Britten: The Five Canticles
Mark Padmore, Iestyn Davies, Marcus Farnsworth, Julius Drake, Lucy Wakeford, Richard Watkins
- Mark Padmore tenor
- Iestyn Davies countertenor
- Marcus Farnsworth baritone
- Julius Drake piano
- Lucy Wakeford harp
- Richard Watkins horn
‘A masterclass in producing expressively direct and unaffected Britten’ was the Guardian’s verdict on the sold-out Wigmore Hall concert on 30 November 2012 featuring all five of the composer’s Canticles. British tenor Mark Padmore’s sweet and round timbre is central to these works, five focal points of the composer’s output which subtly blend religious and secular themes with his distinctive sound-world to captivating effect.
Pianist Julius Drake brings his carefully considered and sensitive playing to the stage, and his close artistic partnership with Padmore is wonderfully displayed in the first Canticle. Countertenor Iestyn Davies, renowned for his charming and insightful interpretations, joins them for a performance of spine-chilling purity in ‘Abraham and Isaac’. The disc then features the enchanting sonority of Lucy Wakeford’s harp accompaniment for the fifth Canticle, before continuing with an intoxicating blend of voices when Marcus Farnsworth joins Padmore and Davies for 'Journey of the Magi'. The disc concludes with the third Canticle, which received its world première at Wigmore Hall in 1955. This release is set to mark a fine tribute to Benjamin Britten in his centenary year.
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
01. Canticle I: My beloved is mine Op. 40
02. Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac Op. 51
03. Canticle V: The Death of Saint Narcissus Op. 89
04. Canticle IV: Journey of the Magi Op. 86
05. Canticle III: Still Falls the Rain - the Raids, 1940, Night and Dawn Op. 55