The Age of Gold

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
With Milton's The Age of Gold as a title, this disc has a lot to live up to. But this BBC broadcast recital from January 28, 1953, performed by tenor Peter Pears accompanied by pianist Noel Mewton-Wood with guest hornist Dennis Brain, featuring works by Schubert, Beethoven, Hindemith, and Tippett, does indeed qualify as an authentic aesthetic artifact from a golden age of English musicianship. Peter Pears -- with his intimate pianissimos, his ringing fortissimos, and his highly emotional espressivo -- was one of the great tenors of the middle years of the twentieth century, and this recital catches him in his youthful prime. Mewton-Wood was never a household word in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
With Milton's The Age of Gold as a title, this disc has a lot to live up to. But this BBC broadcast recital from January 28, 1953, performed by tenor Peter Pears accompanied by pianist Noel Mewton-Wood with guest hornist Dennis Brain, featuring works by Schubert, Beethoven, Hindemith, and Tippett, does indeed qualify as an authentic aesthetic artifact from a golden age of English musicianship. Peter Pears -- with his intimate pianissimos, his ringing fortissimos, and his highly emotional espressivo -- was one of the great tenors of the middle years of the twentieth century, and this recital catches him in his youthful prime. Mewton-Wood was never a household word in America, but in England he was known as an excellent accompanist with wonderful insight into the music. Brain, however, was internationally known as the greatest hornist of his time, and one who worked with the best musicians of the period. The recital begins with Schubert's "Auf dem Strom" performed as a deeply soulful duet for Pears and Brain above Mewton-Wood's sensitive accompaniment. Brain then sits out while Pears performs Beethoven's "An die ferne Geliebte" as a rapturous aria in the form of a song cycle above Mewton-Wood's almost orchestral accompaniment. Pears then sits out when Brain returns to perform Hindemith's "Horn Sonata" as a virtuoso concerto above Mewton-Wood's powerfully muscular accompaniment. Then Brain leaves the stage while Pears closes the recital with Tippett's "The Heart's Assurance" as an ecstatic confession of love and death above Mewton-Wood's brilliantly flittering accompaniment. As a bonus, Pearl includes a 1948 recording of the English premiere of four of Frank Martin's "Six monologues from Hofmannsthal's Jedermann" performed by an overwhelmingly compelling Peter Pears above, for a change, Benjamin Britten's unbearably intense accompaniment. The BBC's 1953 sound is more tolerable. The 1948 sound is not.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/26/2005
  • Label: Pearl
  • UPC: 727031022725
  • Catalog Number: 227

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dennis Brain Primary Artist
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