on 4 December 2013
This recording is one of the most immensely powerful recordings of an undeniably powerful work. Whilst the Britten recording will remain in anyone's collection, this is a must-buy for me and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Soloists and chamber orchestra provide beautifully reflective moments in complete contrast to wildly exciting, visceral sections with the full orchestra and stunning massed choir. For me, John Mark Ainsley is the most moving soloist - I challenge anyone to listen to this recording whilst looking at the war photography in the booklet without being moved to tears. A truly humbling experience and another epic release from Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli.
on 13 December 2013
Having listened exclusively to the Britten recording of his own work for the last twenty years, I was sceptical about forking out £15 for another recording. I am glad I did: this is a quite brilliant recording. The sound is wonderful. The attention to detail makes it a captivating recording - it possibly also reveals gaps in the Brittem recording. Most of all, it navigates the transition from menace to pathos, and back again, in a wholly convincing way.
I vote this my own classical music disc of the year.