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Britten/Sargent, Myra Hess, Dennis Brain in the '40s

BEULAH YB35 (Distributor CODAEX)


Here is a DVD which will give pleasure to all and evoke memories for those of us who lived through "the War", especially Londoners who went to Dame Myra Hess's historic series of concerts in the National Gallery, stripped of its paintings during the Blitz.

The TV film of Britten Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra is a classic and wears well. A good opportunity to meet again Sir Malcolm Sargent, who was in charge of The Proms for so many years. The unfussy commentary is ideal and the filming compares well with newer approaches to bringing orchestras into our homes.

Myra Hess shows herself in the Appassionata to have been a pianist to reckon with, and it is good to see again Dennis Brain, who established new standards for the French Horn and was the leading exponent of his instrument until his untimely death still young, driving home from playing at the Edinburgh Festival.

Warmly recommended.

© Peter Grahame Woolf