Britten - Who are these Children?


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Britten - Who are these Children?



Catalogue No:




Release date:

30th June 2008




67 minutes


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Britten - Who are these Children?


Winter Words, Op. 52

Four Burns Songs

Who are these children?, Op. 84

If it's ever Spring again (Hardy)

Dawtie’s Devotion

The Gully

The Children and Sir Nameless (Hardy)


Ca’ the yowes

Daniel Norman (tenor) & Christopher Gould (piano)



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This Britten recital combines two of the composer’s major song cycles, Winter Words, from 1953, and Who are these Children? (1969). In them he explored themes of loneliness, transcience and war – difficult and harrowing material which would test any composer, but Britten is equal to the challenge. His music works its magic by bringing out poignant emotions and subtle insights, sometimes even more vividly than the texts on their own. The music’s emotional depth is grounded in compelling, quasi-naturalistic sound images, such as the whistling, rattling train in the setting of Thomas Hardy’s Midnight on the Great Western. Providing a lighter note between these gripping works are four settings of poems by Robert Burns, containing some of Britten’s most deft and delicate music. Composed on the request of Queen Elizabeth II in 1975, they originally formed part of a set of six songs for high voice and harp, and were later arranged for piano by Britten’s assistant Colin Matthews.

Benjamin Britten: Winter Words, Op. 52

No. 1. At Day-close in November

No. 2. Midnight on the Great Western

No. 3. Wagtail and Baby

No. 4. The Little Old Table

No. 5. The Choirmaster's Burial

No. 6. Proud Songsters

No. 7. At the Railway Station, Upway

No. 8. Before Life and After

Benjamin Britten: A Birthday Hansel, Op. 92 (excerpts) (arr. C. Matthews for voice and piano)

No. 5. Afton Water

No. 3. Wee Willie Gray

No. 6. The Winter

No. 4. My Hoggie

Benjamin Britten: Who are these Children?, Op. 84

No. 1. A Riddle (The Earth)

No. 2. A Laddie's Sang

No. 3. Nightmare

No. 4. Black Day

No. 5. Bed-time

No. 6. Slaughter

No. 7. A Riddle (The Child You Were)

No. 8. The Lark Lad

No. 9. Who are these Children?

No. 10. Supper

No. 11. The Children

No. 12. The Auld Aik

Benjamin Britten: If it's ever spring again

If it's ever Spring again

Benjamin Britten: Dawtie's Devotion

Dawtie's Devotion

Benjamin Britten: The Gully

The Gully

Benjamin Britten: The Children and Sir Nameless

The Children and Sir Nameless

Benjamin Britten: Tradition


Benjamin Britten: Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 5, "British Isles"

Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 5, "British Isles": Ca' the yowes

Gramophone Magazine

October 2008

“The tenor's affinity or Britten shines through in this promising solo debut. His clear, precisely focused tenor can soften, even sweeten… He is sensitive to musical and verbal implications, both bold and delicate in narrative, enters into the fun of a song... and is good at his Scots.”

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