Find music by

Sign up for our newsletter

Britten: Cello Symphony - Symphonic Suite from Gloriana - 4 Sea Interludes

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberCHAN10658
Release date2011-03-01
Orig. sample rate96000Hz

BBC Music Magazine: Double 5 Stars: Classics Today 10/10 December 2011.

In this new release, we present a unique group of works, including the rarely recorded Symphonic Suite from Gloriana, the Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, and one of Britten’s most popular works, the Four Sea Interludes. They are performed by the BBC Philharmonic with two exclusive Chandos artists: Edward Gardner, the music director of English National Opera and well known for his interpretations of the music of Britten, and Paul Watkins, one of the world’s leading cellists.

The Symphony for Cello and Orchestra was Britten’s only substantial piece of absolute symphonic music. As the title suggests, throughout the work the soloist and the orchestra are treated on equal terms, sharing all the important melodic material. The symphony was originally written for the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich who held a unique position among the various creative partners of Britten, inspiring him to compose abstract instrumental music at a time when his heavy commitments to the operatic genre and vocal music might otherwise have left him little time or inclination for it. The work was premiered in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 1964 by Rostropovich and the Moscow Philharmonic under Britten’s baton. The performance was a success, and the local students who attended the concert were so enthusiastic in their response that the finale had to be encored.

The Four Sea Interludes consist of highly memorable orchestral interludes which Britten extracted for concert performance from the score of his large-scale opera Peter Grimes. The premiere of the opera famously reopened London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 1945 to such tremendous critical acclaim that the fortunes of English opera were revived almost overnight. The North Sea, both benign and savage, plays a central role in the drama and its contrasting facets are celebrated in the interludes. ‘Sunday Morning’ depicts the sun glittering on the waves and the jubilant pealing of church bells, while ‘Storm’, a ferocious orchestral tempest performed in the difficult key of E minor, symbolises Grimes’s inner turmoil and yearning for a peaceful haven.

The Symphonic Suite derives from the opera Gloriana which was first performed at the Royal Opera House at a gala event in 1953 to celebrate the Coronation of HM The Queen. The work depicted – perhaps unwisely in view of the audience – the ill-fated relationship between Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex. The opera’s infamously negative reception meant that the work was rarely performed again in the composer’s lifetime. Britten, however, did salvage some orchestral extracts from the opera for concert use, including the Suite featured on this disc.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 20.48
Extra material for download
  Composer: Benjamin Britten, Robert Devereux
  Symphonic Suite, Op. 53a, "Gloriana" 25:18
01 I. The Tournament 04:11 $ 1.13 USD
02 II. The Lute Song 04:24 $ 1.19 USD
03 III. Courtly Dances 09:26 $ 2.55 USD
04 IV. Gloriana Moritura 07:17 $ 1.97 USD
  Composer: Benjamin Britten
  Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68 34:28
05 I. Allegro maestoso 12:31 $ 3.38 USD
06 II. Presto inquieto 03:49 $ 1.03 USD
07 III. Adagio - 10:42 $ 2.89 USD
08 IV. Passacaglia: Andante allegro 07:26 $ 2.01 USD
  Composer: Benjamin Britten
  Peter Grimes: 4 Sea Interludes, Op. 33a 16:04
09 No. 1. Dawn 03:29 $ 0.94 USD
10 No. 2. Sunday Morning 03:36 $ 0.97 USD
11 No. 3. Moonlight 04:24 $ 1.19 USD
12 No. 4. Storm 04:35 $ 1.24 USD
  Album total 75:50
ComposerBenjamin Britten
Robert Devereux
TenorRobert Murray
OrchestraBBC Philharmonic Orchestra
ConductorEdward Gardner
CelloPaul Watkins

Daily Deal
Top downloads is a completely virtual record label and a secure online store open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Customers and visitors can download classical music in high quality FLAC or MP3 and find out more about classical music.

Start page    24 Bit FAQ    Assistance    About eClassical    Classical News