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Benjamin Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings; Lachrymae; Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29; Young Apollo / Richard Watkins, horn; Allan Clayton, tenor; Mate Szucs, viola

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Young Apollo, for piano, string quartet & strings, Op. 16 (withdrawn by composer)
>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae, reflections on a song of Dowland, for viola & string orchestra, Op. 48a
>Britten, Benjamin : Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra, Op. 29
>Britten, Benjamin : Serenade, for tenor, horn & strings, Op. 31
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This international ensemble of crack musicians reveals the next generation's star soloists; led by violinist Markus Däunert (leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra), they deliver fresh and energetic performances of some of Britten's finest music for string ensemble. This recording is the conclusion of projects celebrating Britten's centenary in 2013, at which Aldeburgh Strings performed the closing concert in Britten's musical home of Snape Maltings. The recording opens with Young Apollo, a radiant, expressive, characterful and dramatic work, featuring pianist Lorenzo Soulčs. The Lachrymae subtitled 'reflections on a song of Dowland' explores the viola's intensely mellow sonorities; Máté Szücs (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) is the soloist. The Prelude and Fugue finds Britten indulging in the exuberant technical wizardry of his youthful period whilst recalling Bach's sophisticated contrapuntal textures. To close, one of the great masterpieces of Britten's cannon: the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. The award-winning tenor Allan Clayton and horn player Richard Watkins are the soloists, the latter reprising his role 30 years after first performing it with Peter Pears. The Aldeburgh Strings ensemble is a product of the Britten - Pears Young Artist Programme, founded over forty years ago by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, in order to provide high-level performance training for the world's best emerging professional musicians. Tutors are drawn from some of the world's finest orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and direct the ensemble sections from within, in an inspiring dual role of mentor and performer.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2016
In Britten's buoyant Young Apollo Aldeburgh Strings field a greater weight and range of colour that Rattle's CBSO, making the work sound more expressive and substantial, and Lorenzo SoulFs is a dexterous solo pianist... the poetry [of the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings] is sung with clarity and perception... Richard Watkins is commanding as the horn soloists and the Aldeburgh Strings are again a vivid presence.

Sunday Times, 1st May 2016
These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius...The Serenade finds a mellifluous, meticulous, impassioned exponent in Allan Clayton...Richard Watkins's "natural" horn is splendidly detuned in the framing solos.

The Guardian, 12th May 2016
Clayton pushes his robust but airy tenor in all the right places, eking out the tension in the texts. Watkins is superb. There is vibrant, punchy playing from three incarnations of Aldeburgh Strings.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (04/04/2015); Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (10/20/2012-10/22/2012); Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (11/24/2013-11/25/2013).



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Young Apollo, for piano, string quartet & strings, Op. 16 (withdrawn by composer)
  • Performer: Lorenzo Soules (Piano)
  • Conductor: Markus Daunert
  • Ensemble: Aldeburgh Strings
  • Running Time: 7 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1939

>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae, reflections on a song of Dowland, for viola & string orchestra, Op. 48a
  • Performer: Mate Szucs (Viola)
  • Conductor: Markus Daunert
  • Ensemble: Aldeburgh Strings
  • Notes: Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (10/20/2012-10/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1976

>Britten, Benjamin : Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra, Op. 29
  • Conductor: Markus Daunert
  • Ensemble: Aldeburgh Strings
  • Notes: Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (10/20/2012-10/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Britten, Benjamin : Serenade, for tenor, horn & strings, Op. 31
  • Performers: Allan Clayton (Tenor); Richard Watkins (French Horn)
  • Conductor: Markus Daunert
  • Ensemble: Aldeburgh Strings
  • Notes: Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, UK (11/24/2013-11/25/2013)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943