Performer: Alan Opie, Roderick Williams, John Connell, Matthew Best, Anne Collins
Orchestra: City of London Sinfonia, London Sinfonia, London Symphony Chorus
Conductor: Richard Hickox, Stephen Westrop
Composer: Benjamin Britten
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Size: 585 MB
# Peter Grimes, opera, Op. 33
Composed by Benjamin Britten
Performed by London Symphony Chorus, The City of London Sinfonia
with Yvonne Barclay, John Connell, Pamela Helen Stephen, Ameral Gunson, Philip Langridge, Janice Watson, Alan Opie, John Graham-Hill, Ned Harrison, Matthew Best, Roderick Williams, Anne Collins, John Fryatt
Conducted by Stephen Westrop, Richard Hickox
01. Prologue. Peter Grimes
02. Prologue. You sailed your boat round the coast
03. Prologue. Peter Grimes, I here advise you
04. Prologue. The truth — the pity — and the truth
05. Prologue. Interlude 1
06. Act 1. Scene 1. Oh, hang at open doors
07. Act 1. Scene 1. Good morning, good morning!
08. Act 1. Scene 1. Hi! Give us a hand
09. Act 1. Scene 1. I have to go from pub to pub
10. Act 1. Scene 1. Let her among you without fault
11. Act 1. Scene 1. Look! The storm cone!
12. Act 1. Scene 1. And do you prefer the storm
13. Act 1. Scene 1. They listen to money
14. Act 1. Scene 1. What harbour shelters peace
15. Act 1. Scene 1. Interlude 2
16. Act 1. Scene 2. Past time to close
17. Act 1. Scene 2. Loud man
18. Act 1. Scene 2. There’s been a landslide up the coast
19. Act 1. Scene 2. No, I mean love
20. Act 1. Scene 2. Pub conversation should depend
21. Act 1. Scene 2. Have you heard the cliff is down
22. Act 1. Scene 2. Now the Great Bear and Pleiades
23. Act 1. Scene 2. For peace sake
24. Act 1. Scene 2. The bridge is down
25. Act 2. Interlude 3.
26. Act 2. Scene 1. Glitter of waves
27. Act 2. Scene 1. Now that the daylight fills the sky
28. Act 2. Scene 1. Child you’re not too young
29. Act 2. Scene 1. This unrelenting work
30. Act 2. Scene 1. Fool to let it come to this
31. Act 2. Scene 1. People… No! I will speak!
01. Act 2. Scene 1. We planned that their lives
02. Act 2. Scene 1. Swallow — shall we go and see Grimes in his hut?
03. Act 2. Scene 1. Now is gossip put on trial
04. Act 2. Scene 1. From the gutter
05. Act 2. Scene 1. Interlude 4
06. Act 2. Scene 2. Go there!
07. Act 2. Scene 2. They listen to money
08. Act 2. Scene 2. Now! Now!
09. Act 2. Scene 2. Peter Grimes
10. Act 3. Interlude 5
11. Act 3. Scene 1. Assign your prettiness to me
12. Act 3. Scene 1. Mr. Keene
13. Act 3. Scene 1. Murder most foul it is
14. Act 3. Scene 1. Come along, Doctor
15. Act 3. Scene 1. Embroidery in childhood was
16. Act 3. Scene 1. Mr. Swallow
17. Act 3. Scene 1. Who holds himself apart
18. Act 3. Scene 2. Grimes!
19. Act 3. Scene 2. Peter, we’ve come to take you home
20. Act 3. Scene 2. To those who pass the Borough
A Shattering Performance
Peter Grimes is one of the most engaging operas written. It is riveting to see it staged and equally attention holding just to hear a performance. Peter Grimes is a highly dramatic story of someone slowly sinking into misfortune, shunned by the community and misunderstood. The drama of the opera is reflected in the splendid music that Benjamin Britten wrote defining the mood of his story. The many interludes that come between scenes have achieved their own fame in Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. When heard in the context of the opera the show their true significance setting up the story that is unfolding.
This recording has been considered among the very best performances of Peter Grimes. Philip Langridge is superb as Grimes, conveying the frustration of an outcast and the menace of his character. This is especially true in Act 2 Scene 2 where Grimes imagines a kind of paradise with his new apprentice that disintegrates into a vision of Hell when he hears the villagers approaching his hut, and in the final scene he is excellent in expressing Grimes’ collapse. Mr. Langridge is well supported by Janice Watson as Ellen Orford, Alan Opie as Captain Balstrode and Roderick Williams as Ned Keene, to name just a few. But it is Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia who deserve the credit for creating a performance that is second to none. The playing by the orchestra is beautifully interwoven with the voices and the balance of the recording is outstanding. The London Symphony Chorus, who has a major role in the opera, are magnificent.
There are many great recordings of Peter Grimes, among them that of Benjamin Britten himself. It is a difficult decision to choose just one Peter Grimes but one can rest assured that the Hickox performance is certainly among the very best. Highly recommended.