English Choral Music - Britten: St. Nicolas, Etc / Bedford

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Britten's cantata St. Nicolas is another of the great modern pieces on a Christmas theme. Dramatic, even dark in places – as in the best music from Bach on down, a glimpse of the shade helps us better appreciate the light – Britten's tale of St. Nick is utterly enthralling, especially in this beautifully recorded performance. Conductor Steuart Bedford assisted Britten at the end of the composer's life and became one of his most sensitive interpreters, leading the premiere of the opera Death in Venice and directing the Aldeburgh Festival for decades. The late English tenor Philip Langridge, the soloist in St. Nicolas, does his stirring best here, as do the BBC Singers in Christ's Nativity. Like many of Britten's later scores, his festive setting of Psalm 150 was designed for a mix of professional and amateur players; the children's chorus here shines brightly.

– Bradley Bambarger, Listen [Winter 2011]

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 01, 2003

  • Catalog Number: 8557203

  • UPC: 747313220328

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten

  • Conductor: Steuart Bedford

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, London Schools Symphony Orchestra, New London Children's Choir, Tallis Chamber Choir

  • Performer: Philip Langridge