Search - George Frederick Handel, Benjamin Britten, Philip Ledger :: Britten the Performer

Britten the Performer
George Frederick Handel, Benjamin Britten, Philip Ledger
Britten the Performer
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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Impressive live performances given with the Queen present
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 08/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is very nice to hear Britten's work as a performer. He was such an impressive composer that we often forget how compelling he was as an interpreter and conductor or works other than his own.These performances were given for the dedication of concert halls and Queen Elizabeth II attended both performances with the performance of Britten's own works being given at the Queen Elizabeth concert hall on the South Bank.The Handel performance is, since it was 1967 after all, not according to modern tastes of period instruments and performance practice. But it is a fine performance nonetheless. We should enjoy the artistry and remember how people used to perform this music and make it work. It is hard to believe that THIS is the exotic sound now. Handel's composition for St. Cecilia's Day - the patron saint of musicians and a tradition that started a couple of decades earlier, is a wonderful piece and in the tradition of Purcell's accomplishments for this day.However, Britten conducting his own music is even more compelling. The "Choral Dances from 'Gloriana'" are exciting and the performance has that wonderful quality of all the resouces perfectly matching the musical requirements. All the resources and performance methods are absolutely right on for what the music asks for. It is an interesting study in performance practices if for nothing else.To our ears the Handel performance seems to have things a bit grafted on, but still wonderful, while the Britten (conducted by Britten) seems perfectly matched in all aspects. It sounds compelling.This is a good disk and deserves careful listening."