Britten: Les Illuminations. Serenade. Nocturne

Britten: Les Illuminations. Serenade. Nocturne

Blessed with a sweetly lyrical yet plangent tenor voice, Andrew Staples traces each of these song cycles’ emotional narratives with captivating precision. The youthful exuberance of Les Illuminations, with its cinematic, quick-fire changes of mood, provides the perfect curtain-raiser to the Serenade’s nighttime imaginings. Here, Staples subtly intertwines with Christopher Parkes’ beguiling horn commentaries, while savoring the music’s juxtapositions of innocence and experience. Most haunting of all are the Nocturne’s eight dreamlike evocations, each one scored for a different solo instrument. At times, Staples creates the uncanny illusion of his voice floating on air, enhanced by conductor Daniel Harding’s near-forensic detailing of Britten’s magical scoring. As the music finally drifts away into infinity, it feels as though time itself has been suspended.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada