The Sixteen / Harry Christophers

The Britten Collection

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The Sixteen's 2013 triple-disc set, The Britten Collection, was assembled to celebrate the centennial of the composer's birth, gathering the albums the group released on Coro between 2002 and 2006: Blest Cecilia, A Ceremony of Carols, and Fen and Meadow. Over Britten's long career, he frequently wrote choral music. He achieved one of his greatest successes in 1942 with the composition of A Ceremony of Carols, a Yuletide favorite scored for treble voices and harp (sopranos and male altos are substituted here, to similar effect). Many of his other choral works are quite popular, such as A Hymn to the Virgin, Rejoice in the Lamb, Hymn to St. Cecilia, Jubilate Deo, and the Festival Te Deum, found on Volume I; A Boy was Born, A Shepherd's Carol, and Sweet was the Song, presented with A Ceremony of Carols on Volume II; the Choral Dances from Gloriana, and an assortment of shorter motets and secular choruses, presented on Volume III. This ensemble is one of the world's finest, and under the direction of Harry Christophers, they have rejuvenated the choral repertoire with their fresh voices, pure blend, and precise diction. Even though these recordings were made in the early 1990s, they have clean sound and are quite comparable to later releases by the group.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Choral Dances from "Gloriana"
1 0:51
2 1:43
3 2:39
4 1:48
5 1:14
6 1:19
7 2:26
8 3:21
9 8:37
10 9:07
Five Flower Songs
11 1:53
12 2:12
13 2:02
14 2:50
15 2:03
Sacred and Profane
16 1:34
17 0:38
18 2:43
19 1:19
20 2:38
21 1:36
22 2:18
23 3:03

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
A Ceremony of Carols
1 1:39
2 1:19
3 2:16
4 1:40
5 1:15
6 0:56
7 1:24
8 3:57
9 3:09
10 1:03
11 1:06
12 1:58
13 3:35
14 1:50
15 2:34
Missa Brevis in D
16 1:58
17 2:36
18 3:03
19 2:16
A Boy was Born
20 2:21
21 4:23
22 2:16
23 2:54
24 3:34
25 5:11
26 9:10
blue highlight denotes track pick