Review of a Music Recording
The choral works of English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-76), like his efforts in other forms, have been overshadowed by his operas. War Requiem, essentially operatic in character, along with Rejoice in the Lamb, and A Ceremony of Carols, have risen to the top of the choral repertoire and receive the majority of the attention paid today as concert and recording fare. These, however, obscure a number of other excellent works in Britten's choral output. Sacred and Profane, a release by Stephen Layton and Polyphony, provides a useful glimpse at some of Britten's lesser known works for mixed chorus, including previously unpublished (and even discarded) juvenilia. The recording spans Britten's career with works from his school days, his prime, and his final choral offering, and takes listeners on a chronological journey through the composer's development and maturity.
Stroeher, Vickie. Review of Benjamin Britten, Sacred and Profane, AMDG, Five Flower Songs, Old French Carol, Choral Dances From Gloriana, Polyphony, Stephen Layton, conductor. Hyperion, 2001. Choral Journal 43 (May 2003): 59-63, 65.