Mainly Opera

Britten: War Requiem

4785433 (3cd)

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

War Requiem, op.66

New 2013 remastering. Includes extra CD of rehearsal, plus high definition Blu-Ray audio disc of this monumental work.

Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Benjamin Britten

Recorded 1963


Disc 1: War Requiem (CD)

Disc 2: Rehearsing War Requiem (CD)

Disc 3: Pure Audio Blu-Ray: War Requiem


2CD + 1BLURAY AUDIO

Over half a century has passed since this classic DECCA recording was made in Kingsway Hall, London in January 1963. While the performance remains a benchmark, time has left the original analogue master tapes more fragile than ever. For this Britten centenary edition, DECCA has gone back to the original tapes and used the latest techniques and extensive comparison with the earliest LP pressings and subsequent remasterings, to make a definitive transfer. For the first time ever, all audio processing has been achieved in the 96 kHz 24-bit domain. The new blu-ray disc format, in particular, affords an unprecedented opportunity to hear the recording at this resolution.

The definitive audio version of Britten’s iconic masterpiece, presented with original artwork in an innovative new package. Newly remastered from the original tapes, War Requiem is offered on a single 81-minute CD. But excitingly, it is additionally offered herewith in a Blu-Ray Audio fomat, which permits the recording to be heard at 24-bit.

Enthusiasts will be further delighted to have published here a CD featuring Britten in rehearsal at the sessions in January 1963. Producer John Culshaw wired up the Kingsway Hall with microphones and later presented a Limited Edition of 1 copy to Benjamin Britten on the occasion of his 50th Birthday. For musicians, choral singers, would-be conductors and those interested in Britten the musician, this offers exceptional insights into what made him such an outstanding director of music.

The accompanying booklet offers full sung texts and a new essay on War Requiem by film maker Christopher Palmer, while Britten scholar Donald Mitchell tells the story of how Decca came to record Britten in rehearsal. Photographs from the Britten archive, session photographs and more besides are included in the generous 76-pager, making this truly a definitive presentation of the ultimate reference recording of this masterpiece.

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