Britten: The Turn of the Screw

  • Catalogue Number LSO0749
    UPC 822231174929

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineer

    Recorded live at the Barbican, 16 & 18 April 2013

    DSD (direct stream digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • ***** ‘Filling in for concerts to have been conducted by the late Colin Davis, Farnes directs a taut, crisply-detailed account of Britten’s masterpiece. His cast is perfect: Kennedy a slyly seductive Quint; Matthews spot on in conveying the Governess’s growing horror and resolve; as telling a Flora and Miles as any on disc. Excellent Barbican sound.’
    Classical Music

    ***** ‘Recorded at the Barbican last year, conductor Richard Farnes, his 17 musicians and an exceptional cast never let the tension lag throughout the two hours.’
    Limelight

    **** ‘A tribute worthy of Sir Colin and a new milestone in the discography.’
    Diapason

    ‘Richard Farnes, the current Music Director of Opera North, directs a detailed and well-paced performance in which the collective and individual playing of his chamber orchestra made up of 17 members of the LSO could hardly be bettered.’
    Classical CD Review

    ‘Recorded only days after the death of Colin Davis, this vibrant, spine-tingling take on Britten’s Henry James opera owes its success to the late conductor’s replacement, Opera North’s music director.’
    The Sunday Times

    ‘This LSO Live SACD has quite excellent sound and features both a strong cast and fine orchestral playing.’
    Classical.net

    ‘There has been such an outpouring of Britten recordings during the centennial year that no one could keep up with everything, but when the dust settles it would be unsurprising if this one turned out to be one of the highlights.’
    Opera News

£5.00 £13.99

Richard Farnes, London Symphony Orchestra


Released in celebration of the Britten anniversary year, Richard Farnes, the Music Director of Opera North who led their critically acclaimed production of The Turn of the Screw in 2010, conducts an all-English cast in Britten’s most ingeniously crafted opera, including Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews, and 11-year old Michael Clayton-Jolly in the role of Miles. Originally scheduled to be conducted by Sir Colin Davis, Richard Farnes was the natural replacement, himself having been mentored by the late conductor.


In 1932, the 18-year-old Britten heard on the radio ‘a wonderful, impressive but terribly eerie and scary play The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.’ Britten’s version of the ghost story, premiered in 1954, is a chamber opera in a prologue and two acts. The opera tells the story of a Governess and a housekeeper Mrs Grose who vow to protect two children, Miles and Flora from the strange happenings that occur in the grounds of their English country house.


Composer   Britten
Conductor   Richard Farnes
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Michael Clayton-Jolly, Lucy Hall, Katherine Broderick

Track list
Disc 1
1. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Prologue
2. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Theme
3. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 1: "The Journey"
4. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation I
5. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 2: "The Welcome"
6. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation II
7. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 3: "The Letter"
8. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation III
9. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 4: "The Tower"
10. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation IV
11. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 5: "The Window"
12. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: "Variation V"
13. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 6: "The Lesson"
14. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation VI
15. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 7: "The Lake"
16. The Turn of the Screw, Act I: Variation VII
17. The Turn of the Screw, Act I, Scene 8: "At Night"

Disc 2
1. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation VIII
2. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 1: "Colloquy and Soliloquy"
3. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation IX
4. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 2: "The Bells"
5. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation X
6. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 3: "Miss Jessel"
7. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation XI
8. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 4: "The Bedroom"
9. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation XII
10. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 5: Quint
11. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation XIII
12. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 6: "The Piano"
13. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation XIV
14. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 7: "Flora"
15. The Turn of the Screw, Act II: Variation XV
16. The Turn of the Screw, Act II, Scene 8: "Miles"

Also available on