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Work: Phaedra, Op.93

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Fact file
ComposerBritten, Benjamin (1913-1976)
Period20th century
Work typeChoral
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A live audience returns to Covent Garden

Jonathan McGovern in Apollo and Daphne © ROH | Tristram Kenton
Christine Rice gives an astonishingly performance in an evening of four powerful chamber pieces.
****1
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Dancing to Benjamin Britten: Richard Alston’s Phaedra

Barbican Britten: Phaedra is just one of the events in the venue’s two-week celebration of the composer’s centenary. The programme presents four pieces choreographed by Richard Alston to Benjamin Britten’s music. Alston’s choreography is well suited to Britten’s music: both artists are lyrical, tempered, and incline toward narrative.
***11
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Oratorio for the end of the world: Teodor Currentzis and Mahler Chamber Orchestra at Musikfest Berlin

As my seatmate remarked to me after the concert, it is strange and wonderful to hear Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich, who befriended each other late in life, begin to sound alike in their old age while remaining unmistakably themselves. I agreed.
****1
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Proms Saturday Matinee 2: Sarah Connolly and Britten Sinfonia's magnificent, terrifying passion

In a brief mid-concert interview for BBC Radio 3, conductor Sian Edwards was asked why Britten and his contemporaries wrote so much music for small string orchestra, and her answer illuminated the choice of programming for this Proms Saturday Matinee performance.
*****
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Britten Sinfonia and Alice Coote celebrate Britten's birthday in style at Wigmore Hall

22 November 2012 would have been Benjamin Britten’s 99th birthday. Wigmore Hall marked the occasion with the first concert in a series of nine events in November and December. However, rather than focusing exclusively on Britten’s music, it built towards the climax that saw Britten’s angst-ridden late masterpiece Phaedra searingly performed.
*****
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