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Britten: Billy Budd / Elder, Ainsley, Ens, Imbrailo, Rose

Britten / Ainsley / Glyndebourne Chorus / Elder
Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Glyndebourne Festival Opera   Catalog #: 17   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Darren JefferyJacques ImbrailoMatthew RoseJohn Mark Ainsley,   ... 
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BRITTEN Billy Budd Mark Elder, cond; John Mark Ainsley ( Captain Vere ); Jacques Imbraillo ( Billy Budd ); Matthew Rose ( Mr. Flint ); Philip Ens ( Claggart ); Glyndebourne Ch; London PO GLYNDEBOURNE 01710 (3 CDs: 164:06 Text and Translation) Live: Glyndebourne 2010
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This review need only be short. Appearing now on Glyndebourne’s own label, this is almost the same recording as the DVD version I reviewed with great pleasure in 35:3. Whereas the DVD was taken from two sessions in June 2010, the production information tells me that this audio-only version was made in May and June of that year. There are only two minor differences in the cast and the adjustments in timing are minimal. For general remarks on this production, I refer you to James A. Altena’s review in 35:2, and his subsequent comments about it in 35:3 in connection with another recording, and my own review of the DVD. In short, this is a well reviewed production. The issue here, then, is how it works as an ears-only experience.


As a live recording, this is well done. The sound is clear and clearly from the stage, and one either accepts stage clatter or one does not. My own experience is that one gets used to it and tunes it out. The acoustical relation of the orchestra to the singers is in balance and whether or not some reverberation has been added, I cannot tell. In any case, it does not have the rather smothered sound of many live opera recordings.


It is worth noting here that this is the revised, two-act, version of the opera, and not the original four-act version (the original performance of which surfaced some years ago and of which version Kent Nagano made a fine recording in 1998). This recording puts the whole on three CDs, of which the first, covering the prolog and the impressment scene, takes 22:47 minutes.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Billy Budd, Op. 50 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Darren Jeffery (Baritone), Jacques Imbrailo (Baritone), Matthew Rose (Bass),
John Mark Ainsley (Tenor), Phillip Ens (Bass), Iain Paterson (Bass)
Conductor:  Mark Elder
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951/1960; England 

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