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Product details

  • Performer: Pears
  • Composer: Britten
  • Audio CD (18 Jan 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: London
  • ASIN: B00000E4J9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Foggy, Foggy Dew
2. Sally In Our Alley
3. Tom Bowling
4. The Lincolnshire Poacher
5. A Brisk Young Widow
6. O Waly, Waly
7. Sweet Polly Oliver
8. Early One Morning
9. The Bonny Earl O' Moray
10. The Ash Grove
11. Come You Not From Newcastle
12. Le Roi S'en Va-t'en Chasse
13. La Belle Est Au Jardin D'amour
14. The Minstrel Boy
15. How Sweet The Answer
16. The Last Rose Of Summer
17. Avenging And Bright
18. Oft In The Stilly Night
19. The Miller Of Dee
20. Ca' The Yowes
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deb on 23 Nov 2009
I am addicted to this beautiful record and want to play it all the time. The piano arrangements are exquisite and Pears voice is sublime. Also, a really good selection of songs, variety of mood and tempo. Warning: They take up residence inside your head
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Veronique Borde on 1 April 2012
Verified Purchase
I heartily agree with Deb's review; I should only add that Britten's piano realization of the accompaniment is extremely interesting, elaborate, subtle (just listen to the final bars of "Le roi s'en va en chasse") yet never overwhelming the singing but sustaining it - and his playing is of course wonderful, so clear and precise in every detail. Pears's singing has so many nuances that one wants to listen to these "simple" songs again and again and is never bored. Excellent diction too: one can understand fast every word (even no English people like me...)
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I was delighted when a search for lyrics led to the discovery of a whole album sung by Peter Pears accompanied by Benjamin Britten playing his own arrangements.There is such empathy between the musicians that voice and piano fit together seamlessly giving new meaning to old songs. Interpretations are never in doubt nor enjoyment in their performance.
e g Sweet Polly Oliver comes alive in the detached notes and rhythm of her movement, a feisty girl who knows what she wants and gets it.The young apprentice who loves Sally puts up with merciless teasing - the voice is that of a callow youth.The lament for the Earl of Moray is sung by a Scot and just as Pears sings in character so Britten is able to suggest the drone of bagpipes. A harp is plucked in The Minstrel Boy, the ambitious plough boy whistles cheekily and waves lap hypnotically in Waly, Waly.
In The Miller of Dee the piano suggests the rushing water in the mill race and the grinding of the stones.The sound becomes wilder as notes seem to merge together, no lark song but one of anger and finally despair.
Ca' the yowes is a gentle contrast - there is some help in the booklet with this dialect - and the selection ends on an upbeat note with the plough boy on his way to becoming a peer.
I am sure I shall enjoy listening to these songs many times. However I do regret that the booklet does not include lyrics. Hearing does not improve with age and I give up entirely when it comes to French verse.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved it! 21 Nov 2012
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Peter Pears, for whom Benjamin Britten wrote most of his music for the tenor voice, was a highly intelligent singer with a distinctive, and to my ears beautiful, voice. To me, it always sounded as if the boy alto (and I don't know that Pears ever was one) was still present in the voice of the older singer -- a glassy sweetness that was very appealing but which wasn't to everyone's taste. Sometimes, as he got older, the voice would loosen in its upper reaches, and you would hear that wide vibrato that Dudley Moore so mercilessly parodied in "Beyond the Fringe." On this record, Pears is in fine voice, and he's superbly accompanied By Britten, and the arrangements are Britten's. Hear what they do with "The Ash Grove" -- deeply moving despite (because of?) a very inventive piano part. "Tom Bowling," a song I had never heard before I bought this disc, is stunningly done. "The Foggy Foggy Dew" is an utter delight . . . and so one could go on. I can't hear "O Waly Waly" -- "The Water is Wide" -- sung by anyone else without hearing Pears's voice in my head. I don't know that you would want to play this all the way through, but three or four songs at a time are very palatable. And since I think Pears's "Winterreise" overrated, I'm happy to have no reservations about this one.
A perfect replacement 28 July 2013
By Robert Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The sound quality is even better than the origuinal LP I had of this stunning performance; please don't keep asking me to review this product when I have already done so!!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One exquisite song and one horribly over-arranged! 25 Sep 2005
By RogerDWMccutcheon - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this disc originally just for the song "Tom Bowling" which provides the exquisite 'cello solo in Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs which features annually in the Last Night of the Proms in London's Albert Hall, and which traditionally invokes much mock emotionalism in the audience. The rendering of that song is, fortunately, fine, but the usually beautiful "Last Rose of Summer" is ruined for me by a setting described in the sleeve notes as "an elegaic, almost Purcellian grandeur"!
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