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Tippett: The Midsummer Marriage, Opera in Three Acts


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Tippett: The Midsummer Marriage, Opera in Three Acts + Tippett: King Priam
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Product details

  • Performer: Alberto Remedios, Joan Carlyle, Elizabeth Harwood, Stuart Burrows, Helen Watts, et al.
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
  • Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
  • Composer: Sir Michael Tippett
  • Audio CD (17 July 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Lyrita
  • ASIN: B000025ZJT
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,256 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Midsummer Marriage - Sir Michael Tippett

Product Description

Product Description

Chorus and Orchestra of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden - Sir Colin Davis, direction

Amazon.co.uk

For those open to its message, hearing The Midsummer Marriage in 1955 must have been like an outburst of Technicolor in the often grey Britain of the post-war era. After a decade of downbeat realism on the stage, such a visionary statement must have come as a real shock. Even now, its vigour and sensuality can seem too much of a good thing over two-and-a-half hours, packing in a great deal of activity within the Jung-inspired scenario of self-realisation. Pick up what's crucial of this simply by getting to know the music which, drawing on a range of influences across four centuries, has all the passion and ecstasy of Tippett's work through the 1950s. This recording, taken from a run of live performances in 1970, does it proud. From a first rate cast, Alberto Remedios and Elizabeth Harwood stand out, as does Helen Watts as the mysterious Sosostris. Colin Davis gets playing of real energy from the ROH forces. We need Midsummer Marriage's life-enhancing qualities more than ever. --Richard Whitehouse

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Elvin on 22 Jun. 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Colin Davis directs the definitive performance of the Midsummer Marriage. Based on Covent Garden's second production of the Opera (it give the premiere), it is a performance which throughout communicates with huge conviction, intensity and Tippett's strange but compelling modern myth. If you treat the story as a mixture of "the Magic Flute", "The Tempest", "Midsummer Night's Dream", English folk tales and a 1950s domestic drama, you won't be far off. The libretto has its silly moments but they are swept away by the overall conception. Singers, chorus, orchestra and most of all, Sir Colin Davis, leave one with no doubts about the greatness and universality of this work. Having bought the LPs (on Phillips) many years ago, the release by Lyrita on CD was greatly welcome. Highlights are difficult to choose in such a wonderful recording, but try Sosostris' aria in the last Act, Mark's Act I aria and the climax of Act III in the final ritual dance where Mark & Jennifer are mystically transfigured to music of power, not to mention considerable vocal vigour. Outstanding.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Oh how wonderful to hear this again. What a masterpiece and what a performance! The two leads - Alberto Remedios and Joan Carlyle - sing this rapturous music beautifully (one thinks of Handel's lyrical writing for voice). And the rest of the cast are marvelous, too.

The Midsummer Marriage is a unique opera ... the summation of Tippet's most lyrical and accessible phase. Dismissed by some as just so much hippy nonsense it rather demonstrates how Tippett was supremely in touch with (and able to anticipate and predict) our collective unconscious. It starts with a group of friends gathering in some mysterious rural place in the early morning mist for a rather unconventional wedding. The musical setting of this is masterful. What happens next is perhaps dream or perhaps Jungian psychodrama. As a drama it echoes The Magic Flute (and perhaps A Midsummer Night's Dream).

But it is the music that makes it really special - ardent, lyrical, ecstatic ... and even humorous ... by turns. I know it all by heart and cannot resist singing along. I doubt there will ever be a performance as good as this one ... or perhaps one day there will be. But this is just so perfect that I almost fear hearing it realised differently (as if it might somehow shatter the dream).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tancredi on 17 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This must be the most life affirming joyous work composed in the 1945/1950 period. Criticism is always about the plot, really the plot is fine as a vehicle for this lyrical outpouring. Why this work is not performed in Opera Houses all over the world is a mystery to me. It certainly worked well on the stage when I saw the Covent Garden revival of 2005, I do hope that conductors like Andrew Davis and Mark Elder who know how to perform this music take over the mantle from Colin Davis

This performance is as other reviewers say superlative and I cannot imagine it being bettered
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