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Benjamin Britten. A Guide to the Orchestral Works

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Benjamin Britten A Guide to the Orchestral Works Track listing for CD Sampler 1. Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, op. 33a for orchestra 1. Dawn Royal Opera House Orchestra/Britten Decca DWO
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Benjamin Britten A Guide to the Orchestral Works Track listing for CD Sampler 1. Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, op. 33a for orchestra 1. Dawn Royal Opera House Orchestra/Britten Decca DWO 2. Spring Symphony, op. 44 for soloists, chorus, boys choir and orchestra The Driving Boy Jennifer Vyvyan/Norma Procter/Peter Pears/ Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus/ Chorus of boys from Emanuel School/Britten Decca LM 3. Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, op. 68 for cello and orchestra 1. Allegro maestoso Mstislav Rostropovich/English Chamber Orchestra/ Britten Decca LM 4. The Prince of the Pagodas, op. 57 for orchestra Act 3 Scene 2, The Pagoda Palace London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen Virgin VCD Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 5. Suite on English Folk Tunes, op. 90 for orchestra 2. The Bitter Withy CBSO/Simon Rattle EMI CDS Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 6. Diversions, op. 21 for piano (left hand) and orchestra Finale: Tarantella Peter Donohoe/CBSO/Simon Rattle EMI CDS Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 7. Phaedra, op. 93 for mezzo-soprano and small orchestra Janet Baker/English Chamber Orchestra/ Steuart Bedford Decca LH2 8. An American Overture for orchestra CBSO/Simon Rattle EMI CDS Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 9. Come you not from Newcastle? for voice and orchestra Philip Langridge/Northern Sinfonia/ Steuart Bedford Naxos (p) Lambourne Productions Ltd 10. Lachrymae, op. 48a for solo viola and small string orchestra X. L estesso tempo - A tempo semplice Roger Chase/Nash Ensemble/Lionel Friend Hyperion CDH The Building of the House, op. 79 for orchestra with or without chorus CBSO and Chorus/Simon Rattle EMI CDS Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 12. A Charm of Lullabies, op. 41 for mezzo-soprano and orchestra 1. A Cradle Song Catherine Wyn-Rogers/Northern Sinfonia/ Steuart Bedford Naxos (p) Lambourne Productions Ltd 13. Double Concerto for violin, viola and orchestra 3. Allegro scherzando Gidon Kremer/Yuri Bashmet/Hallé Orchestra/ Kent Nagano Erato Courtesy of Warner Classics & Jazz, Warner Music UK Ltd 14. Les Illuminations, op. 18 for high voice and orchestra 3b. Antique Peter Pears/English Chamber Orchestra/Britten Decca LM 15. Violin Concerto, op. 15 for violin and orchestra 1. Moderato con moto Mark Lubotsky/English Chamber Orchestra/Britten Decca LM 16. The Company of Heaven for speaker(s), soloists, chorus, timpani, organ and strings 6. Heaven is here Cathryn Pope/EGO/London Philharmonic Choir/ Philip Brunelle Virgin VC Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 17. Sinfonia da Requiem, op. 20 for orchestra 2. Dies irae New Philharmonic Orchestra/Britten Decca LM 18. Saint Nicolas, op. 42 for soloists, chorus, and string orchestra, piano duet, percussion and organ II. The Birth of Nicolas Anthony Rolfe Johnson/Choristers of St George s Chapel/EGO/Matthew Best Hyperion CDH Two Portraits for string orchestra 2. E.B.B.: Poco lento Hallé Orchestra/Kent Nagano Erato Courtesy of Warner Classics & Jazz, Warner Music UK Ltd 20. Our Hunting Fathers, op. 8 for high voice and orchestra 1. Rats away! Peter Pears/LSO/Britten BBCB Piano Concerto, op.13 for piano and orchestra 2. Waltz Sviatoslav Richter/English Chamber Orchestra/Britten Decca LM 22. Cantata academica, carmen basiliense, op.62 for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, chorus and orchestra XII. Canone ed ostinato XIII. Corale can canto Jennifer Vyvyan/Helen Watts/Peter Pears/Owen Brannigan/LSO and Chorus/George Malcolm Decca LM 23. Love from a Stranger for orchestra 4. Love Music BBC Symphony Orchestra/Jac van Steen NMC DO73 Courtesy of NMC, 24. Temporal Variations for oboe and string orchestra 7. Waltz Nicholas Daniel/Northern Sinfonia/Steuart Bedford Naxos Naxos Rights International Ltd. 25. Ballad of Heroes, op.14 for high voice, chorus and orchestra 2. Scherzo (Dance of Death) Robert Tear/CBSO and Chorus/Simon Rattle EMI CDS Recording supplied courtesy of EMI Classics 26. King Arthur for orchestra 1. Overture - Fanfare and Introduction BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Hickox Chandos The World of the Spirit for speaker(s), soloists, chorus and orchestra 5. 0 life, 0 love now undivided Susan Chilcott/Pamela Helen Stephen/Britten Singers/ BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Hickox Chandos Young Apollo, op.16 for piano, string quartet and string orchestra Opening Nikolai Lugansky/Hallé Orchestra/Kent Nagano Erato Courtesy of Warner Classics & Jazz, Warner Music UK Ltd 29. Quatre chansons françaises for high voice and orchestra II. Sagesse Felicity Lott/Northern Sinfonia/Steuart Bedford Naxos (p) Lambourne Productions Ltd 30. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, op. 10 for string orchestra Variation 4: Aria Italiana LSO/Britten Decca DH 31. Nocturne, op. 60 for tenor, seven obligato instruments and string orchestra Sonnet 43 (Shakespeare) When most I wink Peter Pears/English Chamber Orchestra/Britten Decca LM 32. Symphonic Suite Gloriana', op. 53a for orchestra and tenor solo Courtly Dances II: Coranto LSO/Steuart Bedford Naxos (p) Lambourne Productions Ltd 33. Movements for a Clarinet Concerto III Michael Collins/Northern Sinfonia/ Thomas Zehetmair NMC D140 Courtesy of NMC, 34. Suite from Death in Venice, op. 88 Overture to Venice English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford Chandos 8363 Benjamin Britten A Guide to the Orchestral Works Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on 22 November 1913 and died in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on 4 December His mastery of the orchestra is evident even in such early works as the song cycles Quatre chansons françaises and Our Hunting Fathers, scores which display remarkable inventiveness and technical brilliance. The sombre majesty of the Sinfonia da Requiem and the dazzling colours of the ballet The Prince of the Pagodas represent the composer at the height of his powers, while the Suite on English Folk Tunes, written in his last years, is a hauntingly beautiful farewell to the orchestra. His response to commissions, and to soloists who were his friends, prompted works in every genre: who but Britten could have produced such a tour-deforce as The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra, a work that speaks to everyone, yet which is also a remarkable concerto for orchestra? He was as eloquent on the grandest scale, in the War Requiem, as when writing for amateurs, in his last completed work, the Welcome Ode. Britten stands secure as one of the greatest 20th-century composers, whether writing forceful political pieces Ballad of Heroes expressively programmatic works the Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes or virtuosic concertos the Cello Symphony. His orchestral works inspire and enchant performers and audiences alike throughout the world. Table of Contents Works for orchestra 3 Works for orchestra with solo instrument(s) 19 Works for orchestra with chorus 23 Works for orchestra with solo voice(s) 32 Compilation scores 39 Index 41 KEY In each section entries are arranged chronologically by the date on which Britten completed the composition Title Sub-title Dates of composition Description Publication information* Dedication Scoring Soirées musicales, op. 9 suite of five movements from rossini for orchestra 4 December August mins Britten composed two sparkling orchestral suites both based on themes by Rossini Soirées musicales and Matineés musicales, op. 24. They revel in dance rhythms (both were choreographed by Balanchine) and demonstrate Britten s orchestral mastery and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Widely performed by amateur and youth orchestras, these two suites provide substantial and exciting additions to any children s or pops concert. B&H, 1938 (full score, parts); 1965 (miniature score) Full score, miniature score, piano conductor, wind set, string set on sale Also published in Orchestral Anthology, vol. 1 (B&H, 1997); see p. 39 To M. Alberto Cavalcanti Original scoring: 2 fl (II=picc), 2 ob, 2 cl in Bf, 2 bn 4 hn, 2 tpt in Bf, 3 trbn (III=bass trbn) timp, 2 perc (bd, sd, cymb, trgl, castanets, xyl, glock) harp (or pf) str Version for small orchestra: fl, ob, cl in Bf tpt in Bf, trbn perc (bd, sd, cymb, trgl, castanets) harp (or pf) str Timing Movement titles 1 March (Guillaume Tell, Act III, Pas de soldats ) 4 Bolero (Soirées musicales, no. 5, L invito ) 2 Canzonetta (Soirées musicales, no. 1, 5 Tarantella (3 Choeurs religieux, no. 3, La charité ) La promessa ) 3 Tirolese (Soirées musicales, no. 6, La pastorella dell Alpi ) 16 January 1937, BBC National. BBC Orchestra (Section C), Joseph Lewis cond First broadcast** First concert performance 10 August 1937, Queen s Hall, London. BBC Orchestra, Henry Wood cond * B&H=Boosey & Hawkes; FM=Faber Music; CM=Chester Music ** First broadcast details are included only if the first broadcast was also the first performance For further details about the orchestral works in this Guide and other Britten works, please consult Benjamin Britten: A Catalogue of the Published Works (1999) available from music shops including or visit Cover photograph of Britten conducting by Brian Seed. 2 Two Portraits works for orchestra 15 mins for string orchestra cd: track 19 No. 1 composed August 1930, No. 2 completed 10 September 1930 The Two Portraits, musical sketches of David Layton, a school friend of Britten, and of the composer himself, were written in 1930, in the summer holiday between Britten leaving school and commencing studies at the Royal College of Music. He characterized his friend with fast, exciting, intensely chromatic music for orchestra, while his own portrait, a soulful viola solo (Britten s own instrument) over a gentle accompaniment, provides a more serious contrast. CM (first published OUP, 1997) Full score, pf reduction (no. 2 only: Susan Bradshaw) and solo part on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental 1 D. Layton: Poco presto (str) 2 E.B.B.: Poco lento (va, str) 5 December 1995, BBC Radio 3. Michael Gerrard va, Northern Sinfonia, Martyn Brabbins, cond 22 June 1996, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Festival. Stephen Tees va, City of London Sinfonia, Steuart Bedford cond Sinfonietta, op. 1 for chamber orchestra 20 June 9 July mins Written at the age of just 18 while he was still a student at the Royal College of Music, the Sinfonietta shows that Britten had already found a mature and unmistakable voice by the time of his official opus 1. The piece is tautly constructed and shows an assured and sophisticated command of structure that anticipates many later works. An alternative version for small orchestra with two horns (prepared by Britten in February 1936 but given only one performance during his lifetime) is also available for performance. B&H, 1935 Miniature score on sale; full score, parts on rental To Frank Bridge Fl, ob, cl in Bf, bn hn string quintet (2 vn, va, vc, db) or small string orchestra 1 Poco presto ed agitato 3 Tarantella: Presto vivace 2 Variations: Andante lento 31 January 1933, The Ballet Club (Mercury Theatre), London, Macnaghten Lemare concert. English Wind Players, Macnaghten String Quartet, Adolf Lotter db, Iris Lemare cond 3 works for orchestra Sinfonietta, op. 1a version for small orchestra 15 mins February 1936 B&H Full score, parts on rental Fl, ob, cl in Bb, bn 2 hn str [not simply string quintet] 10 March 1936, Aeolian Hall, London. Edric Cundell Chamber Orchestra, Edric Cundell cond Simple Symphony, op. 4 for string orchestra (or string quartet) 23 December February mins By the age of twelve Britten had composed a huge number of sonatas, symphonies, songs and suites. In 1933 he chose extracts from eight of these works and shaped them into a symphony for strings. Its alliterative movement titles indicate the character and roots of the work, although there is nothing childlike about the music itself: it is a tuneful and exciting concert piece, one of the best-known works from Britten s early years. CM (first published OUP, 1935) Study score, parts on sale; full score, parts on rental Dedicated to Audrey Alston (Mrs Lincolne Sutton) 1 Boisterous Bourrée 3 Sentimental Saraband 2 Playful Pizzicato 4 Frolicsome Finale 6 March 1934, Stuart Hall, Norwich. The Norwich String Orchestra, Benjamin Britten cond Russian Funeral for orchestral brass and percussion ensemble 24 February 2 March mins This tragic, politically charged work for brass and percussion was the result of Britten s association with the communist musician Alan Bush, an association which would bear further fruit in 1939 with the composition of Ballad of Heroes for performance in Bush s Festival of Music for the People. It draws on a Russian revolutionary song (also used by Shostakovich in the third movement of his Eleventh Symphony) and is a moving and brilliant showpiece for an orchestra s brass section. FM, 1981 Score, parts on sale 4 hn (ad lib.), 3 tpt in Bf, 2 ten trbn, bass trbn, tuba perc (susp cymb, sd, td, bd) March 1936, Westminster Theatre, London, London Labour Choral Union Concert. South London Brass Orchestra, Alan Bush cond 4 works for orchestra Irish Reel for orchestra 1 2 April 1936; revised after 9 November mins Based on the Scottish tune The Bottom of the Punch Bowl, the Irish Reel is one of a number of effective short pieces from the 1930s, composed at great speed as incidental music for film, radio and theatre productions. Orchestrated for a relatively small ensemble, for the documentary film Around the Village Green, the Reel begins with a conventional exposition of the main theme before Britten s own harmonic language takes it to new territories. FM, 1996 (revised version) Score on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental Original scoring: 2 fl (II=picc), ob, cl in A tpt in A, trbn timp harp str Revised scoring: fl (=picc), ob, cl in A, bn hn timp harp str 21 April 1938, BBC National (from a gramophone recording). Charles Brill Orchestra, Charles Brill cond 17 June 1995, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Festival. City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox cond Soirées musicales, op. 9 suite of five movements from rossini for orchestra 4 December August mins Britten composed two sparkling orchestral suites both based on themes by Rossini Soirées musicales and Matineés musicales, op. 24. They revel in dance rhythms (both were choreographed by Balanchine) and demonstrate Britten s orchestral mastery and tongue-incheek sense of humour. Widely performed by amateur and youth orchestras, these two suites provide substantial and exciting additions to any children s or pops concert. B&H, 1938 (full score, parts); 1965 (miniature score) Full score, miniature score, piano conductor, wind set, string set on sale Also published in Orchestral Anthology, vol. 1 (B&H, 1997); see p. 39 To M. Alberto Cavalcanti Original scoring: 2 fl (II=picc), 2 ob, 2 cl in Bf, 2 bn 4 hn, 2 tpt in Bf, 3 trbn (III=bass trbn) timp, 2 perc (bd, sd, cymb, trgl, castanets, xyl, glock) harp (or pf) str Version for small orchestra: fl, ob, cl in Bf tpt in Bf, trbn perc (bd, sd, cymb, trgl, castanets) harp (or pf) str 1 March (Guillaume Tell, Act III, Pas de soldats ) 4 Bolero (Soirées musicales, no. 5, L invito ) 2 Canzonetta (Soirées musicales, no. 1, 5 Tarantella (3 Choeurs religieux, no. 3, La charité ) La promessa ) 3 Tirolese (Soirées musicales, no. 6, La pastorella dell Alpi ) 16 January 1937, BBC National. BBC Orchestra (Section C), Joseph Lewis cond 10 August 1937, Queen s Hall, London. BBC Orchestra, Henry Wood cond 5 Love from a Stranger works for orchestra 10 mins music from the film cd: track November 1936 Transcribed by Colin Matthews (1994) By November 1936 Britten had been working in the documentary film industry for just 18 months, but had already contributed to around 25 documentaries. At this time, he completed his score for his only feature film, Love from a Stranger, based on the Agatha Christie mystery, Philomel Cottage. The opportunity to use a larger orchestra and the bigger scope of this project prompted from Britten a beautifully poised score, reconstructed by Colin Matthews from sketches and sound track in CM, 2001 Study score on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, alto sax, 2 bn 2 tpt in C, trbn, tuba perc (xyl, cymb, susp cymb, bd, t-t, trgl) harp str 1 Title Music 4 Love Music 2 Traffic Music 5 Channel Crossing 3 Brighton 6 End Titles 20 May 1995, Barbican Hall, London. BBC Concert Orchestra, Carl Davis cond king arthur, music for the radio drama by D. G. Bridson (composed 19 March 19 April 1937) King Arthur 25 mins suite for orchestra cd: track 26 Arranged by Paul Hindmarsh The legend of King Arthur, ingrained in English consciousness, was given lavish treatment as a BBC radio drama in Britten crafted a remarkable programmatic score, some of which later made its way into Ballad of Heroes and the revised Piano Concerto. This Suite, compiled by Paul Hindmarsh in 1995, makes musical and narrative sense out of the incidental score. CM (first published OUP, 1996) Full score on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental 3 fl (III=picc), 2 ob, 2 cl in A (=Bf), cl in Ef, 2 bn (II=dbn) 4 hn, 3 tpt in C, 3 trbn, tuba timp, 2 perc (cymb, susp cymb, bd, td, sd, trgl, tamb) harp str 1 Overture Fanfare, Introduction, The Lady of the 3 Variations Galahad, Graal Music Lake, Wedding March 4 Finale Battle 2 Scherzo Doom, Wild Dance, Death Music 21 October 1995, Snape Maltings Concert Hall. Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, Lutz Köhler cond 6 Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, op mins for string orchestra cd: track 30 5 June 12 July 1937 The work that catapulted Britten onto the international music scene was written in answer to an eleventh-hour commission from the Boyd Neel Orchestra, which needed a new work to play at the 1937 Salzburg Festival. One of the landmarks of 20th-century string writing, the piece is a character portrait of Britten s revered teacher, Frank Bridge. The score has proved attractive to choreographers, including Sir Frederick Ashton, Twyla Tharp and Lew Christensen. An imaginative transcription for two pianos by Colin McPhee is also available through the Boosey & Hawkes Hire Library. B&H, 1938 (full score); 1951 (miniature score) Miniature score on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental Also published in Orchestral Anthology, vol. 2 (B&H, 1998); see p. 39 To F. B. A tribute with affection and admiration. works for orchestra Introduction and Theme Variation 1: Adagio Variation 2: March Variation 3: Romance Variation 4: Aria Italiana Variation 5: Bourrée classique Variation 6: Wiener Walzer Variation 7: Moto perpetuo Variation 8: Funeral March Variation 9: Chant Variation 10: Fugue and Finale 27 August 1937, Salzburg Festival. Boyd Neel Orchestra, Boyd Neel cond Mont Juic, op. 12 suite of catalan dances for orchestra by lennox berkeley and benjamin britten 6 April 12 December mins This attractive suite of four folk-influenced dance movements was written in response to a performance of Catalan dancing seen by Britten and Berkeley in 1936 in the Barcelona district known as Mont Juic. The result is a witty, imaginative and resourcefully orchestrated score. The two composers never admitted which movement was written by whom, though it is accepted that Britten contributed the third and fourth. B&H, 1938 (full score); 1980 (study score) Miniature score on sale; full score, orchestral parts on rental In memory of Peter Burra 2 fl (II=picc), 2 ob, 2 cl in Bf, alto sax (ad lib.), ten sax (ad lib.), 2 bn (II=dbn) 4 hn, 2 tpt in Bf, 3 trbn, tuba timp, 2 perc (glock, td, cymb, bd) harp str 1 Andante maestoso 3 Lament (Barcelona, July 1936): Andante moderato 2 Allegro grazioso 4 Allegro molto 8 January 1938, BBC National. BBC Orchestra (Section C), Joseph Lewis cond 7 works for orchestra johnson over jordan, incidental music to the play by J. B. Priestley (composed February 1939) Johnson over Jordan suite for orchestra Compiled by Paul Hindmarsh 18 mins J. B. Priestley s Johnson over Jordan is a modern morality play, in which a m
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