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Hymnos. Benjamin Britten: Canticles and Purcell Realizations


Hymnos. Benjamin Britten: Canticles and Purcell Realizations


Without doubt, Benjamin Britten (1913-76) left an indelible impression on every genre of 20th century English music. However, it is his smaller scale vocal repertoire that is particularly fascinating. Featuring three of Britten’s “Canticles” as well as a selection of his best realizations (or “arrangements,” if you will) of songs by Henry Purcell (1659-95), this recording represents the mature revival of English song. The “Canticles” presented on this recording (numbers 1-3) are masterful, morally charged pieces. They demand of the singer and pianist careful attention to how Britten uses text as the starting point for all of his works. The “Purcell Realizations” further illustrate the genius of Benjamin Britten. Benjamin Britten strikes the ideal balance between providing unbelievably stirring music and serving the text without overwhelming its intent. This recording demonstrates Britten’s preeminence among 20th century song composers.

PAS 1095