Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, (1913 – 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist.
Showing prodigious talent from an early age – he composed Quatre Chansons françaises for soprano and orchestra at the age of fourteen – he first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945 he leapt to international fame, and for the next fifteen years he devoted much of his compositional attention to writing operas, several of which now appear regularly on international stages.
Britten's interests as a composer were wide-ranging; he produced important music in such varied genres as orchestral, choral, solo vocal (much of it written for the tenor Peter Pears), chamber and instrumental, as well as film music. He also took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, and was a fine pianist and conductor.
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
'superbe'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 >>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 >>Gramophone
'All are performances to be recommended.'more >>The Sunday Times
'These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius.'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 >>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 >>