Aldeburgh Strings - Britten: Serenade - The Sunday Times
These performances by the Aldeburgh-inspired ensemble vividly affirm Britten's genius. Beginning with Young Apollo, his celebratory extended fanfare for piano and strings (the soloist Lorenzo Soulès), the set proceeds to the haunting viola concertante Lachrymae and the wonderful, concise invention of the Prelude and Fugue for 18-part strings. The Serenade finds a mellifluous, meticulous, impassioned exponent in Allan Clayton. He makes the opening of the (Lyke-Wake) Dirge truly chilling, and his (Keats) Sonnet is ravishingly pure. Richard Watkins's "natural" horn is splendidly detuned in the framing solos.