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Britten: Billy Budd Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, 2 Jan 2013
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Product details

  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (2 Jan. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Glyndebourne
  • ASIN: B00AKJ3QR0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,158 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Am an Old Man Who Has Experienced Much
  2. Pull, My Bantams
  3. Boat Ahoy!
  4. First Man Forward
  5. Bill Budd, King of the Birds!

Disc: 2

  1. I Heard, Your Honour!
  2. Come Along, Kid!
  3. Christ! The Poor Chap, the Poor Little Runt!
  4. What's That? What's Those Whistles?
  5. Starry Vere We Call Him
  6. Boy!
  7. Gentlemen, the King!
  8. Ay, at Spithead the Men May Have Had Their Grievances
  9. We Are, Sir. Claggart Is an Able One
  10. Interlude
  11. Blow Her Away...
  12. We're Off to Samoa
  13. Hi! You...a...a...!...He's a Stammer
  14. Over the Water
  15. Come Here. Remember Your Promise.
  16. Billy!...Hist! Billy Budd!
  17. Dansker, Old Friend, Glad to See You!

Disc: 3

  1. I Don't Like the Look of the Mist, Mr. Redburn
  2. Well What Is It, Master-at-arms?
  3. Deck Ahoy!
  4. Volunteers! Call for Boarding Volunteers!
  5. There You Are Again, Master-at-arms
  6. O, This Cursèd Mist!
  7. Claggart, John Claggart, Beware!
  8. Master-at-arms and Foretopman
  9. God'o Mercy!
  10. Gentlemen, William Budd Here Has Killed the Master-at-arms
  11. William Budd, You Are Accused By Captain Vere
  12. Poor Fellow, Who Could Save Him?
  13. I Accept Their Verdict
  14. Look!
  15. Here! Baby!
  16. And Farewell to Ye, Old 'Rights O' Man!'
  17. Interlude
  18. According to the Articles of War
  19. Down All Hands!
  20. We Committed His Body to the Deep

Product description

Product Description

This live recording of Billy Budd comes from the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival. Billy Budd, Britten and Glyndebourne share an interesting history. In 1950 Benjamin Britten wrote to Ian Hunter, Artistic Administrator of the Edinburgh Festival, requesting that the first performance of his new opera Billy Budd take place at the Festival in 1951. Hunter indicated that they were unanimous in welcoming the proposal and Glyndebourne Opera, as the resident company were the obvious partner. Hunter was possibly unaware of the schism that existed between John Christie and Britten, and maybe the old wounds ran deep, as six months later, Sadlers Wells, were in the frame, the costs subsequently proving prohibitive, so Hunter unsuccessfully re-approached Glyndebourne offering to meet all costs, but Royal Opera Covent Garden ended up producing the first production in London in October 1951.

This Billy Budd is Glyndebourne's first production (and Director Michael Grandage's first foray into opera), but such is Glyndebourne's pedigree with Britten that it was an eagerly anticipated production that does not disappoint. Jacques Imbrailo as Billy Budd is simplicity at its best, with a warmth of tone and excellent diction. Iain Paterson as Redburn the First Lieutenant, leads the officers powerfully, his trio with Lieutenant Ratcliffe (Darren Jeffery) and Flint (Matthew Rose) is as good as any moment in opera can get.

In the pit for this production is the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the command of the incomparable Sir Mark Elder passionately conveying the majesty, the mystery and the drama within Britten's score.


Including DVDs, this is the 10th commercially available recording of Britten's nautical opera an extraordinary tally for an opera first seen little more than 60 years ago. Opus Arte has already released a live DVD of Michael Grandage's 2010 production, but the musical performance is of such high quality that it is worthy of release in audio format, especially with Glyndebourne's lavish presentation and documentation. Jacques Imbrailo's Billy is just as effective on CD as it is on screen: he sounds more youthful and lyrical than his most illustrious predecessors Peter Glossop (Britten/Decca), Simon Keenlyside (Hickox/Chandos) or Thomas Allen on the Atherton-conducted ENO production by Tim Albery and he s heart-rending in his plea to Vere to save him in the drumhead court scene. John Mark Ainsley s cultured Captain is a worthy successor to Peter Pears (Decca) and Philip Langridge (Chandos), and even if Philip Ens's Claggart can't muster the black-voiced villainy of Hickox' s John Tomlinson the finest on disc he is as effective as his other rivals. The supporting roles are all superbly cast, but it is Mark Elder's conducting, rivalled only by the composer, and the playing of the LPO that sets the seal on this outstanding Britten centenary issue. PICK OF THE WEEK --Sunday Times, 06/01/13

The daunting challenges of recording live are satisfactorily met. --IRR, Feb'13

Mark Elder gets first-rate playing from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and directs an often powerful performance. --Gramophone, march'13

I wondered whether whether Glyndebourne's Billy Budd, superb on video, would survive so well on CD, where it faces powerful competition headed by Britten's own recording. In fact, though,I was equally impressed. For all Britten's virtures, I found this version more compelling. Performance + Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine, Apr'13

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on 27 June 2017
Format: MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
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on 8 April 2017
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on 2 December 2013
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on 18 October 2013
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
4.0 out of 5 starsLive performance of Billy Budd premier
on 3 February 2013 - Published on
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