Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Neary, Westminster Abbey

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"One of the most unlikely of mystics, Benjamin Britten penned his Hymn to the Virgin when he was just sweet 17. In its antiphonal responses between eight-part choir hymning the Virgin’s virtues in English and four-strong semi-chorus echoing their phrases back at them in Latin, it’s a gift to the Choir of Westminster Abbey, singing on its home ground, under Martin Neary. This all-Britten collection surrounds the familiar Ceremony of Carols – surely the most affecting anthology of its kind ever composed – with less familiar items like the Wedding Anthem for Lord Harewood and Marion Stein (now Thorpe) and the Christopher Smart setting Rejoice in the Lamb, plus a guest performance, as it were, of Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac with its other-worldly opening for unison alto and tenor (Michael Chance and Ian Bostridge) as the Voice of God – worth a million dollars, as BB himself confided to Tippett...This disc is one of the best things [Neary and the Westminster Choir] have done."

-- BBC Music Magazine

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: SONY62615

  • UPC: 074646261521

  • Label: Sony

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten

  • Conductor: Martin Neary

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Westminster Abbey Choir

  • Performer: Aline Brewer, Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake, Martin Baker, Michael Chance, Richard Farnsworth, Simon Birchall, Timothy Dickinson, Toby Dunham