Britten: The Little Sweep


English Opera Group, London Symphony Orchestra

HTGCD236 – 5013993893790

Two of Britten’s rarities, his children’s opera The Little Sweep and the Cantata Academica, have been unavailable for several years. The definitive recordings made with the English Opera Group and the London Symphony Orchestra are now available on one disc.


The Little Sweep (Let’s make an opera), Op. 45

  1.  “Sweep! Sweep!” (Audience)
  2. “Sweep this chimney!” (Miss Baggott)
  3.  “Now, little white boy!” (Clem/Black Bob)
  4.  “Pull the rope gently” (Children)
  5.  “Is he wounded?” (Children)
  6.  “Sooty tracks upon the sheet” (Children)
  7.  “Run, Poor Sweepboy” (Rowan)
  8.  “The kettles are singing” (Audience)
  9.  “O why do you weep” (Rowan/Sam/Children)
  10.   Pantomine –  “Ah! ….. Blackguards!” (Miss Baggott)
  11.  “Help! Help! She’s Collapsed!” (Miss Baggott)
  12.  “The owl, wide-winging” (Audience)
  13.  “Soon the coach will carry you away” (Juliet)
  14.  “Morning, Sammy” (Johnnie)
  15.  “Ready, Alfred?” (Tom)
  16.   Coaching Song: “The Horses Are Champing” (All)
    Sam, sweep-boy – David Hemmings
    Rowan, the nursery-maid – Jennifer Vyvyan
    Miss Baggott, the housekepper – Nancy Thomas
    Juliet Brook – April Cantelo
    Gay Brook – Michael Ingram
    Sophie Brook – Marilyn Baker
    John Crome  – Robin Fairhurst
    Tina Crome – Gabrielle Soskin
    Hugh Crome – Lyn Vaughan
    Black Bob, the sweep-master – Trevor Anthony
    Clem, the assistant sweep – Peter Pears
    Alfred, the gardener – Peter Pears
    Choir of Alleyn’s School
    English Opera Group Orchestra
    Benjamin Britten (conductor)


    Cantata Academica op. 62

    Part 1

    1. Bonorum summum omnium
    2. quqe bene beateque Vivendi
    1. At huius caelestis
    2. Maiorum imprimis virtus
    3. tum vero Aenease Sylvius
    1. Et gubernacula mundi qui tenet
    2. ut ad longaeva tempora
  18. Part II

    1. Docendi ac discendi aequitati
    1. Rhenana erga omnes urbs
    2. ut itustissime Basilea audiat
    3. O cives Basilienses
    1. Nos autem cuncti hoc festo die
    2. vigeatque academia libera

Jennifer Vyvyan (soprano)
Helen Watts (contralto)
Peter Pears (tenor)
Owen Brannigan (bass)
Harold Lester (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
George Malcolm
Tracks 1-16 – recording first published in 1956
Tracks 17-22 – recording first published in 1961


  1. admin

    ‘The Little Sweep is one of Britten’s most delightful and instantly appealing works… the cast is superb… this 1955 Decca version with the English Opera Group orchestra is the one to own… the LP transfer to CD is superb.’
    International Record Review, November 2012

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.