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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55244
Recording details: April 1991
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: March 1992
Total duration: 12 minutes 8 seconds

'Rolfe Johnson is in superb voice … this disc is an outstanding example of his artistry' (Gramophone)

'A superlative Hyperion disc … most notable is the Hyperion team presided over by Anthony Rolfe Johnson, whose 1991 recording has become one of the jewels in the record label's crown … Rolfe Johnson's pairing with countertenor Michael Chance in Abraham and Isaac is deeply moving as they enact what is essentially a miniature drama, and the tenor's mellifluous singing is a joy throughout this disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Un superbe disque d'approfondissement de la musique de Britten' (EcouterVoir, France)

Canticle IV 'The Journey of the Magi', Op 86
First line:
A cold coming we had of it
composer
1971
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
A gap of seventeen years intervened before the composition of the fourth Canticle, The Journey of the Magi, Op 86, in 1971, for which Britten chose the poem of the same title by T S Eliot. It is scored for countertenor, tenor and baritone as the Magi, again with piano accompaniment, and is cast in a kind of rondo form, in which the journey by camel provides the mood of the ritornello sections. Eliot’s ambiguous poem has little in the way of overt Christian references, which Britten solves by using the plainsong antiphon melody ‘Magi videntes stellam’ as the basis of the central episode.

from notes by Michael Short © 1992

Other albums featuring this work
'Britten: The Canticles' (SIGCD317)
Britten: The Canticles
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