Benson & Hedges Music Festival 1977: Richter, Curzon, etc - CBS Spain (3-LP box)
Box NM / LPs NM / Spanish pressing
This fascinating 3LP box set from CBS Masterworks (79316, Spanish pressings, brown label, stereo, booklet included) preserves numerous 'live' performances from the Benson and Hedges Music Festival 1977, professionally taped by the BBC at The Maltings, Snape, Suffolk during 27 September to 2 October.
Dedicated to the music of Schubert and Britten, this set features many of the leading artists of the day, including pianist Sviatoslav Richter and Clifford Curzon, singers Hermann Prey, Janet Baker, and Peter Pears, guitarist Julian Bream, the Amadeus String Quartet, et al. For much of this material, this handsome set remains its only issue.
The complete contents are as follows, listed by performer:
Sviatoslav Richter, piano
Schubert: Scherzo in D-flat Major D. 593
Schubert: Andante in A Major D. 604
Schubert: Four Ländler D. 366
Hermann Prey, baritone and Leonard Hokanson, piano
Schubert: Five songs from Die Winterreise D. 911 (Die Wetterfahne, Estarrung, Die Krähe, Der Wegweiser, Die Post)
Janet Baker, mezzo and Graham Johnson, piano
Schubert: Der Unglückliche D. 713, Amalia D. 195, Sehnsucht D. 636, Der Jüngling am Bache D. 30, Der Flüchtling D. 402
Amadeus String Quartet
Schubert: String Quartet No. 12 in C minor D. 703 'Quartettsatz'
Schubert: String Quartet No. 9 in G minor D. 112 (Minuet & Trio)
Clifford Curzon, piano and the Amadeus String Quartet (with Rodney Statford, doublebass)
Schubert: 'Trout' Quintet D. 667 (IV Theme & Variations, V Finale)
Amadeus String Quartet (with William Pleeth, cello)
Schubert: String Quintet in C Major D. 956 (II Adagio, III Scherzo)
Peter Pears, tenor, Osian Ellis, harp, and Julian Bream, guitar
Britten: A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28 (She's like a Swallow, I married me a Wife, Interlude for Solo Harp)
Britten: Folksongs: No. 6 I will give my love an apple, No. 3 Master Kilby
Schubert: Piano Sonata in G Major D. 894 (Minuet & Trio)
Peter Pears, tenor, Elly Ameling, soprano, and Julian Bream, guitar
Schubert: Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt (duo)
Schubert: Licht und liebe (duo)
Janet Baker, mezzo, Peter Pears, tenor, and Graham Johnson, piano
Britten: Canticle II Op. 51 'Abraham and Isaac'
Peter Pears, tenor, Alan Civil, trumpet, and Graham Johnson, piano
Britten: Canticle III Op. 55 'Still Falls the Rain'
These recordings were produced and engineered by Adrian Revill, Quentin Fuller, and Stewart Taylor.
Included is a full-size 8-page booklet with photos of the aritsts from that year's festival, introductory notes by Sir Peters Pears and A.W.H. Steward Moore (in Spanish only), and complete song texts (printed in their original language only, be it German or English). The lovely cover photo gracing the box front was taken by Nigel Luckhurst.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the box is near-MINT. Really, there are almost no flaws to speak of – some tiny instances of discoloration and shelfwear, but that is all. The box is without bends, seamsplits, or owners' markings and remains very presentation worthy, the whole solid, bright, and glossy – a superb collector's copy.
The condition of the full-size 8-page booklet is near-MINT. Again, there are no flaws to speak of, the pages remain bright and crisp, the binding perfect – again, a superb collector's copy.
The condition of the 3 LPs is near-MINT throughout and all 3 play flawlessly – beautiful collector's copies.