BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Rondo Concertante for Piano and Strings, 3 movements for a Clarinet Concerto (realized Colin Matthews [b.1946]), Variations for Solo Piano, In memoriam Dennis Brain for 4 Horns and Strings, Untitled Fragment for Strings, Les Illuminations for High Voice and String Orchestra (w/3 additional songs real. C. Matthews).
Catalogue Number: 10L010
Description: 55 minutes of brand-new Britten with two pieces from 1930 (the 15-minute Rondo Concertante and the brief fragment), in the dissonant, concentrated language influenced by Berg and late Bridge which the teenager was exploring at the time. The clarinet concerto fragments (18 min.) date from 1942 and were meant for a concerto for Benny Goodman but Britten's scores were impounded by U.S. customs when he went back to England and the piece was never finished. The Brain in memoriam piece is a four-minute sketch while the piano Variations date from 1965 and were meant to be a test-piece for the next year's Leeds Piano Competition. Finally, three songs meant for Les Illuminations but not orchestrated add another eight minutes to the program. French-English texts. Sandrine Piau (soprano), Rolf Hind (piano), Michael Collins (clarinet), Michael Thompson, Richard Watkins, Peter Francomb, Chris Griffiths (horns), Northern Sinfonia; Thomas Zehetmair.