Hyperion Records

Lachrymae, Op 48a
composer
'Reflections on a song of Dowland' (If my complaints could passions move); arranged for viola and string orchestra in 1976; based on Op 48 for viola and piano, written in 1950 for William Primrose who gave the premiere with Britten in Aldeburgh in 1950

Recordings
'Britten: Phaedra & other works' (CDH55225)
Britten: Phaedra & other works
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55225  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
'Britten: Violin Concerto, Double Concerto & Lachrymae' (CDA67801)
Britten: Violin Concerto, Double Concerto & Lachrymae
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67801 
Details
Complete: Lachrymae
Movement 01: Lento
Track 6 on CDH55225 [1'56] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 02: Allegretto, andante molto
Track 7 on CDH55225 [0'59] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 03: Animato
Track 8 on CDH55225 [1'08] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 04: Tranquillo
Track 9 on CDH55225 [1'29] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 05: Allegro con molto
Track 10 on CDH55225 [0'47] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 06: Largamente
Track 11 on CDH55225 [0'30] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 07: Appassionato
Track 12 on CDH55225 [0'45] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 08: Alla valse moderato
Track 13 on CDH55225 [0'49] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 09: Allegro marcia
Track 14 on CDH55225 [0'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 10: Lento
Track 15 on CDH55225 [0'40] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 11: L'istesso tempo
Track 16 on CDH55225 [1'53] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 12: A tempo semplice
Track 17 on CDH55225 [1'12] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service

Lachrymae, Op 48a
EnglishFranηaisDeutsch
While working on Billy Budd in the first half of 1950 Britten broke off from the opera to compose Lachrymae, his only mature piece for viola and piano, for the distinguished viola player William Primrose whom he had met the previous year when touring the United States. Primrose gave the first performance at the 1950 Aldeburgh Festival with the composer at the piano. Twenty-five years later, in the last year of his life, Britten orchestrated the piano part for strings to create a concertante piece, Op 48a, for Cecil Aronowitz, another distinguished violist and close professional colleague.

Lachrymae is a series of variations on the first phrase of Dowland’s song ‘If my complaints could passions move’. Following a Lento introduction in which the song is quoted in the bass of the piano part, a sequence of contrasting ‘reflections’ ensues. In the sixth, Appassionato, Britten quotes from another Dowland song, ‘Flow my tears’. The last section returns by means of a slow crescendo to Dowland’s original melody and harmony, when it is heard complete for the first time. Britten’s exploration of the Dowland material is extremely thorough, and it generates not only the principal melodic material but the harmonic vocabulary as well. Such is its organic resourcefulness that the techniques used in Lachrymae are reminiscent of the exhaustive musical derivations to be found in the Church Parables of the subsequent decade.

from notes by Philip Reed © 1996

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA66845 track 17
A tempo semplice
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-96-84517
Duration
1'12
Recording date
22 November 1995
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: Phaedra & other works (CDA66845)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: May 1996
    Deletion date: November 2004
    Superseded by CDH55225
  2. Britten: Phaedra & other works (CDH55225)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: January 2006
    Deletion date: February 2014
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
   English   Français   Deutsch