Without doubt, Benjamin Britten (1913-76) left an indelible impression on all genres of 20th century English music. His vocal repertoire in smaller instrumentations is particularly fascinating. With three of Britten's "Canticles" as well as a selection of his best "realizations" (or "arrangements", if you will) of songs by Henry Purcell (1659-95), this recording provides an insight into the mature phase of the renaissance of the English song. The "Canticles" (Nos. 1-3) presented on this recording are masterful, morally charged pieces. They require the singer and pianist to pay careful attention to the text, which Britten uses as a starting point for all his works. The "Purcell Realizations" further illustrate Benjamin Britten's genius. Benjamin Britten creates the ideal balance between an incredibly captivating music and the service of the text without overburdening it's message. This recording illustrates Britten's outstanding position among the song composers of the 20th century.