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on 25 March 2013
Disc 1
Sinfonia da Requiem Op. 20
Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes Op. 33
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Op. 34
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor Pesek. rec. 1989

Disc 2
Canadian Carnival Op. 19
Wesley Warren, trumpet. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle.
rec. 1982
Diversions for Piano (left hand) and Orchestra Op. 21
Peter Donohoe, piano. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec.
1990
Scottish Ballad Op. 26
Peter Donohoe, Philip Fowke, pianos. City of Birmingham SO/Sir
Simon Rattle. rec. 1982
An American Overture Op. 27
Occasional Overture Op. 38
City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1984
Building of the House Op. 79
CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle
rec. 1990

Disc 3
Piano Concerto Op. 13
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano. City of Birmingham SO/Paavo Järvi. rec.
1997
Violin Concerto Op. 15
Ida Haendel, violin. Bournemouth SO/Paavo Berglund. rec. 1977
Young Apollo Op. 16
Peter Donohoe, piano. Felix Kok, Jeremy Ballard, violins. Peter Cole,
viola. Michal Kaznowski, cello.
City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1982

Disc 4
Simple Symphony Op. 4 (rec. 1990)
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge Op. 10 (rec. 1988)
Prelude and Fugue Op. 29
Lachrymae Op. 48a
Lars Anders Tomter, viola. Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Iona Brown.
rec. 1991

Disc 5
Symphonic Suite from `Gloriana' Op. 53a
Royal Liverpool PO/Takuo Yuasa. rec. 1994
Cello Symphony Op. 68
Steven Isserlis, cello. City of London Sinfonia/Nicholas Ward,
Richard Hickox. rec. 1987
Men of Goodwill (Variations on a Christmas Carol for orchestra)
Minnesota Orchestra/Sir Neville Marriner. rec. 1983

Disc 6
Sinfonietta Op. 1
Pauline Lowbury, Julian Tear, violins. Britten Sinfonia/Daniel
Harding. rec. 1997
Russian Funeral
City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec. 1994
Suite on English Folk Tunes `A time there was...' Op. 90
Peter Walden, cor anglais. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle
rec. 1984
Matinees Musicales Op. 24
Soirees Musicales Op. 9
English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Alexander Gibson. rec. 1982
Rossini Suite original version of Soirees Musicales
Boys of the Choir of Paisley Abbey chorus/George McPhee
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec. 1998

Disc 7
The Prince of Pagodas Op. 57 Acts I and II
London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen. rec. 1989

Disc 8
The Prince of Pagodas Op. 57 Act III
London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen. rec. 1989

Disc 9
Rhapsody for String Quartet
Elegy for Solo Viola - Garfield Jackson, viola
String Quartet in D - Nicholas Logie, viola

Disc 10
Phantasy for Oboe and String Trio Op. 2
Three Divertimenti for String Quartet
String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 25

Disc 11
String Quartet No. 2 in C Op. 36
String Quartet No. 3 Op. 94
Endellion String Quartet. rec. 1986

Disc 12
Cello Suite No. 1 in G Op. 72
Cello Suite No. 2 in D Op. 80
Cello Suite No. 3 Op. 87
Truls Mørk, cello. rec. 1998 & 2000

Disc 13
The Music For Solo Piano:
Holiday Diary Op. 5
Three Character Pieces
From Sonatina Romantica
Five Waltzes - Stephen Hough, piano
Two Lullabies for Two Pianos
Introduction & Rondo alla burlesca Op. 23 No. 1
Stephen Hough, Ronan O'Hara, pianos. rec. 1990

Disc 14
Suite for Violin and Piano Op. 6
Alexander Barantschik, violin. John Adey, piano. rec. 1994
Cello Sonata in C Op. 65
Moray Welsh, cello. John Lenehan, piano. rec. 1994
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for Solo Oboe Op. 49
Roy Carter, oboe. rec. 1995
Nocturnal after John Dowland Op. 70
Julian Bream, guitar. rec. 1992

Disc 15
War Requiem, Op. 66
Words from the Missa pro defunctis; poems by Wilfred Owen
Requiem aeternam
Dies irae
Offertorium
Sanctus
Agnes Dei
Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)
Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (directed by Francis Grier) CBSO Chorus (chorus master: Simon Halsey)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle, Mark Blatchly (chamber organ)

Disc 16
War Requiem, Op. 66
Libera Me
Elisabeth Soderstrom, soprano. Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Thomas Allen,
baritone.
Mark Blatchly, chamber organ. Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford/
Francis Grier
CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle.
rec. 1983

Spring Symphony Op. 44 Parts I-IV
Sheila Armstrong, soprano. Dame Janet Baker, contralto. Robert Tear,
tenor.
St. Clement Danes School Boys' Choir/Keith Walters. London Symphony
Chorus/Richard Hickox
LSO/Andre Previn. rec. 1978

Disc 17
Hymn to St. Cecilia Op. 27
A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28
James Clark, Julian Godlee, trebles. Osian Ellis, harp
Miss brevis in D Op. 63
Julian Brown, Christopher Anderson, Anthony Sackville, Rory Phillips &
James Clark, trebles. Ian Hare, organ.
Festival Te Deum Op. 32
Simon Channing, treble. James Lancelot, organ
Rejoice in the Lamb Op. 30
Simon Channing, treble. James Bowman, countertenor. Richard Morton,
tenor. Marcus Creed, bass.
James Lancelot, organ. David Corkhill, percussion.
Te Deum in C
Rory Phillips, treble. James Lancelot, organ
Jubilate Deo
James Lancelot, organ. Choir of King's College, Cambridge/Sir David
Willcocks, Sir Philip Ledger. rec. 1971, 72 & 74

Disc 18
A Hymn to the Virgin
Stephen Barton, Hugh Hudleston, treble. Warren Trevelyan-Jones, tenor
Francis Pott, bass
Winchester Cathedral Choir/David Hill. rec. 1996
Saint Nicolas Op. 42
Robert Tear, tenor. Bruce Russell, treble. Andrew Davis & Ian Hare,
piano duet.
Cambridge Girl's Choir, Choir of King's College, Cambridge.
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner, Sir David
Willcocks. rec. 1970.
Hymn to St. Peter Op. 56a
Mark Emney, Peter Rowe, trebles. Timothy Farrell, organ. Wandsworth
School Choir/Russell Burgess. rec. 1968
A Hymn of St. Columba - Regis regum rectissimi Op. 56a
Mark Emney, Peter Rowe, trebles. Christopher Hughes, Timothy Farrell,
organ.
Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Wandsworth School Choir/Russell
Burgess. rec. 1968
Sacred and Profane Op. 91
Vasari Singers. Jeremy Backhouse. rec. 1992

Disc 19
The Little Sweep - A Children's Opera in 3 Scenes Op. 45 rec. 1977
A Boy was Born Op. 3
London Sinfonietta Chorus. Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral/John
Scott, Terry Edwards
A Shepherd's Carol for unaccompanied chorus, words by W. H. Auden
Sarah Leonard, soprano. Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano. Peter Hall,
tenor. Gordon Jones, baritone.
London Sinfonietta Chorus/Terry Edwards. rec. 1988

Disc 20
Noye's Fludde Op. 59 rec. 1898
AMDG words by Gerard Manley Hopkins
London Sinfonietta Chorus/Terry Edwards. rec. 1987 & 1988
The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard
Baccholian Singers of London. Rogers Covey-Crump, Ian Partridge, Ian
Thompson, Paul Elliott, tenors
Ian Humphris, Stephen Varcoe, baritones. Michael George, Brian
Etheridge, bass. rec. 1976

Disc 21
The Company of Heaven Parts I, II & III
Peter Barkworth, Sheila Allen, narrators. Cathryn Pope, soprano. Dan
Dressen, tenor. Christopher Herrick, organ
London Philharmonic Chorus/Richard Cooke. English Chamber Orchestra/Philip Brunelle rec. 1989
Ballad of Heroes Op. 14
Robert Tear, tenor. CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle
Praise We Great Men
Alison Hargan, soprano. Mary King, contralto. Robert Tear, tenor
Willard White, bass.
CBSO Chorus/Simon Halsey. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle
rec. 1990

Disc 22
Les Illuminations Op. 18
Heather Harper, soprano. Northern Sinfonia Orchestra/Sir Neville
Marriner. rec. 1970
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings Op. 31
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (Tennyson)
Neil Mackie, tenor, Barry Tuckwell, horn. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell,
Steuart Bedford. rec. 1988
Nocturne Op. 60
Robert Tear, tenor. English C.O./Jeffrey Tate. rec. 1987

Disc 23
Quatre Chansons Francaises
Jill Gomez, soprano. City of Birmingham SO/Sir Simon Rattle. rec.
1982
Our Hunting Fathers Op. 8
Folksong Arrangements
Elisabeth Soderstrom, soprano. Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera/
Richard Armstrong. rec. 1982
Phaedra Op. 93
Felicity Palmer, mezzo-soprano. Jane Salmon, cello. Melvyn Tan,
harpsichord. Endymion Ensemble/John Whitfield
Five French Folksong Arrangements
Felicity Palmer, mezzo-soprano. Endymion Ensemble/John Whitfield.
rec. 1986

Disc 24
Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo Op. 22
Peter Pears, tenor, Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1942
Holy Sonnets of John Donne Op. 35
Peter Pears, tenor, Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1947
On This Island Op. 11
Winter Words Op. 52
Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Philip Ledger, piano. rec. 1973

Disc 25
The Five Canticles
Folksong Arrangements
Ian Bostridge, tenor. David Daniels, counter-tenor. Christopher Maltman,
baritone
Timothy Brown, horn. Aline Brewer, harp. Julius Drake, piano

Disc 26
Two Songs by Thomas Hardy
Beware! Three Early Songs
Two Songs by W. H. Auden
Three Rhymes by William Soutar
Neil Mackie, tenor. Roger Vignoles, piano. rec. 1986
Tit for Tat (5 settings of poems by Walter de la Mare)
Jonathan Lemalu, bass baritone. Malcolm Martineau, piano. rec. 2005
Two Ballads for Two Voices and Piano
Felicity Lott, soprano. Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano. Graham Johnson,
piano. rec. 1991
Folksong Arrangements
Robert Tear, tenor. Sir Philip Ledger, piano. rec. 1974
Sarah Brightman, soprano. Geoffrey Parsons, piano. rec. 1986

Disc 27
Realisations of Henry Purcell - Odes and Elegies
The Queen's Epicedium
Peter Pears, tenor. Benjamin Britten, piano. rec. 1947
Orpheus Britannicus
Felicity Lott, soprano. Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano. Graham Johnson,
piano. rec. 1991.
Neil Mackie, tenor. Roger Vignoles, piano. rec. 1986
Suite of Songs for High Voice and Orchestra
Neil Mackie, tenor. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec.
1988
Orchestrations of Schubert & Schumann
Neil Mackie, tenor. Scottish C.O./John Tunnell, Steuart Bedford. rec.
1988

Disc 28
Paul Bunyan - Operetta in 2 acts and prologue Op. 17 - ACT I rec. 1987

Disc 29
Paul Bunyan - ACT II
Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series / Philip Brunelle

Disc 30 & Disc 31
Peter Grimes rec. 1992
Anthony Rolfe Johnson; Felicity Lott; Thomas Allen; Patricia Payne; Maria Bovino; Gillian Webster; Stuart Kale; Stafford Dean; Sarah Walker; Neil Jenkins; Simon Keenlyside; David Wilson-Johnson
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Bernard Haitink

Disc 32 + Disc 33
The Turn of the Screw rec. 2002
Ian Bostridge; Joan Rodgers; Julian Leang; Caroline Wise; Jane Henschel; Vivian Tierney
Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Harding

Disc 34 & Disc 35
A Midsummer Night's Dream rec. 1990
James Bowman; Lillian Watson; Dexter Fletcher; John Graham-Hall; Henry Herford; Della Jones; Jill Gomez; Norman Bailey; Penelope Walker
Trinity Boys' Choir; City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox

Disc 36 & Disc 37
The Rape of Lucretia Op. 37 Opera in 2 acts rec. 1947
Peter Pears; Joan Cross; Norman Lumsden; Denis Dowling; Frederick Sharp; Nancy Evans; Flora Nielsen; Margaret Ritchie
English Opera Group Chamber Orchestra/Reginald Goodall
Scenes from Peter Grimes Op. 33. rec. 1948
Peter Pears, tenor; Joan Cross, Tom Culbert, Herbert Dawson, BBC Theatre Chorus, Orchestra of the ROH Covent Garden/Reginald Goodall
0Comment| 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Along with Sony's Stravinsky box (22 CDs for £17.99) I would class this as one of the most astonishing bargains available in classical CD sets. These 37 CDs cover almost every important work by Britten and find space from some intriguing rarities as well. The performances never fall short of satisfying and are often among the best available. You do miss out, by and large, on performances conducted by Britten himself (he was a Decca artiste latterly, though there are some early recordings here - a little Purcell, some folk song arrangements, the Donne Holy Sonnets and the Michelangelo Sonnets, all recorded in the 1940s for HMV - and all sounding remarkably clear and immediate, with Pears in fine voice). But you have Rattle, Pesek, Iona Brown (excellent Frank Bridge Variations), Isserlis, Hickox, Marriner, Alexander Gibson, Knussen, the Endillion String Quartet, Truls Mork, Hough, Julian Bream, Previn, Soderstrom, Robert Tear, Thomas Allen, Janet Baker, Willcocks, Robert Lloyd, Donald Maxwell, Neil Mackie, Barry Tuckwell, Bedford, Bostridge, Haitink, Goodall and others - not a bad cast. The list of works is almost exhausting (the CDs play for about 42 hours) - you can find it separately on the Web. Of the operas, you have 'Peter Grimes' (Haitink), 'Paul Bunyan', 'The Turn of the Screw', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (an excellent cast directed by Richard Hickox - wonderful!) and 'The Rape of Lucretia', with some additional scenes from 'Peter Grimes' recorded in 1948 with Peter Pears, Joan Cross and Reginald Goodall. Quality is very high, the CDs come in an adequate box and presentation is good, with a fine photo of Britten at Aldeburgh on the box front and an atmospheric photo on each disc sleeve. The 50-page booklet lists all works, performers and recording dates fully and thoroughly. There are no notes, which might be seen as a disadvantage, but really, when there is so much here for so little outlay, it would seems carping to criticise. Very highly recommended.
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on 2 April 2013
Excellent purchase,a survey of Britten with a lot of earlier and chamber music not available in the Decca set of "Britten conducts Britten",which concentrates more on the operas.Pity this has no Billy Budd ,Death in Venice,etc.,but is not without opera--the Haitink Peter Grimes,my own personal favorite,even over BB's own,Turn of the Screw,etc.The only thing this doesn't always have is the immediacy of the Decca sound,but rather seeks to place the listener in a realistically "seat in the house" position.Both styles have their merits,so it isn't a drawback,just not as intense as the older,absolutely authoritative set with the composer conducting. For a pound as disc,one cannot carp about anything at all herein,and I'm not easily pleased!For lovers of packaging,this is pretty unremarkable,but if that,more than content,is a concern,it's a pity.I cannot imagine anyone feeling disappointed in this,should they choose to make the decision to buy,especially in this Britten centenary year.The only serious competition comes from Decca,but this EMI set,as a "next generation" of interpreters,is admirable.
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on 10 August 2012
I bought this set from Amazon a year ago and I must admit I am still working my way through the discs. The set has given me outstanding pleasure and although there are some obvious gaps in the collection - e.g.Billy Budd, Albert Herring - this offers a wonderful cross section of Britten's work including some lesser known gems.

My only criticism seems rather minor but it is important. The cardboard slip cases for the 37 discs - as attractive as they are - are simply too small. As a result, it is a constant struggle to get the discs in and out of the cases. I recently bought the EMI Delius box set and this is something they have remedied.

Other than this design flaw, this is a stunning set.
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on 21 April 2013
This is a good price for so many CDs and it offers a fine introduction to the full range of Britten's work: opera, songs, orchestral, solo instruments. Everything. Some of the operas are not here, but several are. For me, I always feel that Britten's handling of voice is over-praised. I think he strains language horribly at some points. But I loved the orchestral and instrumental work here. Reminded how good he can be. A real cornucopia. Definitely worth checking out if you don't have much Britten in your collection yet.
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on 15 July 2013
Despite the very frugal presentation, this is an excellent set. There a number of major omissions that some might miss, such as the operas "Albert Herring" & "Death in Venice" but the inclusion of "Paul Bunyan" is a bonus. Doubtless there are many hours of enjoyment whenever one gets around to listening to the entire set. 37 hours or so of Britten at one sitting could be a challenge for some.
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on 11 April 2015
This magnificent set would be worth the money for the voice of Neil Mackie, the tenor from Aberdeen.
AS far as I can vouch from checking with Michael Kennedy's biography of Britten (Master Musicians, Dent 1981), the box contains all Britten's significant works except:
: a Charm of Lullabies Op.41; Songs from the Chinese Op.58; Cantata Academica Op.62; Sechs Holderlin fragmente Op.61; Blake Songs and Proverbs Op.74, Poet’s Echo Op.76, Who are these Children (Soutar) Op.84; Welcome Ode Op.95; and some incidental music for Films and TV; Church parables (Curlew River; Burning Fiery Furnace; Prodigal Son); Operas: Albert Herring; Billy Budd; Gloriana; Owen Wingrave, Death in Venice.
But it includes several small items that are not listed in Kennedy.
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on 14 February 2011
I am still about half way through listening to these discs, it is all a bit over whelming but the things which is obvious is the consistent quality of bot the composition and of the recording and playing. Everything I have played so far I have found to be really good to totally splendid. If anyone has heard bits of Britten, in my case it was largely the operas and wants to hear more this is highly recommended , there is a wide variety, Britten's writing is fascinating he is neither completely modern , nor stuck in a more traditional mode. I cannot get over the sheer volume of good music that there is here, and at this price it is a give away!
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on 10 December 2015
Loving this right out of the box. Wonderful recordings and astonishing value. If you have a liking for Britten then do not hesitate.
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on 1 October 2014
Fantastic!
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