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Britten: Peter Grimes / Richard Hickox, Philip Langridge

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> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: We planned that their lives (Ellen, Rector, Mrs. Sedley, Boles, Ned, Nieces, Auntie, Balstrode, Hobson, Swallow, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Swallow - shall we go and see Grimes in his hut? (Rector, Swallow, Balstrode, Mrs. Sedley, Boles, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Now gossip is put on trial (Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: From the gutter (Nieces, Auntie, Ellen)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II: Interlude IV
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 2: Go there (Peter)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 2: They listen to money (Peter)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 2: Now! Now! (Peter, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 2: Peter Grimes (Rector, Swallow, Ned)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III: Interlude V
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Assign your prettiness to me (Swallow, Nieces, Ned)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Mr. Keene (Mrs. Sedley, Ned)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Murder most foul it is (Mrs. Sedley, Ned)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Come along, Doctor (Burgess, Burgesses, Rector, Mrs. Sedley, Ellen, Balstrode)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Embroidery in childhood was (Ellen, Balstrode)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Mr. Swallow (Mrs. Sedley, Auntie, Swallow, Hobson)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 1: Who holds himself apart (Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III: Interlude VI
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 2: Grimes! (Voices, Peter)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 2: Peter, we've come to take you home (Ellen, Peter, Balstrode)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act III Scene 2: To those who pass the Borough (Swallow, Fisherman, Auntie, Boles, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act I Scene 2: Now the Great Bear and Pleiades (Peter, Nieces, Boles, Balstrode, Auntie, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act I Scene 2: For peace sake (Balstrode, Peter)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act I Scene 2: The bridge is down (Hobson, Ned, Ellen, Boles, Auntie, Nieces, Peter)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II: Interlude III
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Glitter of waves (Ellen)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Now that the daylight fills the sky (Ellen, Rector, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Child you're not too young (Ellen, Rector, Peter, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: This unrelenting work (Ellen, Peter, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: Fool to let it come to this (Auntie, Ned, Boles, Mrs. Sedley, Balstrode, Swallow, Nieces, Rector, Chorus)
> Peter Grimes, Op. 33 - Act II Scene 1: People . . . No! I will speak! (Boles, Balstrode, Rector, Auntie, Ellen, Chorus)

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Peter Grimes
Performers Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Electrifying as their rivals are, the LSO singers seem just that much more arresting...the sense of total music-theatre is present throughout and it's excitingly laid before us by the City of London Sinfonia and the recording...the highest tradition of Chandos sound: indeed, quite spectacular, vast in range, with well-managed perspectives and just enough hints of stage action to be convincing." -Gramophone

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Any reading that so potently confirms the genius of this piece must have a distinguished place in the discography. In the first place there's Langridge's tense, sinewy, sensitive Grimes. Predictably he rises to the challenge of the Mad Scene; this is a man hugely to be pitied, yet there's a touch of resignation, of finding some sort of peace at last, after all the agony of the soul. His portrayal is tense and immediate, and a match for that of Pears in personal identification - listen to the eager touch at 'We strained in the wind'. The next composite heroes are the members of the chorus. Electrifying as their rivals are, the LSO singers, trained by Stephen Westrop, seem just that much more arresting, not least in the hue-and-cry of Act 3, quite terrifying in its immediacy as recorded by Chandos.

Hickox's interpretation has little to fear from the distinguished competition. Many details are placed with special care, particularly in the Interludes and the parodistic dances in Act 3, and whole episodes, such as the Grimes- Balstrode dispute in Act 1, have seldom sounded so dramatic. Once or twice one would have liked a firmer forward movement, as in the fifth Interlude, but the sense of total music-theatre is present throughout.

Of the other soloists, the one comparative disappointment is Janice Watson's Ellen Orford. She sings the part with tone as lovely as any of her rivals on disc and with carefully wrought phrasing, but doesn't have the experience to stand out from the village regulars.

Britten's set remains hors concours, but that recording stretches over three CDs.

Hickox is the finest of the modern recordings: as sound it's quite spectacular, vast in range, with well-managed perspectives and just enough hints of stage action to be convincing.



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Peter Grimes
  • Performers: Ned Harrison (Voice); John Graham-Hall (Tenor); Yvonne Barclay (Soprano); Pamela Stephen (Mezzo Soprano); John Fryatt (Tenor); John Connell (Bass); Philip Langridge (Voice); Janice Watson (Soprano); Anne Collins (Voice); Matthew Best; Alan Opie; Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Stephen Westrop
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Chorus
  • Notes: Bleackheath Concert Halls (07/02/1995/08/31/1995)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1945