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Britten - Peter Grimes (LSO, Davis) [Box set]

London Symphony Orchestra , Anthony Michaels-Moore , Nathan Gunn , Benjamin Britten , Colin Davis , et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 17.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (12 July 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Lso
  • ASIN: B00026VQ7I
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 'Peter Grimes'
2. 'The truth... the pity...
3. Interlude 1
4. Oh, Hang at Open Doors...
5. I'll give a hand
6. Let her among you without fault
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Interlude 3
2. Glitter of Waves
3. Now that the daylight fills the sky
4. We Planned That Their Lives...
5. From the Gutter ...
6. Interlude 4
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Interlude 5
2. Assign Your Prettiness to Me
3. Embroidery in Childhood...
4. Mr Swallow...
5. Interlude 6
6. Grimes! ... Steady. There you are. Nearly Home.
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

For his first complete opera recording since his award-winning Les Troyens on LSO Live, Sir Colin Davis tackles one of the 20th century's greatest works, Britten's Peter Grimes. Recorded at the opening concerts in the LSO's centenary celebrations with a magnificent cast, this release promises to be one of 2004's most exciting.

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Man invented morals, but tides have none." 17 Aug 2008
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Man invented morals, but tides have none": thus, the words of the apothecary Ned Keene that more or less sum up the lesson to be learned from Britten's greatest opera.

I was at one of the concerts back in January 2004, of which this is a recording. The concert performance was very good; and so is the recording. It does have, however, the clinical feel of a concert performance. Thus the atmosphere of a full-staged production is missing: we do not experience the crash of the pub door and the rattling of the window shutters in the storm sequence that closes act one, or the subsequent breaking of the bottle by Bob Boles, the fisherman and Methodist, nor the hustle and bustle of the barn dance that begins act three.

Occasionally we hear the audience react to the opera's humour, as in Mrs Sedley's agreement to meet Ned Keene in the Boar only seconds after pompously declaring she had never been in a pub in her life, or Captain Balstrode's imitation of Auntie's nieces. And if you listen carefully, we hear Colin Davis himself humming along in the interludes. At the beginning of Grimes's "In dreams I've built myself some kindlier home ..." someone (Davis?) is speaking.

Despite all this, there are some fine performances to praise, such as Ellen Orford's agreeing to go with Hobson to fetch the new boy, and the quartet of Ellen, Auntie and the nieces in "From the gutter" which is truly divine. Glenn Winslade as Grimes is very good, but perhaps not so good in the set pieces such as "Now the Great Bear ...", but being brought up on Peter Pears in the role, I am probably being unfair. The one disappointment is Balstrode's telling Grimes to sail out to see: it is said as if he is giving him instructions to put together a piece of furniture, or how to get to Ipswich.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Grimes Given a Powerful, Meditative Makeover by Davis 13 Jun 2005
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on
Format:Audio CD
A remarkable work that began Benjamin Britten's opera-writing career, "Peter Grimes" is an enthralling, sometimes challenging work that requires passionate singing of the first order to make it resonate. Fortunately Colin Davis, in his second recording of this work, leads the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a superb cast to bring this masterwork to vivid life in this three-disc set. Tenor Glenn Winslade proves to be a striking choice for the title role of the conflicted fisherman with a clear and strong voice, operatically dramatic and supple as he maneuvers around some sinuous phrasing. He is not a dominant presence like the role's originator Peter Pears, but Winslade is often a moving in conveying the troubled nature of his character. He passionately expresses his aspirations in Act I's "Now the Great Bear and Pleiades" and handles the much anticipated mad scene at the end with supreme dexterity. Soprano Janice Watson has a beautiful voice and creates a strong portrayal of Ellen, the widowed schoolteacher, particularly splendid in the Act I inquest scene with "Let her among you without fault", the Act II confrontation with Peter on "Now that the daylight fills the sky", and the poignant "Embroidery in childhood" in Act III. Baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore makes a burly and sympathetic Balstrode, as he peaks with Act I's "We live and let live".

The smaller roles are well interpreted including alto Jill Grove's self-righteous Auntie and the two nieces, voiced by sopranos Sally Matthews and Alison Buchanan, team up well with Grove and Watson in their second-act quartet, which leads very effectively into Davis' devastating account of the passacaglia. Baritone James Rutherford makes his moments count as a suitably pompous Swallow, and tenor Ryland Davies is a suitably feisty Reverend Adams. They team nicely on the Act II closer, "The whole affair gives Borough talk". However, I feel the standouts of this large ensemble cast are mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers as Mrs. Sedley and two of my favorite singers, baritone Nathan Gunn as Ned Keene, described as "apothecary and quack" and rising baritone Jonathan Lemalu, who leaves a vivid impression as Hobson the carrier. Davis provides superlative musical direction throughout evoking the stormy seas with power and articulation - all of the big choral scenes, the four sea interludes and passacaglia, and Act I's thundering conclusion. The chorus, over 200 voices strong, gives a powerful performance singing with the same commitment that the lead singers do with sharp diction and dramatic context. The "Now is gossip put on trial" march has real menace, and the hysterical Act III cries are appropriately terrifying. The themes of Britten's opera have to do with passion, guilt and self-doubt, universal traits that are felt more intensely by those profoundly in conflict with themselves. That's what gives this opera its power. While there are a number of recordings of this opera on the market, it will be hard to surpass this one in terms of the overall virtuosity of the performance.
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