Hyperion Records

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

Recordings
'Britten: The Five Canticles' (CDH55244)
Britten: The Five Canticles
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55244  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Britten: The Canticles' (SIGCD317)
Britten: The Canticles
This album is not yet available for download SIGCD317  Download only  
Details
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
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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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