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Donald Macleod introduces the final song the cycle The Poet's Echo, written for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, plus parts of the Cello Suite No 2 and War Requieum.

In September 1960, Britten had the good fortune to meet the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich who became a close friend and inspiration behind five works for cello, and a song cycle for him and his wife, the singer Galina Vishnevskaya. In the fifth programme, Donald introduces the final song from the cycle - The Poet's Echo - together with part of the Cello Suite No.2, plus an extract from the intensely moving War Requiem and the second of Britten's church parables, The Burning Fiery Furnace.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Benjamin Britten

    Jubilate Deo

    Performer: Finzi Singers Performer: Andrew Lumsden (organ) Performer: Director Paul Spicer

    • Chandos CHAN 9598.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Cello Suite no.2 (final mvt)

    Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

    • London 421 859-2.
  • Benjamin Britten

    War Requiem (extract)

    Performer: Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) Performer: Peter Pears (tenor) Performer: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

    • Decca 475 751-1.
  • Benjamin Britten

    The Poet's Echo - Lines written during a sleepless night

    Performer: Galina Vishnesvkaya (soprano) Performer: Mstislav Rostropovich (piano)

    • Decca 468 811-2.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Burning Fiery Furnace (extract)

    Performer: Nebuchadnezzar    Peter Pears Performer: Astrologer              Bryan Drake Performer: Ananias                 John Shirley-Quirk Performer: Misael                    Robert Tear Performer: Azarias                  Stafford Dean Performer: English Opera Group

    • London 414663-2.

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