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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

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

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