Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem; Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes; The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Britten
LABELS: Virgin Ultraviolet
WORKS: Sinfonia da Requiem; Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes; The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
PERFORMER: RLPO/Libor Pesek
CATALOGUE NO: CUV 5 61195 2 DDD (1990)
Pesek’s view of these Britten pieces is a tad disappointing. His tendency to highlight individual instruments and sections sometimes risks the structure and the atmosphere especially of the Four Sea Interludes, which are rather bland. The magically realistic scene painting of, say, Hickox or Previn is missing. In the Sinfonia da Requiem the first movement is lightweight after an imposing start, but the Dies irae, taken at breakneck speed, rasps and snarls, and his Requiem aeternam is radiantly serene. There is some fine virtuoso playing in The Young Person’s Guide, but the fugue lacks excitement. Ian Lace

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