BRIT­TEN CON­DUCTS BRIT­TEN

Var­i­ous Orches­tras/Ben­jamin Brit­ten Decca 475 6051 (7 CDs) ★★★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS - Michael Der­van

Some record­ings are im­me­di­ately self-rec­om­mend­ing. This at­trac­tively priced fourth Decca set of Brit­ten con­duct­ing his own mu­sic falls into that cat­e­gory. Brit­ten was a fab­u­lously gifted per­former, and the soloists here are of the cal­i­bre of Mstislav Rostropovich, Svi­atoslav Richter and Julius Katchen among the in­stru­men­tal­ists, and Peter Pears (the com­poser’s part­ner and muse) and Di­et­rich Fis­cher-Dieskau among the vo­cal­ists. The set gen­er­ously in­cludes song cy­cles with pi­ano (the com­poser him­self) as well as or­ches­tral song cy­cles, con­cer­tos, the Young Per­son’s Guide to the Orches­tra, the bal­let The Prince of the Pago­das and the Bridge Vari­a­tions, which launched the com­poser’s in­ter­na­tional ca­reer. Ear­lier vol­umes in this valu­able se­ries were ex­tremely shy on texts, but hap­pily this on has no short­com­ings in that re­gard. Its re­lease in the high sea­son of presents and gift vouch­ers is most timely. www.dec­ca­clas­sics.com

CD re­views com­piled by Tony Clay­ton-Lea

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