Aldeburgh Strings and Aldeburgh Winds
Created in order to provide high-level performance training for the world's best emerging professional musicians, this legacy still lives on today in the shape of residential courses and masterclasses which take place throughout the year in the beautiful surroundings of the Suffolk coast where Britten lived and worked. Young Artists benefit from an exceptional campus of performance spaces and studios which has grown around the world-famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall, home of the Aldeburgh Festival. The Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme hosts some of the world's finest performers and teachers who lead, and often participate in, intensive projects which mostly culminate in high-profile performances and recordings.
Since its inception in 2010 Aldeburgh Strings has met for intensive residential courses during which it has explored core chamber repertoire alongside leading artists and tutors, including director Markus Däunert. These tutors are drawn from some of the world's finest orchestras - such as the Berlin Philhamonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra- and direct the ensemble sections from within, in an inspiring dual role of mentor and performer. As well as Britten's music, the ensemble has performed core repertoire by Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Shostakovich, Elgar, Vaughan-Williams and Bartók as well as John Woolrich's Capriccio for violin and strings. This recording is the conclusion of projects celebrating Britten's centenary in 2013, at which Aldeburgh Strings performed the closing concert.
The Aldeburgh Winds ensemble was inspired by Aldeburgh Strings and was formed in 2015 for a week-long residency and performance at Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The ensemble was directed by oboist and conductor, Nicholas Daniel with the tutorage of Richard Watkins, former principal horn of the Philharmonia and Richard Hosford, principal clarinet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Aldeburgh Winds is made up of musicians from eight different countries, including the UK, Brazil, Taiwan and Hungary, all of whom are alumni or current members of the Britten-Pears Orchestra. During this residency, the ensemble recorded and performed a selection of wind ensemble repertoire by Strauss, Stravinsky and Britten.
'a new version of the Serenade with the young British tenor Allan Clayton is the real draw of this download...'more >>American Record Guide
'This recording has the advantage of firstrate sound, a superb horn player who is at least the equal of Brain or Tuckwell with an even greater range of tonal nuance, and a singer who simply has a more pleasant sound than Pears.'more >>Fanfare
'...the ensemble is particularly impressive in the hushed sections, playing with exquisite beauty and control...'more >>Crescendo
'...extraordinary performances, aided by top-notch soloists..few recordings satisfy as much as this one, with deliberate, but intense, readings...'more >>Forum Opera
« Le piano de Lorenzo Soulès en offre une interprétation étincelante...Le raffinement de Britten est servi en maître dans ce jalon d'une musique. »more >>BBC Music Magazine
'In the following Tennyson song, "Nocturne", aided by the Aldeburgh Strings' splendidly evocative playing, Clayton sounds suitably heroic at the final "Blow, bugle, blow"...Lorenzo Soules plays Young Apollo's glittering piano part with charismatic dash...'more >>Voix des Arts
Recording of the Month: 'Clayton establishes himself as a triumphantly worthy successor to Pears...Clayton's voice is both more beautiful and more secure throughout the range than Pears's, but the forthrightness with which he limns the distress of lines like ‘O rose, thou art sick' recalls Pears's interpretive perspicuity.'more >>Pizzicato
'..the soloists are one and all excellent, as are the exceptionally good Aldeburgh Strings.'more >>The Guardian
'urgent, vibrant and punchy'more >>The Sunday Times
'These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius.'more >>Gramophone
'All are performances to be recommended.'more >>MusicWeb International
'One is struck by the beauty and security of their quiet playing - a virtue which comes to the fore also in the gorgeously lyrical Prelude. The accompanying Fugue, meanwhile, is a contrapuntal tour de force, and tossed off here with notable verve and aplomb.'more >>Der neue Merker
'Britten's short but magnificent tone poem…bursts with radiant vitality, rises in iridescent tones before us...'more >>Daily Mail
'The Aldeburgh Strings give an exceptional performance of Britten's the Serenade For Tenor, Horn And Strings.'more >>Classic FM
'...the playing of the hornist Richard Watkins is also truly exceptional...a performance so worth treasuring.'more >>