Scottish Ensemble - Britten - The Sunday Times

These three early masterpieces are performed with joyous intensity and recorded so that every detail tells. Toby Spence brings a radiance of timbre and a searching eloquence to the song cycle on Rimbaud's prose poems, Les Illuminations, and the Serenade. Owen's playing is a luxury for the ear. Gould's players are a true elite, coming into their own in an account of the Bridge Variations that holds immediacy and meticulousness in perfect balance yet soars stylistically all over the place, now in the mode of wistful light music, now abrupt tragedy.

The Sunday Times