Britten: Double Concerto for Violin & Viola, Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Les Illuminations

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
For the dedicated Britten fan, this disc by Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra will be compulsory listening. It contains only the second recording of the English modernist's "Double Concerto for Violin and Viola," a work the 18-year-old composer wrote under the influence of Walton's "Viola Concerto" but one he never scored and never sought to have performed. Completed by Colin Matthews, the "Double Concerto"'s 1998 recording with soloists Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet with Kent Nagano leading the Hallé has much to recommend it, particularly the brilliance of the two soloists. But this live 2006 recording likewise has much to recommend it. For one ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
For the dedicated Britten fan, this disc by Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra will be compulsory listening. It contains only the second recording of the English modernist's "Double Concerto for Violin and Viola," a work the 18-year-old composer wrote under the influence of Walton's "Viola Concerto" but one he never scored and never sought to have performed. Completed by Colin Matthews, the "Double Concerto"'s 1998 recording with soloists Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet with Kent Nagano leading the Hallé has much to recommend it, particularly the brilliance of the two soloists. But this live 2006 recording likewise has much to recommend it. For one thing, the soloists -- violinist Pieter Schoeman and violist Alexander Zemtsov, the principals of the LPO -- are nearly in the same league as Kremer and Bashmet technically and easily in the same league as interpreters, turning in a "Double Concerto" of amazing emotional depth and complexity. And for another thing, conductor Jurowski is a more sympathetic Britten conductor than Nagano, and his performance of the youthful work makes it sound more like the composer than Nagano's. Additionally, the disc comes with a lively yet tender performance of the "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge," plus an eerie but moving performance of "Les Illuminations" with clear-toned soprano Sally Matthews. Recorded in vibrant live sound, this disc is a significant addition to the Britten discography.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/31/2009
  • Label: London Philharmonic
  • UPC: 854990001376
  • Catalog Number: 37
  • Sales rank: 294,038

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Double Concerto, for violin, viola & orchestra in B minor (supressed by composer) - Benjamin Britten & Vladimir Jurowski (21:39)
  2. 4–14 Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, for strings, Op. 10 - Benjamin Britten & Vladimir Jurowski (25:41)
  3. 15–24 Les illuminations, song cycle for high voice & strings, Op. 18 - Benjamin Britten & Vladimir Jurowski (23:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
London Philharmonic Orchestra Primary Artist
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