixture of music and dialogue and you probably would not listen to it all in one sitting. The pieces were recorded for the BBC after Britten and Pears return from America in 1942. It is well recorded and performed but not full on Britten although glimpses of his genius do shine through. I love Brittens music so I'm biased, and would want this in my collection.
on 19 January 2014
I'm not familiar with any of the music on this disc, except the setting of "Stop All the Clocks",later arranged as a cabaret number, which is here heard in its original choral form as part of "The Ascent of F6". These pieces were all written as incidental music to plays or radio programmes, and they have the simplicity and vigour that good incidental music needs. I must confess that I prefer this aspect of Britten to most of his more ambitious/pretentious works. These pieces are performed by two main sets of musicians: Ex Cathedra conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore, and the Halle conducted by S'Mark Elder. All bring complete commitment to the music.