“I doubt there's an orchestra in America that has grown this much this fast.   They sounded terrific.” - Paull Horsley, Kansas City Star

All Reference Recordings SACDs are hybrid and will play on any CD player.

Multichannel Hybrid SACD / HDCD

RR120CD Cover



[Hybrid Multichannel SACD]

Hbrid SACD Logo TM Perhaps the most striking aspect of this new recording is the performance by Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony.   Ears will perk and eyebrows will be raised when critics hear what's happening in Kansas City.   Its Symphony plays these challenging scores at a level the “Big Five” will envy.   Reference Recordings has made many fine orchestral recordings, and we feel that this is amongst their very best.

This new release was produced by four-time Grammy Award winner David Frost.   He and Michael Stern have been friends since childhood, so this Britten project is very much a family affair.   David Frost says he is “honored” to work with engineer Keith Johnson for the first time, and is full of enthusiasm for the sound quality of the masters.

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is a symphonic tour-de-force and audio spectacular, featuring all sections of the symphony, separately and together.   Based on a famous theme by Henry Purcell, Britten writes in essence his “Concerto for Orchestra”, taking the ensemble apart, then reassembling it in a grand and jubilant finale.   Dynamic range is extreme.

Britten was a dedicated pacifist, and the Sinfonia da requiem from 1940 is his musical plea for peace.   It begins with stark and dramatic drumbeats that will be a test for even the finest sound systems, and builds to tremendous climaxes.   This early work is regarded by many as the finest of all his orchestral scores.

Peter Grimes, Britten's most popular opera, is heard most often in the orchestral Sea Interludes and Passacaglia, some of his most haunting and atmospheric orchestral music.   “Prof.” Johnson's transparent sonics allow one to “hear into” all these scores as never before.

The master tapes were recorded at 176.4 kHz, 24 bits and prepared for CD release with HDCD technology.


1. The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra     17:09

Sinfonia da requiem     19:12
2. Lacrymosa     7:53
3. Dies irae     5:02
4. Requiem aeternam     6:17

Peter Grimes: Four Sea Interludes & Passacaglia     17:00
5. Dawn     4:04
6. Sunday Morning     3:46
7. Moonlight     4:26
8. Passacaglia     7:19
9. Storm     4:44

    Total Time - 60:46    

Reference Recordings are distributed in Australia by Rockian Trading