Scottish Ensemble - Britten - The Scotsman

Packages simply don't come much better than this. Three of Benjamin Britten's early masterpieces - the song cycles Les Illuminations and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, separated by the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge - make for addictive listening on this excellent new Linn recording, which features the superb tenor Toby Spence and horn player Martin Owen as soloists, alongside the Scottish Ensemble. Spence is truly spectacular, combining vocal athleticism with inspired artistry. The Scottish Ensemble is luminous throughout, particularly incisive and thrilling in the Bridge Variations. Everything about this disc screams "go out and buy me".

The Scotsman
07 February 2005