Britten: Billy Budd. Pears, Glossop. LSO. Britten. 3 LP. Decca. SET 379. New Copy

SET 379-N

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Benjamin Britten: Billy Budd. Peter Glossop, Peter Pears, John Shirley Quirk, sings together with London Symphony Orchestra and being conducted by Benjamin Britten.

3 LP. Decca. SET 379. TF/E

* A brand new copy

 *** Recommendation ***

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MediaLP Vinyl
RecomandationRecommendation
Technical qualityTF/E - Technical Fabulous/Excellent

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Benjamin Britten: Billy Budd. Peter Glossop, Peter Pears, John Shirley Quirk, sings together with London Symphony Orchestra and being conducted by Benjamin Britten.

3 LP. Decca. SET 379. TF/E

* A brand new copy

 

Billy Budd, Op. 50 by Benjamin Britten 
 
Performer: Peter Glossop (Baritone), Peter Pears (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Bass Baritone),
Robert Tear (Tenor), Benjamin Luxon (Baritone)
Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951/1960; England

 

The first of the groundbreaking television productions of Britten’s operas, Billy Budd was staged by Basil Coleman, who had produced both the opera’s premieres at the Royal Opera House – that of the original four-Act version, and of the revised two-Act version performed here. Using the BBC’s two-studio technique, he created massive, painstakingly authentic settings on a 1770s man-o’-war. With 1960s monochrome and flat lighting, it’s hardly Master and Commander, but its fluency and shifting viewpoints are still striking today, far in advance of stage telecasts, and the coherent atmosphere undoubtedly enhances the drama onscreen. Charles Mackerras maintains both the score’s gusty energy and claustrophobic tension, with an equally intense cast. Peter Pears inhabits rather than acts Captain Vere, the anguished scholar-warrior to the life. Grimly sonorous, Michael Langdon (himself an ex-petty officer) makes Claggart appear Vere’s dark mirror, brutish but keenly self-aware. Peter Glossop’s rather mature but jovially natural Billy remains the finest voice I know in this role. Officers and crew are equally impressive, from John Shirley-Quirk’s Redburn to the youthful Robert Tear and Benjamin Luxon as Novice and Friend.

-- Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine

 

***Recommendation ***

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