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Britten: Choral Edition, Vol. 2
Benjamin Britten, Finzi Singers, Andrew Lumsden
Britten: Choral Edition, Vol. 2
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


      
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A fine performance
Mark Swinton | 01/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"On the surface this disc is rather odd: the Finzi Singers are a small group whereas the Britten works they present were intended for somewhat larger forces. However, having listened to it a number of times, I can say that the Finzi Singers do it nearly perfect justice. The organ in the church where it was recorded sounds a little under-equipped, but with Andrew Lumsden at the keys the accompaniment loses none of it's sting. Two larger works on the disc- "Missa Brevis" and "Ceremony of Carols" stand out as the most approachable works along with the short carol for upper voices, "Sweet was the Song". The combination of sopranos, contraltos and countertenors makes for an unusual but fascinating rendition of these (indeed there are moments in the Mass where I felt sorry for the gentlemen having to stretch their range into treble territory!). In "Ceremony", Susan Drake gives immaculate harp playing, and Spicer's direction throughout leaves little to be desired. If you like Britten, you'll enjoy this. Warmly recommended!"