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Britten: Billy Budd / Mackerras, Pears, Glossop, Lso

Britten / Pears / Glossop / Lso / Mackerras
Release Date: 07/08/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001147909  
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter GlossopPeter PearsJohn Shirley-QuirkRobert Tear,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The first of the groundbreaking television productions of Britten’s operas, Billy Budd was staged by Basil Coleman, who had produced both the opera’s premieres at the Royal Opera House – that of the original four-Act version, and of the revised two-Act version performed here. Using the BBC’s two-studio technique, he created massive, painstakingly authentic settings on a 1770s man-o’-war. With 1960s monochrome and flat lighting, it’s hardly Master and Commander, but its fluency and shifting viewpoints are still striking today, far in advance of stage telecasts, and the coherent atmosphere undoubtedly enhances the drama onscreen. Charles Mackerras maintains both the score’s gusty energy and claustrophobic tension, with an equally intense Read more cast. Peter Pears inhabits rather than acts Captain Vere, the anguished scholar-warrior to the life. Grimly sonorous, Michael Langdon (himself an ex-petty officer) makes Claggart appear Vere’s dark mirror, brutish but keenly self-aware. Peter Glossop’s rather mature but jovially natural Billy remains the finest voice I know in this role. Officers and crew are equally impressive, from John Shirley-Quirk’s Redburn to the youthful Robert Tear and Benjamin Luxon as Novice and Friend.

-- Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine

Formating: Video Aspect Ratio 4:3, Color, Dolby and DTS Surround Sound, NTSC.
Subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese.
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Works on This Recording

Billy Budd, Op. 50 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Peter Glossop (Baritone), Peter Pears (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Bass Baritone),
Robert Tear (Tenor), Benjamin Luxon (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951/1960; England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Britten and Mackerras- what a duo! August 1, 2013 By Leonard B. (Sarasota, FL) See All My Reviews "I had the privilege back in the early l990's to hear Mackerras conduct the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in a performance of Britten's "Billy Budd." Recalling the film version with Terence Stamp in the lead role, I decided to hear and see the opera on which the film was largely based in addition to Melville's classical text. I was not disappointed with Mackerras' interpretation at the opera house nor with this recording that I recently returned to after many years. If you like Britten, you will similarly like Mackerras in this CD version." Report Abuse
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