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Britten: Piano Concerto; Johnson Over Jordan (Suite)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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and the suite, "Johnson Over Jordan," arranged in 1990 by Paul Hindmarsh, are competent orchestrations of Britten's unpublished pieces in piano score, and are entertaining filler.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: 4/19/2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313219728
  • Catalog Number: 8557197
  • Sales rank: 153,327

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Paul Bunyan, operetta, Op. 17: Overture - Benjamin Britten & Steuart Bedford (5:13)
  2. 2–6 Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 13 - Benjamin Britten & Steuart Bedford (42:48)
  3. 7–12 Johnson over Jordan, incidental music, soprano, flute & orchestra - Benjamin Britten & Steuart Bedford (15:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joanna MacGregor Primary Artist
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