Holiday Shop


Peter Pears

Biography

Born: June 22, 1910; Farnham, England   Died: April 3, 1986; Aldeburgh, England  
Peter Pears, for many years, embodied British vocal music, both opera and song. Benjamin Britten wrote 14 operas and over 50 songs and song cycles for him, and he appeared in the premieres of many other major English works. He was one of the three founders of the Aldeburgh Festival, and he and Britten established the Britten/Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, where he directed the various singing programs until his death.

Given
Read more these impressive credentials and influence, it is rather surprising that as a singer he had distinct limitations. While he was capable of excellent singing, his voice was not especially beautiful, with a rather reedy tone, and at times also with a pronounced wobble. However, his musical intelligence, elegant phrasing, and expressive use of text and the vocal line were to create his place in music history.

His first musical career plan was to be an organist, and he studied that at the Hertford College of Oxford, but he later enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London, where he remained from 1933 to 1935 as an "Operatic Exhibitioner." He then pursued studies with Elena Gerhardt and Dawson Freer. He began his professional singing career as a member of the BBC Singers in 1934, and it was through that group that he and Britten first met.

His first recital with Britten was in 1937 at Balliol, followed by a tour of the United States and Europe performing chamber music, including material written by Britten. When they returned, they performed his Michelangelo Sonnets at Wigmore Hall. His operatic debut was as Hoffmann in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann at the Strand Theater in London in 1942; he joined the Sadler's Wells Opera Company in 1943, singing lyric tenor leads. Britten had begun to write the role of Peter Grimes for him, with funding from the Koussevitsky Foundation, and the opera had its world premiere in 1945 at the Sadler's Wells. Thereafter, while he still appeared in other composer's works, he and Britten were an established musical team, and the next decades saw the appearances of many more operas written for Pears. In 1946, he created the role of the Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, the title role of Albert Herring in 1947, Captain Vere in Billy Budd in 1951, Essex in Gloriana in 1963, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw in 1954, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1960, and Aschenbach in Death in Venice in 1973. He also created the role of Pandarus in Walton's Troilus and Cressida. In the song repertoire, he premiered Berkeley's Stabat Mater, Tippett's A Child of Our Time and Boyhood's End, as well as Britten's Michelangelo Sonnets, Donne Sonnets, and Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, to name just the most famous. He was a noted student of early music, frequently performing English lute songs in his recitals, and he and Britten published editions of several songs by Purcell.

While most strongly associated with English music and English venues, he was also a noted soloist at the Holland Festival and the Salzburg Festival.

Pears and Britten were necessarily discreet about the intimate nature of their relationship, but in music history, their lifelong partnership and love affair is one of the most productive and influential, perhaps surpassed only by that of Robert and Clara Schumann. They are buried next to one another in Aldeburgh. Read less
Britten: Saint Nicolas, Op 42 / Britten, Pears
Release Date: 09/14/2004   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4756156   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $17.98
ArkivCD $12.99
Low Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $17.98   ArkivCD:  $12.99 Add to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Browse 51-75 of 117 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5
  • 51.
    The Hidden Heart - A Life Of Benjamin Britten And Peter Pears
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 16571 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Robert Tear,  James Gilchrist,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Peter Pears  ... 
    Conductor:  Rupert Jeffcoatt,  Benjamin Britten
    Recommendation
    On sale! $23.98
    DVD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $23.98   DVD:  $21.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 52.
    Elgar: The Dream Of Gerontius;  Holst: The Hymn Of Jesus
    Label: London/Decca British Collection   Catalog: 421381 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Peter Pears,  Yvonne Minton
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $24.98
    ArkivCD $21.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $24.98   ArkivCD:  $21.99 Add to Cart

  • 53.
    Benjamin Britten - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17526 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Andrew Mead,  Jill Gomez,  Norman Bailey,  Penelope Walker  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall,  Richard Hickox,  Daniel Harding,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trinity Boys Choir,  City of London Sinfonia,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $157.98
    CD: $120.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $157.98   CD:  $120.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 54.
    Composers In Person
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17575 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Béla Bartók,  Vilma Medgyaszay,  Ferenc Szekeres,  Zoltán Székely  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percurama Percussion Ensemble
    Recommendation
    On sale! $100.98
    CD: $76.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $100.98   CD:  $76.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 55.
    Salute To Percy Grainger / Pears, Britten
    Label: London/Decca British Collection   Catalog: 425159 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten,  Viola Tunnard
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten,  Steuart Bedford
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Linden Singers
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 56.
    Britten: Albert Herring / Britten, English Opera Group
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5824 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Otakar Kraus,  Gladys Parr,  Margaret Ritchie,  Anne Sharp  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Opera Group Orchestra,  English Opera Group
    Recommendation
    On sale! $33.98
    CD: $29.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $33.98   CD:  $29.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 57.
    Britten: Spring Symphony / Britten
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436396 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  George Malcolm,  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 58.
    Britten: Peter Grimes / Pears, Harper, Britten
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001147709 Release Date: 07/08/2008  
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Elizabeth Bainbridge,  Owen Brannigan,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    DVD: $29.99
    Low Stock
    DVD:  $29.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 59.
    Sir William Walton - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Alto Records   Catalog: 1026 Release Date: 04/15/2008  
    Composer:  Sir William Walton
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Edith Sitwell,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Conductor:  Anthony Collins,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Opera Group Ensemble Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $6.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 60.
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7034 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Lennox Berkeley,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Dennis Brain,  Peter Pears,  Manoug Parikian,  Colin Horsley
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Boyd Neel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra Strings,  Boyd Neel Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 61.
    Handel: Acis & Galatea Scenes / Sutherland, Boult, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3147 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Owen Brannigan,  Peter Pears,  David Galliver,  Dame Joan Sutherland
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philomusica of London,  St. Anthony Singers
    Recommendation
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 62.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Munchinger, Pears, Prey, Wunderlich
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 414057 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Elly Ameling,  Marga Höffgen,  Heinz Wunderlich,  Tom Krause  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir,  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $34.98
    ArkivCD $31.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $34.98   ArkivCD:  $31.99 Add to Cart

  • 63.
    Britten: Spring Symphony, Etc / Van Beinum, Ferrier, Pears
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440063 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Jo Vincent,  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir,  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 64.
    Elizabethan Lute Songs / Pears, Bream
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444524 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  Thomas Morley,  Philip Rosseter,  John Dowland
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 65.
    Schütz: Matthäus-passion
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436221 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Derek McCulloch,  Peter Pears,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Terry Edwards  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Heinrich Schütz Choir
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 66.
    Legendary British Performers / Various
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88461 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Enrique Granados,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Iris Du Pré,  Mark Deller,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Melos Ensemble London
    Recommendation
    On sale! $26.99
    DVD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $26.99   DVD:  $19.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 67.
    Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex / Solti, Pears, Meyer, Davies
    Label: London/Decca Enterprise   Catalog: 430001 Release Date: 04/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Benjamin Luxon,  Stafford Dean,  Donald McIntyre,  Alec McGowan  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    MP3 Available
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

    MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 68.
    Heavenly Love, Earthly Joy / Bream, Pears
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 704927 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Morley,  Philip Rosseter,  John Dowland,  Thomas Ford
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears
    Recommendation
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 69.
    Originals - Britten: Peter Grimes / Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000747802 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Iris Kells,  Claire Watson,  Jean Watson,  Raymond Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $23.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $23.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 70.
    Igor Stravinsky Conducts His Own Works - Apollo, Etc
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1184 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Helmut Krebs,  Heinz Rehfuss,  Werner Hessenland,  Peter Pears  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Northwest German Radio Chorus,  Baden-Baden Southwest German Radio Wind Quintet
    Recommendation
    CD: $29.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $29.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 71.
    Britten: Serenade, Les Illuminations, Nocturne / Pears, Brain, Britten
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4768470 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Dennis Brain,  Willie Anthony Waters,  Osian Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $13.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 72.
    Britten Conducts Britten Vol 3
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000639602 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Bryan Drake,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Robert Tear,  Peter Pears  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten,  George Malcolm,  Norman Del Mar,  Russell Burgess
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Opera Group Orchestra,  English Chamber Group,  Alleyn's School Choir  ... 
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $59.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 73.
    Britten: War Requiem / Britten, London Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000638902 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Simon Preston,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Highgate School Chorus  ... 
    CD: $22.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $22.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 74.
    Holnd Fstvl - A Dutch Miracle - Fifty Years - 1947-1997
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 6900 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Rudolf Escher,  Richard Strauss,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Teresa Berganza,  Giulietta Simionato,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  George Szell,  Jean Fournet,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Danzi Woodwind Quintet  ... 
    On sale! $63.98
    CD: $61.49
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $63.98   CD:  $61.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 75.
    Mozart: Concertos & Arias / Gulda, Szeryng, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93129 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Friedrich Gulda,  Henryk Szeryng,  Dennis Brain,  Suzanne Danco  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $29.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $29.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

1 2 3 4 5