Recording of August 1976: Britten: Orchestral Music

Britten: Orchestral Music
Four Sea Interludes & Passacaglia from Peter Grimes; Sinfonia da Requiem
London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn, conductor.
Angel S-37142. (Stereo/SQ LP). Christopher Bishop, prod.; Christopher Parker, eng.

EMl/Angel have come up with demonstration quality sound on this one. The "Sea Interludes" have stood well on their own as a concert piece, and previous recordings have been by Britten (Decca/London) and Giulini (EMI/Angel). Previn's earlier Sinfonia da Requiem with the St. Louis Symphony has recently been reissued on Odyssey, but that version, good as it is, must defer to the new reading and sonics. There are timpani thumps on this disc that literally bolted me upright from my chair! The dynamic range is tremendous.

Bravo to Previn for some of his best performances on record and to the producer and engineer. Guess who? Christopher Bishop and Christopher Parker, respectively. I did not audition the English EMI version of this, but find it hard to believe it could be significantly better.—William Marsh

Kal Rubinson's picture

Still great. I had the EMI LP. Bernsteins 4 Interludes in his "Final Concert" also whips up a storm but overall Previn remains my go-to in this repertoire.

volvic's picture

Previn in the 60's 70's made some exemplary recordings; Britten, Holst, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, etc. This is still my go too album of the Interludes. As previous post mentions the Bernstein version, it is not bad but not the best in my opinion, it also includes Beethoven's 7th, not that great either. Haven't heard it in years, should dig it out tonight. Still something about Previn in the 60's and 70's that was just so great. Shout out to Previn's Mendelssohn's Mid Summer Night's Dream as one of my desert island recordings.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Agreed, especially about the Rachmaninov. Another stand-out is the best non-Russian Shostakovich 8, imho.

volvic's picture

Yes, we are though talking about the Angel 8th he did not the DG version he did with the same orchestra in the 80's. That one is not at the same level. Going to make me pull all my Previn recordings out from that era tonight.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Yeah. Previn became less expressive for a while.