KlassikNet: 101 Best Classical CDs
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101 Best Classical Music CDs:
Twentieth Century in Britain

BRITTEN (1913-1976): Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings - Les Illuminations - Nocturne
Peter Pears, tenor
Barry Tuckwell, horn
London Symphony Orchestra
English Chamber Orchestra
Benjamin Britten, conductor

Probably the greatest British composer of the Twentieth Century, Benjamin Britten was also the least dogmatic in his approach. His completely open regard for aesthetics led him untiringly towards new horizons. The album brings together three major vocal works, notably the unforgetable Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Based on verse by John Keats, Ben Johnson and William Blake, this work is a strange combination of dark, pastoral and mystical moods. It reaches a throbbing peak in The Elegy which sets to music Blake's poem, The Sick Rose. Britten's razor-sharp conducting marries the fluid and golden timbre of Peter Pears with the rich, velvet tone of Barry Tuckwell's French horn in such a way as to make this disc indispensable for anyone interested in English music.

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