Britten: Piano Concerto; Johnson Over Jordan (Suite)

Britten: Piano Concerto; Johnson Over Jordan (Suite)

by Joanna MacGregor
     
 

When Benjamin Britten revised his "Piano Concerto, Op. 13," in 1945, he replaced the original, mischievous "Recitative and Aria" with a new third movement, a haunting "Impromptu"; this is the most often performed and recorded version. However, this 2005 Naxos reissue of a 1990 Collins recording provides the listener an opportunity to hear both movements and to decide… See more details below

Overview

When Benjamin Britten revised his "Piano Concerto, Op. 13," in 1945, he replaced the original, mischievous "Recitative and Aria" with a new third movement, a haunting "Impromptu"; this is the most often performed and recorded version. However, this 2005 Naxos reissue of a 1990 Collins recording provides the listener an opportunity to hear both movements and to decide which is preferable. With the English Chamber Orchestra, under Steuart Bedford, pianist Joanna MacGregor delivers a satisfying performance, full of energy, atmosphere, and considerable delicacy. The audio, though, is a little remote and under-recorded in places, and makes MacGregor seem too faint in the softest passages -- especially in the "Impromptu" -- and seriously diminished in presence. The "Overture to Paul Bunyan," arranged by Colin Matthews in 1977, and the suite, "Johnson Over Jordan," arranged in 1990 by Paul Hindmarsh, are competent orchestrations of Britten's unpublished pieces in piano score, and are entertaining filler. But like most incidental music, they are on the light side and much less engrossing than the "Piano Concerto," which is the main draw. In terms of sound quality, the "Overture to Paul Bunyan" is the best recorded, and the London Symphony Orchestra, also under Bedford, sounds much more distinct than the ECO.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/19/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313219728
catalogNumber:
8557197
Rank:
225355

Tracks

  1. Paul Bunyan, operetta, Op. 17: Overture  - Benjamin Britten  - Steuart Bedford  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - A. Heaton Cooper
  2. Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 13  - Benjamin Britten  - Steuart Bedford  -  English Chamber Orchestra  - Joanna MacGregor  - A. Heaton Cooper
  3. Johnson over Jordan, incidental music, soprano, flute & orchestra  - Benjamin Britten  - Steuart Bedford  -  English Chamber Orchestra  - A. Heaton Cooper

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