Britten: Sinfonia da requiem; A Time There Was…; Diversions; Canadian Carnival; Quatre chansons françaises; Scottish Ballad,

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Britten
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Sinfonia da requiem; A Time There Was…; Diversions; Canadian Carnival; Quatre chansons françaises; Scottish Ballad,
PERFORMER: Peter Donohoe (piano), Jill Gomez (soprano); City of Birmingham SO & Chorus/Simon Rattle
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 73983 2 Reissue (1982-91)
The Sinfonia da requiem is first-rate Britten; A Time There Was… is one of the finest of all English folksong suites, filled with a sense of regret which goes deeper than cosy nostalgia. Otherwise there’s little that shows Britten at his best on these two generously filled discs – unless one counts the precociously brilliant Quatre chansons françaises (an astonishing achievement for a 15-year-old). A collection for the fully persuaded Britten-explorer rather than for anyone new to this composer. Performances are generally good – the Sinfonia da requiem comes across particularly well – and the recordings are excellent. Stephen Johnson

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