Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten

Britain's Great Britten #1346

…a select survey of some sacred music written by one of the 20th century’s most honored composers, Benjamin Britten, on the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Hour 1

BRITTEN: Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Vittoria (1946)Herrick Bunney (1940 Willis/St. Gile’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland) EMI 85416

BRITTEN: Festival Te Deum in E (1944)Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge/George Guest, director; Brian Runnett (St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England) London 430 097

BRITTEN: Missa Brevis in D, Op. 63 (1959)Boys from the Choir of King’s College/David Willcocks, director; Ian Hare (1968 Harrison/King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England) EMI 47709

BRITTEN: Rejoice in the Lamb, Opus 30 (1943) on a text by Christopher Smart –Rupert Johnston, treble; James Crookes, alto; Simon Williams, tenor; Daniel Sladden, bass; Choir of King’s College/Stephen Cleobury, director; Peter Barley (1968 Harrison/King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England) Argo 433 215

BRITTEN: Hymn to Saint Peter (1955)Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London/John Scott, director; Huw Williams (1872 Willis/1992 Mander/St. Paul’s Cathedral, London) Hyperion 67087

Hour 2

BRITTEN: Hymn to Saint Columba (1962)Choir of King’s College/Stephen Cleobury, director; Christopher Hughes (1968 Harrison/King’s College Chapel, Cambridge) EMI 54418

BRITTEN: Antiphon (1956)The Sixteen/Harry Christophers, director; Margaret Phillips (1911 Brindley/St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, London) Collins Classics 1343

FRANK BRIDGE: Andantino, fr Organ Pieces, Book 2 (1912)Philip Marshall (1898 Willis/Lincoln Cathedral, England) EMI 85422

BRIDGE: Allegro marzial, fr Organ Pieces, Book 1 (1905)Christopher Dearnley (1872 Willis/St. Paul’s Cathedral, London) EMI 85421

BRITTEN: Te Deum in C (1934)Connor Burrowes, treble; Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London/John Scott, director; Andrew Lucas (1872 Willis/1992 Mander/St. Paul’s Cathedral, London) Hyperion 66916

BRITTEN: Jubilate Deo in C (1961)Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge/Christopher Robinson, director; Iain Farrington (1994 Mander/St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England) Naxos 8.554791

BRITTEN: Jubilate Deo in E-flat (1934); Corpus Christi Carol (1961)Choir of Truro Cathedral/Christopher Gray; Luke Bond (1887 Willis/Truro Cathedral, England) Regent 349

BRITTEN: Hymn to Saint Cecilia, Op. 27 (1942)Monteverdi Choir/John Elliot Gardiner, conductor. DG 453 433

BRITTEN (arr.): Hymn, God moves in a mysterious way, fr St. Nicholas, Op. 42 (1948)Tallis Chamber Choir and English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford, conductor; Joseph Cullen (1915 Hill/All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London) Naxos 8.557203


Baron Edward Benjamin Britten (11/22/1913-12/4/76) proved his skill as composer for opera, orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments and voice, as well as pianist and conductor. Was his birth on Saint Cecilia’s Day only a happy cosmic coincidence?