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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired performance: a truly great recording,, 22 Jun 2003
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D. Elvin (London) - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 14 Jun 2008
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enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, 17 Dec 2009
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charismatic recording or a rich, strange and marvellous opera, 3 Mar 2013
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It has long been a complete mystery to me why this forty-year old recording of this rich, strange and truly marvellous opera is still the only one - apart from the historic but fairly primitive sounding original live1955 production..A personal wish has long been that the visually stunning 1980's ITV production should be made available - enshrining Philip Langridge's glowing performance as Mark - a part he was surely born to sing! If anyone is reading this out there - any hope of a DVD release?
But never mind, this present CD release of Sir Colin Davis's historic first and so-far only modern recording will do very nicely. It is all superbly sung and produced, with a last scene which leaves one drenched and entranced, caught up in the ecstatic joy of Tippett's inspiration. The recorded sound needs no apology: rich, detailed and vividly atmospheric. Even after 40 years, this charismatic recording would be, as they say, a hard act to follow. Thanks once again to Amazon and Zoverstocks for prompt service and unbeatable value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Midsummer Marriage CD, 14 Oct 2013
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Still the best performance of The Midsummer Marriage for me, and possibly the only performance available on CD (and that a rarity).

Colin Davis and his crew do a wonderful job with this luminous score, bringing out the many orchestral and vocal nuances and negotiating the awkward and difficult passages with comparative ease. If you love Tippett but haven't already got a recording of The Midsummer Marriage, or are interested in exploring this fascinating composer's work in depth, this is the performance for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Midsummer Marriage, 13 Aug 2013
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C. J. Roe (Dentdale) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tippet: The Midsummer Marriage - Opera in Three Acts (MP3 Download)
Glad it's available on Mp3. I heard the première in1954 and now can revel in it in my own space and time, just when I want. Excellent. Thank you Mr. technology! Crystal clear performance from ROH et al. of a mystical but youthful, positive and exuberant work that never really seems to have taken hold of the public imagination but can be a rewarding and illuminating experience, for those who persevere. Liking to stick my neck out, as always, I 'give it ten' as they say.
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Tippet: The Midsummer Marriage - Opera in Three Acts
Tippet: The Midsummer Marriage - Opera in Three Acts by Covent Garden Chorus of the Royal Opera House
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