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Britten: Albert Herring / Hickox, Gilchrist, Stephen, Et Al

Release Date: 02/25/2003 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10036   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Rebecca EvansJames GilchristPamela Helen StephenYvette Bonner,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 27 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a very good performance of Britten's British-as-could-be chamber-sized comic opera. It's a work that's chock-full of flavorful characters, and every recorded performance has managed to present casts that come right through the speakers. Had the Naxos recording of this work not just appeared (actually it's a Collins Classics performance, happily re-released last month--for my review, type Q6240 in Search Reviews), this one would be my recommendation.

Richard Hickox's conducting here is very detailed, and his slowish tempos and the somewhat in-your-face recording certainly do help to make the text understandable. But some of the action drags, and frankly, this opera is long enough and detailed enough not to need such
Read more underlining. Steuart Bedford on Naxos keeps the action crisper.

The singing here is quite good, but I marginally prefer Christopher Gillett's Albert (Naxos) to James Gilchrist's portrayal, and although I found Josephine Barstow too loud (Naxos), I simply don't like Susan Bullock as Lady Billows--she doesn't convince. The others in each cast are about even, but Della Jones, again on Naxos, makes a better case for Albert's uptight, greengrocer Mum. And one other thing: Naxos' set is less than half the price of this release.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Albert Herring, Op. 39 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Rebecca Evans (Soprano), James Gilchrist (Tenor), Pamela Helen Stephen (Mezzo Soprano),
Yvette Bonner (Voice), Gregory Monk (Voice), Susan Bullock (Soprano),
Stephen Richardson (Bass), Alan Opie (Baritone), Anne Collins (Mezzo Soprano),
Roderick Williams (Baritone), Robert Tear (Tenor), Rebecca Bottone (Voice),
Sally Burgess (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Date of Recording: 10/2001 
Length: 147 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 

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