With this episode of ‘The Archive’, we rediscover two of the loveliest British voices of the 20th century. The first of them is the tenor Peter Pears, whose name is ineradicably linked to that of composer Benjamin Britten. The collaboration between the two started when they met in 1937, and Pears was to create the lead roles in all of Britten’s operas. Peter Pears was a remarkable recitalist, whether he sang a cappella or accompanied by Britten – which he is in the present programme, which was recorded in London in May, 1964. The complicity between the two musicians is obvious: spectators will feel as if they are attending a musical evening in the composer’s home. The second great British voice is that of Alfred Deller. The movement to rediscover ancient music with period instruments, which began immediately after the second World War, is where he left his lasting mark. Together with his son Mark, and accompanied by lutenist Desmond Dupré, this self-taught musician’s alto voice allowed him to revisit – and rescue from oblivion – a vast repertory of baroque vocal music. As the first great countertenor, his unique vocal timbre is reminiscent of the miraculous sound the castrati must have produced. He brought about a resurgence in popularity for forgotten repertories, particularly the 17th century English music written by composers like Philip Rosseter, John Blow and Henry Purcell.