LABELS: Decca Classic Sound
WORKS: Introduction and Allegro; Prelude and Fugue; Simple Symphony
PERFORMER: English CO/Benjamin Britten
CATALOGUE NO: 448 569-2 ADD (1969/77)
Britten’s reading of Purcell’s richly contrapuntal Chacony is affectionate and elegant. His own no less impressive Prelude and Fugue – sombre Prelude, dazzling Fugue – has plenty of attack plus great precision and clarity. In contrast, the engaging Simple Symphony sparkles; the Bourrée is exhilarating and the ‘Pizzicato Polka’ bright and joyful.
Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro is lovingly shaped with splendidly integrated playing from the quartet (members of the ECO); you can feel winds sweeping over upland grasses. Britten’s view of Delius’s Two Aquarelles (orchestrated by Eric Fenby) nicely evokes past gaiety as though glimpsed through sad nostalgic mists. Good to have this classic recording back. Ian Lace