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Britten: The Red Cockatoo, Sonnets of John Donne / Bostridge

Album Summary

>Humfrey, Pelham : Lord! I have sinned
>Humfrey, Pelham : A Hymne to God the father "Wilt thou forgive that sin"
>Croft, William : A Hymn on Divine Musick
>Britten, Benjamin : Evening, Morning, Night, songs (3) for medium voice & piano or harp (from "The Way to the Tomb")
>Britten, Benjamin : Night covers up the rigid land, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Fish in the Unruffled Lakes, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : To lie flat on the back, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : A Poison Tree, for medium voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : When you're feeling like expressing your affection, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Not even summer yet, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : The Red Cockatoo, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Wild with passion, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : If thou wilt ease thine heart, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Cradle Song for Eleanor, song for soprano or tenor & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Birthday Song for Erwin, for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Um Mitternacht, song for high voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

`Here is a tenor who possesses an exceptionally sweet and beautiful voice, and a fine musician and a thinker too... inspired performances' (The Guardian)

'Bostridge is in the royal line of Britten's tenor interpreters ... heard here in a veritable cornucopia of, by and large, unfamiliar, and even unknown songs ... all performed with full understanding and innate beauty' (Gramophone)

'Thoughtfully interpreted and beautifully sung... [A] richly satisfying issue' (Gramophone)

'La voz es bella y espressiva... y el apoyo de Graham Johnson es, como siempre, magnifico' (Scherzo, Spain)

'The advent of Ian Bostridge has been one of the most heartening occurrences in British musical life in recent years. Here is a tenor with a wonderful voice and brains and sensitivity to match' (The Sunday Telegraph)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Bostridge is in the royal line of Britten's tenor interpreters. Indeed his imaginative response to words and music may come closer than any to Pears himself. He's heard here in a veritable cornucopia of mostly unfamiliar and unknown songs (the Donne cycle apart), mainly from the earliest period of Britten's song-writing career when his inspiration was perhaps at its most free and spontaneous. The three settings from Ronald Duncan's This way to the Tomb nicely match that poet's florid, vocabulary-rich style as Britten was to do again two years later in Lucretia, with 'Night', based on a B-minor ground bass, a particularly arresting piece. The Auden settings, roughly contemporaneous with On this Island, all reflect Britten's empathy with the poet at that time. The third, To lie flat on the back, evinces Britten's gift for writing in racy mode, as does When you're feeling like expressing your affection, very much in the style of Cabaret Songs. Much deeper emotions are stirred by the two superb Beddoes settings (Wild with passion and If thouwilt ease thine heart), written when the composer and Pears were on a ship returning home in 1942. The red cockatoo itself is an early setting of Waley to whom Britten returned in Songs fromthe Chinese. All these revelatory songs are performed with full understanding and innate beauty by Bostridge and Johnson, who obviously have a close artistic rapport. The Donne Sonnets are as demanding on singer and pianist as anything Britten wrote, hence their previously small representation in the catalogue. Both artists pierce to the core of these electrifying songs, written after, and affected by, Britten's visit to Belsen with Menuhin in 1945. The recording catches the immediacy of these riveting performances. A richly satisfying issue.



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Works Details

>Humfrey, Pelham : Lord! I have sinned
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 16th Century

>Humfrey, Pelham : A Hymne to God the father "Wilt thou forgive that sin"
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1688

>Croft, William : A Hymn on Divine Musick
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 5 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral

>Britten, Benjamin : Evening, Morning, Night, songs (3) for medium voice & piano or harp (from "The Way to the Tomb")
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 4 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1945

>Britten, Benjamin : Night covers up the rigid land, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Britten, Benjamin : Fish in the Unruffled Lakes, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Britten, Benjamin : To lie flat on the back, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Britten, Benjamin : A Poison Tree, for medium voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1935

>Britten, Benjamin : When you're feeling like expressing your affection, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Britten, Benjamin : Not even summer yet, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Britten, Benjamin : The Red Cockatoo, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1938

>Britten, Benjamin : Wild with passion, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Britten, Benjamin : If thou wilt ease thine heart, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 1 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Britten, Benjamin : Cradle Song for Eleanor, song for soprano or tenor & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Britten, Benjamin : Birthday Song for Erwin, for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1945

>Britten, Benjamin : Um Mitternacht, song for high voice & piano
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 3 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1960

>Britten, Benjamin : Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35
  • Performers: Ian Bostridge (Tenor); Graham Johnson (Piano)
  • Notes: 06/27/1995/06/29/1995
  • Running Time: 22 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1945