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Originals - Britten: Peter Grimes / Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears


Release Date: 10/10/2006 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000747802   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter PearsDavid [bass baritone] KellyLauris ElmsClaire Watson,   ... 
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 24 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes owes its existence to the culminating events of the composer's and Peter Pears' three-year sojourn in the U.S., between 1939 and 1942. A busy, creatively challenging, often tumultuous, and occasionally frustrating and disappointing time (the failure of his opera Paul Bunyan, for one, the difficult living and working conditions in Brooklyn and California, for another, not to mention the discontent with his absence back home in war-ravaged Britain), it nevertheless led Britten to emerge from a period of near-inactivity in late 1941 to single-handedly revitalize the genre of English opera.


Peter Grimes arguably is the most profoundly original and dramatically groundbreaking opera of the
Read more 20th century, and possibly the most significant English dramatic musical work ever written. Its subject, a misfit fisherman whose confrontation with society and its unforgiving rules leads to his ultimate destruction, was a vehicle for more important subthemes, not least of which was Britten's ongoing near-obsession with the nature of innocence and its corruption. The phenomenal impact of Grimes on audiences and performers assured Britten's place as the century's preeminent opera composer, and launched him on the path to creating many more successful stage works. This production, with Britten conducting and Peter Pears in the role of Grimes, remains the definitive recording, with an excellent performance by Pears, for whom the role was created, and support by Claire Watson, Owen Brannigan, and the Orchestra and Chorus of Covent Garden.


The sound on this new Decca "Originals" issue remains consistent with David Hurwitz's description of this set's Decca Legends 2001 CD release (type Q2980 in Search Reviews): "The remastered recording offers little improvement over the excellently transferred original." Happily, unlike that earlier package, this one comes with a libretto and substantial notes on the opera. Essential! [10/17/2006]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Peter Grimes, Op. 33 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Pears (Tenor), David [bass baritone] Kelly (Bass), Lauris Elms (Mezzo Soprano),
Claire Watson (Soprano), James Pease (Baritone), Sir Geraint Evans (Baritone),
Iris Kells (Soprano), Jean Watson (Alto), Raymond Nilsson (Tenor),
John Lanigan (Tenor), Marion Studholme (Soprano), Owen Brannigan (Bass),
Marcus Norman (Voice)
Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1958 
Venue:  Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, Engla 
Length: 144 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Composition written: England (1944 - 1945). 

Sound Samples

Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: "Peter Grimes!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: "You Sailed Your Boat"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: "Peter Grimes, I Here Advise You!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: "The Truth...the Pity..."
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Prologue: Interlude I: On the beach
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Oh, Hang At Open Doors"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Hi! Give Us a Hand"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "I Have To Go From Pub To Pub"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Let Her Among You"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Look, the Storm Cone!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "And Do You Prefer the Storm"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "What Harbour Shelters Peace"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: Interlude II: The Storm
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Past Time To Close!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "We Live and Let Live"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Have You Heard?"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Now the Great Bear and Pleiades"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "Old Joe Has Gone Fishing"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 1: "The Bridge Is Down, We Half Swam Over"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: Interlude III: Sunday Morning By the Beach
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Glitter Of Waves"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Let This Be a Holiday"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "This Unrelenting Work"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Fool To Let It Come To This!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "What Is It?"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "People!...No! I Will Speak!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "We Planned That Their Lives"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Swallow! Shall We Go"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Now Is Gossip Put On Trial"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "From the Gutter"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: Interlude IV: Passacaglia
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Go There!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Now!...Now!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 2: "Peter Grimes! Nobody Here?"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: Interlude V: Evening (Moonlight)
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Assign Your Prettiness To Me"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Pah!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Come Along, Doctor!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Embroidery In Childhood"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Mr.Swallow!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Who Holds Himself Apart"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: Interlude VI: Fog
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Grimes! Grimes!"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "Peter, We've Come To Take You Home"
Peter Grimes, Op.33 / Act 3: "To Those Who Pass The Borough"

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