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  Linn Records -
  CKD 226
  Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations - Scottish Ensemble
  Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations Op. 18, Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge Op. 10, Serenade For Tenor, Horn and Strings Op. 31

Toby Spence (tenor)
Martin Owen (horn)
Scottish Ensemble
Clio Gould (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 4 show all

Site review by Polly Nomial April 4, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by gonzostick November 8, 2009 (4 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Great recording of works for strings by Benjamin Britten. The tenor is excellent in both the Illuminations and Serenade. Sound quality is outstanding and the string playing is right on pitch.

I have marked down the recording for the wavery quality of the French horn playing. He does hit the notes, but his intonation is rather approximate and the tone becomes so unstable it resembles a saxophone (I love saxophone playing, but NOT on a horn!!!).

I would say the tenor actually is better than Peter Pears in this repertoire and it was written for Pears by the composer.

The Bridge Variations performance is lovely.

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Review by Oscar May 20, 2007 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is a wodreful disc of early Britten works.

The Scottish Ensamble plays with virtuosistic flair, creating precise moods and soundscapes that are very important in Britten´s musical idiom. The small strings contingent (only 12) affords great inner detail of the compositions, and brings forward all the qualities of Britten the poet and composer.

The tenor Toby Spence is quite ideal in the difficlut "Les Illuminations" and Serenade for Tenor and Horn. Both these works demand a tenor with a very wide vocal range and, at the same time, intense and detailed interpretative finesse. Spence has both this qualities plus a very attrcative and malleable timbre.

The sound is excellent, detailed and spacious.

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Works: 3  

Benjamin Britten - Les Illuminations, Op. 18
Benjamin Britten - Serenade For Tenor, Horn and Strings, Op. 31
Benjamin Britten - Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10