Around Britten

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This release by British cellist Matthew Barley serves admirably as a solo cello recording that doesn't bog down over the course of 70-plus minutes, and there's more to recommend it as well. The album consists mostly of music by Britten himself, with examinations of his influence in two different directions represented by Gavin Bryars and John Tavener. Barley picks fairly obscure works by Britten that seem to illuminate the essentially personal nature of his work. The highlight is the "Third Suite for cello, Op. 87," composed for Mstislav Rostropovich in 1971, five years before Britten's death. The work originated during Britten's stay in the Soviet Union, and it is based ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This release by British cellist Matthew Barley serves admirably as a solo cello recording that doesn't bog down over the course of 70-plus minutes, and there's more to recommend it as well. The album consists mostly of music by Britten himself, with examinations of his influence in two different directions represented by Gavin Bryars and John Tavener. Barley picks fairly obscure works by Britten that seem to illuminate the essentially personal nature of his work. The highlight is the "Third Suite for cello, Op. 87," composed for Mstislav Rostropovich in 1971, five years before Britten's death. The work originated during Britten's stay in the Soviet Union, and it is based on a Russian Orthodox melody, the "Kontakion," that appears in full only at the end of the work. No word on what Britten's Soviet hosts thought of this during a period when religious expression was strongly discouraged, but the work does not come off as really Russian in flavor; instead, the ailing Britten seems to have been attracted by the transcendent mood of the melody, and he produced a work that carries the flavor of seeming to approach the moment of transcendence from different directions. Barley finds an intriguing way of asserting Britten's continued relevance to a young musician steeped in modern technology: he plays several of Britten's arrangements of folk songs in rearranged versions for his own single cello, multi-tracked. Few would claim the music on this release as top-rank Britten, but Barley makes an extremely imaginative case for it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2013
  • Label: Signum Uk
  • UPC: 635212031827
  • Catalog Number: 318
  • Sales rank: 389,939

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Oliver Cromwell, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Nick White (0:49)
  2. 2 Gloriana, opera, Op. 53: Concord - Benjamin Britten & Nick White (2:26)
  3. 3 Chant, for solo cello - John Tavener & Nick White (4:25)
  4. 4 Thrinos, for cello solo - John Tavener & Nick White (7:12)
  5. 5 The Holy Sonnets (9) of John Donne, for voice & piano, Op. 35: Since she whom I loved - Benjamin Britten & Nick White (3:28)
  6. 6 The Salley Gardens, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Nick White (2:33)
  7. 7 Suite for solo cello No. 3, Op. 87 - Benjamin Britten & Nick White (21:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Matthew Barley Primary Artist
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