George Benjamin: Written on Skin

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George Benjamin: Written on Skin


Gramophone Awards 2013

Finalist - Contemporary



Catalogue No:




Release date:

4th Feb 2013




1 hour 42 minutes


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George Benjamin: Written on Skin

and Duet for piano and orchestra

Benjamin, G:

Written on Skin

recording of the first performance at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, July 2012

Christopher Purves (The Protector), Barbara Hannigan (Agnès), Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy), Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie), Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John)

Duet for piano and orchestra

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)

Mahler Chamber Orchestra, George Benjamin

CD - 2 discs


Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

'Written on Skin' is the second collaboration between George Benjamin and Martin Crimp. Their previous one-act opera 'Into The Little Hill' has been received with universal acclaim. Written on skin was jointly commissioned by The Festival d Aix-en-Provence and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and this recording was largely produced from a broadcast recording by Radio France in July 2012 at Aix. George Benjamin’s status as one of the UK’s leading composers has created unprecedented demand for the new opera.

“George Benjamin has written nothing better…and that’s saying something.”

Richard Morrison, The Times

“The first opera masterpiece of the 21st Century.” Serge Martin, Le Soir

George Benjamin: Part One

Chorus of Angels I

The Protector, Agnès and the Boy

Chorus of Angels II

Agnès and the Boy

The Protector and the Visitors - John and Marie

Agnès and the Boy

George Benjamin: Part Two

The Protector's Bad Dream

The Protector and Agnès

The Protector and the Boy

Agnès and the Boy

George Benjamin: Part Three

The Protector, Agnès and the Boy

The Protector and Agnès

Chorus of Angels and The Protector

The Protector and Agnès

The Boy / Angel 1

George Benjamin: Duet for Piano & Orchestra

Duet for Piano & Orchestra

New York Times

Zachary Woolfe

December 2013

“one of the most (more pessimistically: one of the only) unforgettable operas of the last decade or two, a work that seems both old-fashioned and fresh. Timeless, more like it. With a virtuosic cast and its composer leading a committed orchestral reading, it takes its rightful place among the classics.”

Opera Now


“The vocal lines are highly singable, and Christopher Purves’s Protector anchors the drama with a subtle baritone. Bejun Mehta and Barbara Hannigan relish the erotic confrontations of the Boy and Agnès, her soprano soaring fearlessly. Superb diction throughout.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2013


“[Purves] expresses a brooding pride and menace that makes your skin crawl. [Hannigan] makes an electrifying transformation from doe-like submissiveness to sexual predator, and the powerfully strange countertenor of Bejun ideally contrasted to these two...Even more riveting than the singing is the playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra...On every level it’s masterly.”

Gramophone Magazine

July 2013

“The performance has nervous energy in abundance...the dark spirit of the drama is impressively sustained throughout, with the five singers giving their all and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra relishing the music’s startlingly distinctive range of colours and textures.”

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