Related Reviews
Hi-Fi News
4½ Stars
'a new version of the Serenade with the young British tenor Allan Clayton is the real draw of this download...'
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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.'
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Fanfare
'...the ensemble is particularly impressive in the hushed sections, playing with exquisite beauty and control...'
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Crescendo
4 Stars
'superbe'
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AllMusic
4½ Stars
'...extraordinary performances, aided by top-notch soloists..few recordings satisfy as much as this one, with deliberate, but intense, readings...'
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Forum Opera
4 Stars
« Le piano de Lorenzo Soulès en offre une interprétation étincelante...Le raffinement de Britten est servi en maître dans ce jalon d'une musique. »
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'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...'
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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.'
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Pizzicato
'..the soloists are one and all excellent, as are the exceptionally good Aldeburgh Strings.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'urgent, vibrant and punchy'
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Gramophone
'All are performances to be recommended.'
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The Sunday Times
'These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius.'
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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.'
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Der neue Merker
'Britten's short but magnificent tone poem…bursts with radiant vitality, rises in iridescent tones before us...'
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Daily Mail
4 Stars
'The Aldeburgh Strings give an exceptional performance of Britten's the Serenade For Tenor, Horn And Strings.'
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Aldeburgh Strings - Britten: Serenade - Classic FM


07 March 2016
Classic FM
David Mellor

This enjoyable album, including some Britten rarities like Young Apollo and the Prelude and Fugue, draws on recordings made at the Snape Maltings between October 2012 and April 2015. It's fairly short weight at only 55 minutes, but any concerns about that should be set aside, because of the exceptional performance here of the Serenade , one of the great masterpieces of British music. The tenor Allan Clayton, is an artist for whom I have the highest regard, because of both the quality of his voice and his calibre as a musician. And the playing of the hornist Richard Watkins is also truly exceptional. The opening phrase of the serenade's Pastoral makes clear that Clayton is blessed with the same sort of high tenor voice as the singer for whom the piece was written, Britten's partner Peter Pears, but without what I can only describe as the strangulated, drowning-the-cat, timbres that, if truth be told, irritated all but Pears' most dedicates admirers. As such, this is a performance so worth treasuring, that even if you don't want the whole album, you should download this. By the way, this recording mainly features the Aldeburgh Strings, a group put together from visiting musicians, rather as they do at Bayreuth, so the viola player Mate Szucs plays in the Berlin Philharmonic, whilst the director, the violinist Markus Daunert, is leader of both the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Quite a pedigree.
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Aldeburgh Strings and Aldeburgh WindsAldeburgh Strings and Aldeburgh Winds
Allan ClaytonAllan Clayton
Benjamin BrittenBenjamin Britten
Lorenzo SoulesLorenzo Soules
Markus DaunertMarkus Daunert
Mate SzucsMate Szucs
Richard WatkinsRichard Watkins
Britten: Serenade for tenor, horn and stringsBritten: Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and StringsBritten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings