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Britten: Holy Sonnets Op35 / Bostridge, Johnson
Benjamin Britten, Ian Bostridge, Graham Johnson
Britten: Holy Sonnets Op35 / Bostridge, Johnson
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (27) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

THE English Singer sings music by THE English Songwriter
Bryan S Page | Birmingham, Alabama, US | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD lets us know that not only was Britten the greatest of English composers since Purcell, but he is an absolute master at songwriting. His economic style is perfect for songs, his choice of text is truly sophisticated and his idiomatic writing for both piano and voice put the listener always on the edge of his or her seat. Bostridge's light but powerful voice suits these songs perfectly. And Graham Johnson's piano playing is unsurpassable. One of my favorite CDs!"
Good, but could be much better...
Tenor man | Toronto, ON, CANADA | 11/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"While I do like some of what Bostridge does, his recorded performances to me seem to be filled more and more with musical gimmicks. His tone I find refreshing from so many English tenors who sound like they are in pain while singing, but Brostridge truly does lack a good legato line and he often uses a horrible strident quality for emphisis of text.

Peter Pears' recordings of many of these songs are still in many ways the difinitive performances, but I do like to hear other voices sing this repertoire and unfortunately very few options are out there. So, kudos to Bostridge for recording these songs, but lets not crown him THE new Britten singer of our time."
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 02/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)


This album presents some of the most profoundly beautiful songs you will ever hear anywhere!!!It would be worthwhile even if you only enjoyed the first 3 songs on the disc: the 3 Realizations from Harmonia Sacra which are 'Lord! I have sinned','Hymn to God the Father' by Pelham Humfreys and 'A Hymn on Divine Music' (which is absolutely so meaningful to us who love the art of music) by William Croft all arranged by Britten for tenor and harp. And all sung by one of the most exquisitely beautiful tenor voices ever to come out of the UK; flawless diction,resonant and vibrant tone quality and highly emotional portraying every little nuance in the song.

I bought this album because the music of Britten has always intrigued me and I was not disappointed in the variety of songs included on this album. The nine Holy Sonnets of John Donne are profound religious meditations,all of which are concerned with death and repentance. The songs 'Evening','Morning', and 'Night', are taken from the incidental music for Ronald Duncan's Masque 'This Way to the Tomb'.There are songs with settings of W.H. Auden, and several other writers too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say that there is sufficient variety to keep all listeners interested throughout the disc. Some of the songs I found particularly interesting are:'The Red Cockatoo',Waley-'A Poison Tree',Blake-'Cradle Song for Eleanor',MacNeice-and 'Death be not Proud'.

When you have an Ian Bostridge available there is no need to look for anyone else. He has all the vocal skills and nuances to sing each song as an island in itself; simply marvelous interpretations, and he is fortunate to have Graham Johnson to accompany him."