Hyperion Records

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

'Britten: The Five Canticles' (CDH55244)
Britten: The Five Canticles
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55244  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Britten: The Canticles' (SIGCD317)
Britten: The Canticles
SIGCD317  Download only  
Track 4 on CDH55244 [12'08] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 4 on SIGCD317 [11'13] Download only

Canticle IV 'The Journey of the Magi', Op 86
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

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66498 track 4
Recording date
29 April 1991
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: The Five Canticles (CDA66498)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: March 1992
    Deletion date: August 2005
    Superseded by CDH55244
  2. Britten: The Five Canticles (CDH55244)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: October 2006
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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