BENJAMIN BRITTEN The Performer

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BENJAMIN BRITTEN
THE PERFORMER

Complete Decca Recordings

Bach ˇ Debussy ˇ Elgar
Mozart ˇ Purcell
Schubert ˇ Schumann
Int. Release 16 Sep. 2013
27 CDs / Download
0289 478 5672 6 27 CDs
ADD DC27 ˇ Party MONO


Liste de titres

CD 1: Britten The Performer

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
St. John Passion, BWV 245

ed. Britten, trans. Pears & I. Holst

Part One

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Gwynne Howell, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Alfreda Hodgson, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jenny Hill, Peter Pears, Russell Burgess, Gwynne Howell, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Russell Burgess, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Robert Tear, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Part Two

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Gwynne Howell, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Gwynne Howell, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Gwynne Howell, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Robert Tear, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:02:44

CD 2: Britten The Performer

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
St. John Passion, BWV 245

ed. Britten, trans. Pears & I. Holst

Part Two

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Gwynne Howell, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Gwynne Howell, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Gwynne Howell, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Alfreda Hodgson, Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Robert Tear, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:07:39

CD 3: Britten The Performer

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kommt Cantata, BWV 151

Heather Harper, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Helen Watts, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Choir Of Wandsworth School, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Cantata No.102 "Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben", BWV 102

Erster Teil

Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Janet Baker, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Zweiter Teil

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Janet Baker, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046

14.
0:00
4:06

Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:19:16

CD 4: Britten The Performer

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048

Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049

Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D, BWV 1050

arr. Jacques Loussier

Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051

9.
0:00
7:02

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:08:38

CD 5: Britten The Performer

Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
The Fairy Queen, Z.629

Ed. Benjamin Britten, Imogen Holst and Peter Pears

Act 1

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, Charles Brett, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Mary Wells, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Ian Partridge, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Act 2

Charles Brett, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Mary Wells, Owen Brannigan, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Norma Burrowes, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 56:12

CD 6: Britten The Performer

Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
The Fairy Queen, Z.629

Ed. Benjamin Britten, Imogen Holst and Peter Pears

Part 3: The Sweet Passion

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Alfreda Hodgson, Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Act 4

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Mary Wells, Alfreda Hodgson, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Owen Brannigan, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Mary Wells, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Mary Wells, James Bowman, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Owen Brannigan, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

14.
0:00
3:33

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Celebrate This Festival, Z.321 (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary)

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, Josephine Veasey, James Bowman, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, Josephine Veasey, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Josephine Veasey, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Josephine Veasey, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

James Bowman, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:19:33

CD 7: Britten The Performer

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
Symphony No.45 in F-Sharp Minor, Hob.I:45 -"Farewell"

Symphony No.55 in E-flat Major, Hob.I:55 - "The Schoolmaster"

The Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Cello Concerto In C, H.VIIb, No.1

10.
0:00
9:33

Mstislav Rostropovich, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:12:28

CD 8: Britten The Performer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Symphony No.25 in G minor, K.183

Serenata notturna in D, K.239

Symphony No.29 in A, K.201

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:00:23

CD 9: Britten The Performer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550

Symphony No.38 in D, K.504 "Prague"

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:10:38

CD 10: Britten The Performer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Symphony No.41 in C, K.551 - "Jupiter"

Symphony No.39 in E flat, K.543

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:17:05

CD 11: Britten The Performer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Piano Concerto No.12 In A, K.414

Benjamin Britten, The Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra

Sonata for Piano duet in C, K.521

Sonata in D Major for 2 Pianos, K.448

Sviatoslav Richter, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:16:52

CD 12: Britten The Performer

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor, K.466

Piano Concerto No.27 In B Flat, K.595

Clifford Curzon, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:05:03

CD 13: Britten The Performer

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Symphony No.8 in B Minor, D.759 - "Unfinished"

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Sonata For Arpeggione And Piano In A Minor, D.821

Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Divertissement sur des motifs originaux français, in E minor, D.823

Andantino varié

6.
0:00
1:11

Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
En blanc et noir

for 2 pianos

Sviatoslav Richter, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:19:08

CD 14: Britten The Performer

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Fantasy in F minor, D. 940 (Op.103) for piano duet

Variations on a original theme, in A flat, D.813

5.
0:00
1:34

Grand Duo Sonata in C major, D.812 (Op. posth.140)

Sviatoslav Richter, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:15:09

CD 15: Britten The Performer

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Winterreise, D. 911

10.
0:00
3:20

22.
0:00
1:31

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:13:07

CD 16: Britten The Performer

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795

11.
0:00
2:08

12.
0:00
4:29

Schwanengesang, D. 957

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:12:25

CD 17: Britten The Performer

Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Dichterliebe, Op.48

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Schwanengesang, D. 957

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:13:24

CD 18: Britten The Performer

Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Szenen aus Goethes 'Faust' für Solostimmen, Chor und Orchester

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Erste Abteilung (Part One)

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elizabeth Harwood, John Shirley-Quirk, Meriel Dickinson, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Elizabeth Harwood, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Zweite Abteilung (Part Two)

Peter Pears, Jenny Hill, Margaret Cable, John Elwes, Neil Jenkins, John Noble, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Felicity Palmer, Meriel Dickinson, Pauline Stevens, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jennifer Vyvyan, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:12:44

CD 19: Britten The Performer

Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Szenen aus Goethes 'Faust' für Solostimmen, Chor und Orchester

Dritte Abteilung (Part Three)

Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Robert Lloyd, John Shirley-Quirk, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Jennifer Vyvyan, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Felicity Palmer, Meriel Dickinson, Pauline Stevens, Elizabeth Harwood, Alfreda Hodgson, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Elisabeth Harrison, Felicity Palmer, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aldeburgh Festival Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

5 Stücke im Volkston, Op.102

Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:03:06

CD 20: Britten The Performer

Frederick Delius (1862 - 1934)
Two Aquarelles

Orch. Eric Fenby

Frank Bridge (1879 - 1941)
Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38

Part 1

6.
0:00
9:05

London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:05:54

CD 21: Britten The Performer

Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934)
The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38

Part 2

Peter Pears, Yvonne Minton, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Yvonne Minton, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Yvonne Minton, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Yvonne Minton, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Yvonne Minton, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 54:54

CD 22: Britten The Performer

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)
Sonata For Cello And Piano, Op.40

Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Seven Poems of Alexander Blok, Op.127

Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich

Galina Vishnevskaya, Benjamin Britten

Galina Vishnevskaya, Emanuel Hurwitz

Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Galina Vishnevskaya, Emanuel Hurwitz, Benjamin Britten

Galina Vishnevskaya, Emanuel Hurwitz, Mstislav Rostropovich

11.
0:00
5:33

Galina Vishnevskaya, Emanuel Hurwitz, Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Leos Janácek (1854 - 1928)
Pohádka for cello & piano

Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:02:02

CD 23: Britten The Performer

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)
On Wenlock Edge

6.
0:00
3:30

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten, Zorian String Quartet

Frank Bridge (1879 - 1941)
Norbert Brainin, Peter Schidlof, Martin Lovett, Benjamin Britten

Sonata for cello & piano

Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
Sonata For Cello And Piano In D Minor, L.135

Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:08:04

CD 24: Britten The Performer

Percy Grainger (1882 - 1961)
English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

The Ambrosian Singers

Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Viola Tunnard, Benjamin Britten

The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

12.
0:00
1:27

Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

John Shirley-Quirk, The Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
Sweeter than roses

James Bowman, Benjamin Britten

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:14:41

CD 25: Britten The Performer

Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934)
Humbert Wolfe Songs

7.
0:00
4:08

11.
0:00
1:38

Frank Bridge (1879 - 1941)
George Butterworth (1885 - 1916)
A Shropshire Lad

Ernest Moeran (1894 - 1950)
Peter Warlock (1894 - 1930)
John Ireland (1879 - 1962)
The Land of Lost Content

24.
0:00
2:17

28.
0:00
1:38

Lennox Berkeley (1903 - 1989)
Arthur Oldham (1926 - 2003)
Three Chinese Lyrics

36.
0:00
0:44

Michael Tippett (1905 - 1998)
Songs for Ariel

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:18:48

CD 26: Britten The Performer

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Kathleen Ferrier, Benjamin Britten

Schwanengesang, D. 957

13.
0:00
2:31

Harfenspieler 3, D. 480

Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten

William Byrd (1540 - 1623)
Sellinger's Round - variations for keyboard

Variations on an Elizabethan Theme

The Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)
Gloriana, Op.53

Act 1 Scene 1

25.
0:00
0:30

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Anonymous
God Save The Queen

Chorus Of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:14:54

CD 27: Britten The Performer

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759)
Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day (HWV76)

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Chorus Of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, Keith Harvey, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, Philip Jones, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

6.
0:00
1:09

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Heather Harper, Keith Harvey, Richard Adeney, Philip Jones, Julian Bream, Philip Ledger, Chorus Of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Cosě fan tutte, K.588

London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Peter Pears, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550

London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Durée totale de lecture 1:20:25

No one produced colours at the keyboard like Britten did . . . As a conductor he was always very clear . . . He was always moving the music on, and shaping it very carefully. Any orchestral musician who played under him loved him. As an accompanist he played as if the piano part was of equal importance to the vocal line . . . I vividly remember a performance of "Winterreise" with Pears at Aldeburgh -- it was simply riveting.

Here are riches indeed, which have given me almost unalloyed pleasure . . . the Overture to "Cosi fan tutte", absolutely delightful, with bubbling woodwinds to the fore; two Mozart concert arias, K209 and K420, with Peter Pears, both magnificent . . . [Purcell's "The Fairy Queen"] is a delight, stylish and buoyant with wonderful soloists . . . Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos are mostly done with multiple strings but display all Britten's virtues of rhythm and shaping, with first-rate soloists such as Emanuel Hurwitz, Richard and Philip Ledger . . . Had BB not been taken ill so soon, I suspect Decca would have got all the mature Mozart symphonies from him and the ECO. He achieved Nos. 25, 29, 38 and 40, along with the "Serenata notturna", and BBC tapes supplied Nos. 39 and 41. All are wonderful; and there is Schubert's "Unfinished" as well, powerful and intense, full of beautiful detailing but always with a firm sense of direction: anyone who thinks BB was inhibited or withdrawn should hear it . . . [K414 in A]: it is full of vitality . . . and Britten's own playing is full of pearly runs and immaculate trill . . . It is a constant joy, when hearing these varied performances, to experience such vivid, vital yet contained music making.

If ever there was justification for owning two recorded performances of the same masterpiece by the same master musician, it's with the two versions of Mozart's Symphony No 40 that grace this invaluable 27-disc set . . . previously unissued Mozart recordings include a humbling account of the "Masonic Funeral Music" . . . Among other Lieder highlights, aside from the celebrated Schubert and Schumann song-cycles, is a comparatively late version of "Nachtstück" . . . virtually set afloat by Pears. And has ever a tenor become Gerontius quite as wholeheartedly as Pears does on Britten's recording of "The Dream" -- a performance that . . . strips away every vestige of sentimentality and reveals Elgar's masterpiece in all its profound glory? . . . I would still urge even hard-line period-performance advocates to try his Bach. The "Brandenburg Concertos" manage inner vitality without pushing for uncomfortably (and, dare I say, unmusical) fast tempi, with superb playing from members of the ECO. The "St John Passion" (with Pears as a compelling Evangelist) was a Britten favourite and his reading is mindful of both scale and meaning . . . And of course there are the instrumental collaborations, most effectively with Sviatoslav Richter in piano duets by Schubert, the great F minor "Fantasie" all spirit and sinew, and while both players are capable of achieving power and delicacy, they perform the piece as a single, sweeping entity . . . [the longer "Grand Duo"] again enjoys the benefits of these players' formidable pooled insights, which are also applied to sonatas by Mozart.