Hyperion Records

A Hymn to the Virgin
Britten wrote a considerable quantity of music during his school years, much of it ambitious and demonstrating a striking stylistic eclecticism. Much simpler in its understated poignancy is his well-known A Hymn to the Virgin, for double choir, composed on 9 July 1930 during an enforced spell in the sick-bay at Gresham’s School, Holt, when Britten was only sixteen years old. (This was his final year at school, and two months later he entered the Royal College of Music to study composition and piano.) In 1934 he deemed the piece worthy of publication but transposed the music down a semitone to make it more comfortable to sing and amended some of the harmonic progressions.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2001

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDH55438 track 13
Recording date
27 April 2000
Recording venue
Temple Church, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: Sacred and Profane & other choral works (CDA67140)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: March 2001
    Deletion date: August 2010
    Superseded by CDH55438
  2. Britten: Sacred and Profane & other choral works (CDH55438)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: December 2012
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
  3. A Christmas Present from Polyphony (NOEL2)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: October 2004
    Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining
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