Hyperion Records

Cello Suite No 2, Op 80
composer
August 1967; first performed by dedicatee Mstislav Rostropovich at the Aldeburgh Festival on 17 June 1968

Recordings
'Britten: Cello Suites' (CDA66274)
Britten: Cello Suites
'Britten: Cello Suites' (SIGCD336)
Britten: Cello Suites
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £10.50ALAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £10.50 SIGCD336  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Britten: Cello Symphony, Cello Sonata & Cello Suites' (CDA67941/2)
Britten: Cello Symphony, Cello Sonata & Cello Suites
MP3 £14.49FLAC £14.49ALAC £14.49Buy by post £20.00 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £21.75ALAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £21.75 CDA67941/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details
Movement 1: Declamato: Largo
Track 10 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [3'22] 2CDs
Track 10 on CDA66274 [3'16] Archive Service
Track 10 on SIGCD336 [3'07] Download only
Movement 2: Fuga: Andante
Track 11 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [4'10] 2CDs
Track 11 on CDA66274 [3'50] Archive Service
Track 11 on SIGCD336 [3'48] Download only
Movement 3: Scherzo: Allegro molto
Track 12 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [1'41] 2CDs
Track 12 on CDA66274 [2'02] Archive Service
Track 12 on SIGCD336 [1'47] Download only
Movement 4: Andante lento
Track 13 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [4'31] 2CDs
Track 13 on CDA66274 [4'59] Archive Service
Track 13 on SIGCD336 [4'18] Download only
Movement 5: Ciaccona: Allegro
Track 14 on CDA67941/2 CD2 [6'18] 2CDs
Track 14 on CDA66274 [7'25] Archive Service
Track 14 on SIGCD336 [6'25] Download only

Cello Suite No 2, Op 80
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The First Suite appeared to be such an exhaustive compendium of both compositional and string-playing techniques that it was something of a surprise when the composer produced a companion piece in August 1967. The Suite No 2 was given its first performance by Rostropovich at the 1968 Aldeburgh Festival, and is similar in layout to its predecessor (although lacking the recurrent Canto which had bound the earlier work together). An introductory Declamato (Largo) leads to a complex Fuga (Andante), in which Britten’s monophonic counterpoint is so ingenious that the fugue’s subject can be presented in up to three dovetailed entries without recourse to double-stopping. Next comes a Scherzo (Allegro molto) which presents two contrasting ideas and later combines them in a condensed form. A slow movement (Andante lento), exploiting a tonally ambiguous alternation between major and minor triads, leads without a break into the concluding Ciaccona (Allegro) where Britten indulges in his favourite ground-bass form with characteristic inventiveness and fluency.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2013

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