Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

BRITTEN: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge; Serenade Op. 31 for tenor, horn and string orchestr; Now sleeps the Crimson Petal

Barbara Hannigan, soprano/ James Gilchrist, tenor/ Jasper de Waal, horn/ Amsterdam Sinfonietta/ Candida Thompson

Channel Classics SACD CCS SA 32213, 79:15

Barbara Hannigan sing Illuminations in impccable French and with a glorious pure tone quality; heard a few times.always in unusual repertoir,she has quickly become one of my favourite singers.

Britten’s Bridge Variations parody different musical styles and established his compositional brilliance, matched by this fine orchestra. The Serenade for tenor, horn and strings 'belonged' to Peter Pears and Dennis Brain for many years and Britten himself conducted performances of this and many others of his works in benchmark interpretaions.

They were well recorded for their time, but the modern SACD recording in Haalem and Leiden 2010-12 adds a certain immediacy and this disc is a welcome offering from abroad to Britten's centenary which bids fair to dominate 2013.

It is produced to Channel Classics' high standard, with full texts and translations and excellent commentary by Willem de Bordes.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also an early review by AUDIOPHILE AUDITION