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Leighton's Earth, Sweet Earth was commissioned in memory of Peter Pears - tenor and life-long partner of Benjamin Britten. This is the first modern recording of this work since the original recording by Neil Mackie for whom the work was written. Earth, Sweet Earth requires astonishing virtuosity from both vocalist and pianist; the piano taking on an almost orchestral role in settings of text by Ruskin and Hopkins.
Britten wrote Winter Words for Peter Pears. Set to eight poems by Thomas Hardy, this is the composer's most popular song set. James Gilchrist emotively conveys one of Britten's favourite themes: the conflict between innocence and experience.