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Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge; Simple Symphony

Britten , London Symphony Orch. , English Chamber Orch Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $14.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 1986 $9.49  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, op.34London Symphony Orchestra16:34Album Only
listen  2. Britten: Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 1. Boisterous BourréeBenjamin Britten 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Britten: Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 2. Playful PizzicatoBenjamin Britten 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Britten: Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 3. Sentimental SarabandBenjamin Britten 7:56Album Only
listen  5. Britten: Simple Symphony, Op.4 - 4. Frolicsome FinaleBenjamin Britten 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 1. Introduction & ThemeBenjamin Britten 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 2. AdagioBenjamin Britten 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 3. MarchBenjamin Britten 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 4. RomanceBenjamin Britten 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 5. Aria ItalianaBenjamin Britten 1:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 6. Bourrée ClassiqueBenjamin Britten 1:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 7. Wiener WaltzerBenjamin Britten 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 8. Moto PerpetuoBenjamin Britten 1:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 9. Funeral MarchBenjamin Britten 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 10. ChantBenjamin Britten 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Op.10 - 11. Fugue & FinaleBenjamin Britten 7:35Album Only


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Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge; Simple Symphony + Moonrise Kingdom
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041S6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In this century, few composers have been as well-equipped to perform their own works as Benjamin Britten. An accomplished pianist and conductor, he was used to working in front of the microphone and was able to record most of his own works, some more than once. Despite the continuing popularity of these scores with other conductors, the composer's own versions have held up very well. Britten's account of the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, recorded in 1963 with the London Symphony, shows a masterly touch. Many of the subtler details of the writing emerge in this performance, which, for all the felicities of expression and nuance it achieves, moves along rather smartly. It's a spirited treatment, quite modern-sounding in places, with the LSO clearly having great fun. The recording, made in Kingsway Hall, is very bright and exhibits a touch of brittleness at the high end. --Ted Libbey

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten conducts Britten May 18, 2006
Format:Audio CD
British composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a master composer AND a master conductor. Not only did he make numerous recordings conducting his own compositions, he also conducted very competent performances of other composers, including J.S. Bach and Robert Schumann. He was an exclusive London/Decca artist throughout his life and the recordings in this compilation were originally released on LPs on that label. They have now been superbly remastered for really high fidelity sound on compact disc.

The CD features a wonderful color photograph of Britten on the cover. He was a musician's musician, who challenged both singers and instrumentalists to strive harder. In an interview, Britten admitted that his music was often difficult to perform correctly. That became apparent when this writer had the opportunity to sing some of Britten's choral music, including "Ceremony of Carols," "Rejoice in the Lamb," and "War Requiem." His choral music IS singable, despite the great challenges, and not as "impossible" to sing as portions of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," which I have also sung.

The 1963 recording of "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is a benchmark performance by the fabulous London Symphony Orchestra, truly one of the greatest of all orchestras. The individual performers, as well as the sections, all get a chance to "shine" as Britten uses a theme by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) to present a series of variations highlighting all of the sections and some of the individual instruments in the orchestra. Some recordings included narration; this performance simply presents the music in topnotch performances with great virtuosity throughout. The sound is exceptionally clear, too, making it possible to thoroughly enjoy this inspiring performance.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By definition...definitive December 6, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Unlike most listeners, I bought this for the 'Frank Bridge' work; I originally had it on LP, from over 20 years ago. The variations are, I think, one of the masterpieces of 20th century music. It was his first commission to receive widesprad attention and for good reason: his mastery of string instrumentation and sonics is truly astonishing. It is a piece I constantly return to.
The 'Young Person's Guide' is totally satisfying as well. Britten's interpretation is much more 'baroque' than the full orchestral sound we are used to; but it is much more convincing, particarly as the theme is by Purcell. And the 'Simple Symphony' is as charming as others have noted. All are recorded with excellent sound.
Britten as interpreted by Britten has to be considered definitive!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Person's Guide without the talk March 21, 2007
By HB
Format:Audio CD
Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra can be performed with or without narration. I prefer without since the music speaks for itself so eloquently. The theme is by Henry Purcell and it is gorgeous. After each section plays the theme for a few seconds, variations begin with the woodwinds, strings, brass and finally percussion. The work ends with a fugue and final proclamation of the glorius theme. It is a thrilling work that all ages can enjoy. The rest of the music is also wonderful and the composer directed performances are superior in every way. Although the sound is from the analog era, it is just perfect. Amazon says the CD is essential. I totally agree.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I should have researched more carefully October 6, 2012
Format:Audio CD
I bought this because I wanted the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, but I wrongly assumed that all versions were the narrated version I had when I was a kid. I'm going to have to find out where my mom got that one from, because that one broke up the piece into sections, so you could listen to a narrated description of just the woodwind section, for instance. This one just plays straight through the whole work with no narration. The other selections on the cd are fine, but not amazing, certainly not as good as Britten's many masterpieces! So the cd is fine, I just didn't realize what it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This disc compiles recordings originally published in 1964 (YPG), 1968 (Variations) and 1969 (SS). Britten was renowned for being an excellent conductor of his own work and so it transpires here. Decca provide recordings that have survived the passing of time very well and these give a pleasing mixture of glow plus brilliance. Both of these characteristics reproduce the playing of the musicians of course.

The three works on this disc are among the most easily accessed works that Britten composed and together they make a most attractive package. The Young Person's Guide sparkles with brilliant playing by members of the LSO and this is probably the most satisfying performance available on disc regardless of its age. The recording is very vivid with lots of 'presence.' It needs to be noted that this is the orchestral concert version without the additional descriptive script.

The Variations also offers superlative playing from the strings of the ECO and here there is a glowing sumptuousness added to the recording which is totally appropriate to the music. The Simple Symphony likewise gets wonderful playing.

All these pieces gain immeasurably from Britten's skilful direction. To say that his readings are perceptive or show enormous empathy seems ridiculous bearing in mind that he wrote the music, but that is exactly where these recordings score over all the competition.

Definitive recordings are generally doubtful descriptions given the wealth of recorded material now available, but in this case one is sorely tempted to use that description.

I would therefore suggest that collectors of either multiple versions or just single versions would do well to consider this disc as a priority option.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for listening and learning!
The CD allows me to review my knowledge of various instruments even while I am listening to excellent music I enjoy!
Published 7 months ago by C. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Evocative Orchestral Narrative
I heard the "Variations on Theme of Frank Bridge" years ago on CBC and was very pleased to find the composer conducting. Read more
Published 14 months ago by K. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for a Young Music Enthusiast
I bought this because I want my 9 year old niece to listen to it as well. When I saw the recent movie ___ in which the Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra is prominently featured,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Sharon Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars There's A Reason This Album Sounds So Good
The building you see behind Mr. Britten on this album cover was called "The Maltings," and its acoustics were apparently as fine as what you could hear in the famed Concertgebouw... Read more
Published on July 8, 2010 by Emily
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Doesn't Get More Accessible Than This
This recording was originally issued on CD in 1990, and has remained at top price in the CD catalog since then. Prior to that it was an incredibly successful LP for many years. Read more
Published on April 18, 2010 by Jay Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
The original order (3/6) was sent to Harrisburg Pa and then returned to Kentucky as undeliverable. After two phone calls the item was sent to me and arrived on 3/25. Read more
Published on April 6, 2009 by Jeanette M. Hartwell
1.0 out of 5 stars Missleading
I find the title of this CD completely missleading. I was expecting a GUIDE to the orchestra being a complete ignorant, but there is no guidance at all. Read more
Published on August 14, 2007 by D. Mazzolini
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids
I love this symphony. Our 3-year-old daughter also loves the "Carnegie Hall Listening Adventures" game based on this, at [... Read more
Published on May 12, 2007 by Ridge Road
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