Related Reviews
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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The Sunday Times
'These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius.'
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Gramophone
'All are performances to be recommended.'
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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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Classic FM
'...the playing of the hornist Richard Watkins is also truly exceptional...a performance so worth treasuring.'
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Aldeburgh Strings - Britten: Serenade - Hi-Fi News


01 October 2016
Hi-Fi News
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)
4½ Stars

These Britten recordings were made at Snape Maltings between Oct '12 and Apr '15 - no mention of the Tallis Fantasia in the excellent PDF notes or on the cover but you do get the texts of the great Serenade. Young Apollo had been suppressed by Britten and was first recorded by Simon Rattle in 1982. Prelude and Fugue (1943) was a celebration of Boyd Neel's string orchestra - he had commissioned the Frank Bridge Variations. But a new version of the Serenade with the young British tenor Allan Clayton is the real draw of this download. His singing is consistently clear, the necessary high register timbres rather lovely and the ‘second voice' of Richard Watkins's horn wonderfully integrated. It's almost as if Clayton is talking to his listeners. The undated ‘bonus' Vaughan Williams is cogently directed. CB

Sound Quality: 95%

Powerful, sensitively recorded vocals can demonstrate a remarkable bandwidth, and so it is here with this 96kHz rendering of Clayton's voice where his harmonics ring out to ~30kHz. There is no hint of overload in this recording. PM 


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