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Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis - Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music (CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE)

Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis - Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music (CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE)
$16.99

Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis - Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music (CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE)

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Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis - Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music (CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE)
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Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis - Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music (CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE)

Several Eloquence releases have celebrated the pellucid timbre and vivid characterisationof the British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan. 'A treasury to treasure' was the BBC Music Magazine's verdict on 'Songs of England' (4825045), a L'OiseauLyre recital from 1953. Four years later she took part in the first complete recording of Purcell's masque 'The Fairy Queen' (reissued as 4827449), where again her shapely phrasing and sharply etched tone-painting drew critical praise. As a founding member of the English Opera Group, Vyvyan had by then become a favouritesoprano for Benjamin Britten, who created a string of roles for her: 'Queen of Aldeburgh', she was called by her colleague, the baritone Thomas Hemsley.

So it was inevitable that Vyvyan should take so prominent a part in the second, (almost) complete 'Fairy Queen', arranged andconducted as it was by Britten for Decca in the Snape Maltings of Aldeburghin September 1970. She was joined by a Who's Who of British (and Britten-ish) early-music singers, who between them weave a spell of magic and intimacy in this Shakespereantale such as has hardly been rivalled on record since, especially in the ravishing nocturnal sequence to close Part II, featuring Vyvyan alongside James Bowman, Norma Burrowesand John Shirley-Quirk.

Britten's sprightly direction encompasses grand and brilliant choruses, bucolic delight in the music for the rude mechanicalsand sensuous rapture in moods of both lament and rejoicing. Hardly absent from the catalogue since its first release, this classic Decca recording is now coupled for the first time witha newly remastered (mono) L'OiseauLyre album from 1958, in which Vyvyan and the tenor William Herbert sing numbers from the incidental music to 'The Tempest', once attributed to Purcell, nowlargely acknowledged as the work of George Weldon. Jennifer Vyvyan is at her most beguiling here and in the minuet aria 'What shall I do' from Purcell's Dioclesian, sung with assuaging tenderness and her trademark grace and subtlety of phrasing.

'A most enjoyable disc, showing two aspects of Purcell at his best… presented with considerable skill by the singers and withvitality by the conductor and his men.' High Fidelity, March 1960 (The Tempest, etc)

'The cast and orchestra under Britten's inspired and inspiring direction certainly give of their best. Jennifer Vyvyan and PeterPears took part in the L'OiseauLyre recording of the 1950s under Anthony Lewis, and now as then are perfect Purcell stylists.' Opera, April 1972 (The Fairy Queen)

'Britten has a clear concept of this music and manages to convey it to all concerned, with a resultant remarkable stylistic unity... this beguiling music comes through gloriously-there is not one dull moment in it.' High Fidelity, July 1973 (The Fairy Queen)

Tracklistings:

HENRY PURCELL (1659–1695)

CD 1

The Fairy Queen

Ed. Benjamin Britten, Imogen Holst and Peter Pears

1–10Part I: Oberon's Birthday

11–19Part II: Night and Silence

20–26Part III: The Sweet Passion

CD 2

1–8Part IV: Epithalamium

Jennifer Vyvyan · Mary Wells · Norma Burrowes, sopranos

AlfredaHodgson, mezzo-soprano·

James Bowman, Charles Brett,countertenors

Peter Pears, Ian Partridge, tenors

John Shirley-Quirk · Owen Brannigan, basses

Ambrosian Opera Chorus

English Chamber Orchestra

Benjamin Britten

SONGS & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

9–13The Tempest (excerpts)*

14Sonata for Trumpet and Strings (ed. Dart, Tilmouth)*

15The Virtuous Wife*

16What shall I do?(Dioclesian)*

17Ciaconain G minor (ed. Dart)*

Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano · William Herbert, tenor · Hervey Alan, bass

Dennis Egan, trumpet

Philomusicaof London

Anthony Lewis

More Information
More Information
Release Date 11 Jan 2019
Brand N/A
Artist Benjamin Britten; Anthony Lewis
Title Purcell: The Fairy Queen; Incidental Music
Format CD DOUBLE SLIMLINE CASE
Packaging -
ISBN N/A
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