Two voices, Piano
These settings for two voices were intended for the Swiss singers Sophie and Colette Wyss, but Colette withdrew from the first performance as she was nervous of singing in English (she was replaced by the soprano Betty Bannerman). They are attractive settings of two of Britten's contemporaries and close collaborators: W H Auden and Montagu Slater (later the librettist of Peter Grimes). Britten re-set 'Underneath the Abject Willow' for solo voice, using some of the same musical material, in 1941.
Audio extracts couresy of EMI. Felicity Lott and Ann Murray (voices), Graham Johnson (piano). Reproduced on CD 46 of Decca Classics Benjamin Britten: The Complete Works.
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