From 1934 to 1939 incidental music for films and radio plays were significant in Britten’s early development of certain creative disciplines. At the end of the war the composer again interested himself in incidental music, collaborating with Ronald Duncan in the latter’s This Way to the Tomb
(1945). (It was the same author who, at about the same time, adapted André Obey’s treatment of the Lucretia legend for the chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia
.) This Way to the Tomb
is divided into two parts, Masque and Antimasque, and whilst the Antimasque has been described as satirical to a point of amiable banality, the music for the Masque is all vocal, much of it choral, and includes the setting, here recorded, of Psalm 70, ‘Deus in adjutorium meum …’, for unaccompanied voices.
from notes by Peter Lamb © 1986