Britten: The Little Sweep; Rejoice in the Lamb

WORKS: The Little Sweep; Rejoice in the Lamb
PERFORMER: Robert Lloyd, Robert Tear, Heather Begg; Medici String Quartet, Finchley Children’s Music Group, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Philip Ledger
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65111 2 ADDReissue
Britten had the rare talent of writing music for children that does not condescend: The Little Sweep, the culmination of Let’s Make an Opera!, is both funny and affecting (albeit sodden with paternalism), and displays the same kind of effortless formal ingenuity as the full-scale operas. All the good humour is evident here and Ledger leads with a light touch. Rejoice in the Lamb is performed with clarity, if rather fastidiously. William Humphreys-Jones