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Britten: Orchestral Works
Benjamin Britten, Vernon Handley, Yuli Turovsky
Britten: Orchestral Works
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #2


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Visiting all the Orchestral Works of Britten - Almost...
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Strange that in compiling this 2 CD set of the Orchestral Works of Britten the editors elected to include a work not sanctioned by Britten ('Young Apollo') and not include the suites from 'Prince of the Pagodas' or, even more important, the brilliant 'Sinfonia da Requiem'. But at least the listener is treated to the spectrum of early to late Britten as performed by a variety of ensembles and conductors. The results are a mixed bag but in all this is a satisfying survey.

Vernon Handley conducts the Ulster Orchestra in the 'Four Sea Interludes' and 'Passagalia' from 'Peter Grimes' with an emphasis on clarity rather than drama, a decision that allows for increased appreciation of the inner harmonies. Steuart Bedford conducts the 'Death in Venice' symphonic excerpts with all the insight he has gained from his origin as the conductor of the premiere. For this listener this is the most significant performance on this set.

Yuli Turovsky conducts the I Musici de Montreal in a superb 'Simple Symphony', the 'Lachrymae, reflections on a song of Dowland, for viola & string orchestra' with violist Rivka Golani (in a rather earthbound reading), the rejected 'Young Apollo' and an elegant 'Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge'. Perhaps it is the recording studio or the size of ensemble, but these performances lack the richness found in hands of others.

Yet despite its shortcomings this set is a welcome addition to the Britten library. Grady Harp, November 05"