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Poet's Journey: Song Cycles of Benjamin Britten


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Every song is a journey: a voyage of the human experience explored through the intersection of poetry and music. In fact, a song serves as a natural extension of the original poem that allows us to experience words in a new and insightful way. A composer of songs is then also a poet: a creator of profound meaning through text, meter, harmony, texture, and lyricism. The great English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) is a prime example. A great lover of poetry throughout his life, and friend to such great poets as W. H. Auden, it is difficult to think of another song composer who consistently chose poems of such high quality and breadth to set to music. Furthermore, Britten seems to fall in line as the rightful successor to Franz Schubert in the way he virtually composes the essence of a poem musically. On this recording by outstanding tenor Eric Rieger and renowned accompanist JJ Penna, we explore the Poet’s Journey in three of Britten’s most important song cycles, each of which is bound to the works of a great poet: Michelangelo, Thomas Hardy, and John Donne. In each work, we discover Britten’s gift of lyricism, superb understanding of the voice, and exceptional pianistic capabilities. One finds a clear reverence to Henry Purcell through the use of florid, expansive setting of text and the use of ancient compositional techniques such as the ground bass. Britten skillfully combines these concepts with modern influences to create something unique and exciting. This album is, without doubt, one of the finest collections of Benjamin Britten’s gift to the world of music.
Facts
Item number AF1804
Barcode 888295729864
Release date 6/15/2018
Category Vocal
Label AFFETTO RECORDS
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
Performers
Classical Artist Rieger, Eric
Penna, J.J.
Disc: 1
7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 2200:17:00
1 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 1, Sonnet 1 00:02:11 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
2 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 2, Sonnet 3 00:01:26 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
3 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 3, Sonnet 3 00:03:17 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
4 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 4, Sonnet 5 00:01:53 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
5 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 5, Sonnet 3 00:01:59 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
6 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 6, Sonnet 3 00:01:20 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
7 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22: No. 7, Sonnet 2 00:04:32 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
Winter Words, Op. 5200:16:00
8 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 1, At Day-Close in Novem 00:01:54 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
9 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 2, Midnight on the Great 00:04:46 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
10 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 3, Wagtail and Baby 00:02:05 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
11 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 4, The Little Old Table 00:01:18 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
12 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 5, The Choirmaster's Bur 00:03:56 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
13 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 6, Proud Songsters 00:01:07 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
14 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 7, At the Railway Statio 00:02:42 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
15 Winter Words, Op. 52: No. 8, Before Life and After 00:02:52 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 3500:22:00
16 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 1, Son 00:03:41 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
17 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 2, Son 00:01:15 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
18 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 3, Son 00:03:04 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
19 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 4, Son 00:01:02 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
20 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 5, Son 00:02:46 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
21 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 6, Son 00:03:40 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
22 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 7, Son 00:01:22 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
23 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 8, Son 00:01:22 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
24 The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35: No. 9, Son 00:03:52 Penna, J.J. Rieger, Eric
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