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LM 7416
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LM 7416

Rafael Kubelik conducts Britten: Peter Grimes

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2009

Originally recorded in 2009


Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Rafael Kubelik

James Pease

baritone - Balstrode

Geraint Evans

baritone - Ned Keene

David Kelly

bass - Hobson

Owen Brannigan

bass - Swallow

Jean Watson

contralto - Auntie

Lauris Elms

mezzo-soprano - Mrs Sedley

Sylvia Fisher

soprano - Ellen Orford

Joan Carlyle

soprano - First niece

Iris Kells

soprano - Second niece

Raymond Nilsson

tenor - Bob Boles

Peter Pears

tenor - Peter Grimes

John Lanigan

tenor - Rector

Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Record Label
MP Live



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 139:52
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Peter Grimes

1 Prologue: Peter Grimes! 1:20
2 You sailed your boat 3:03
3 Peter Grimes, I hear advise you! 2:04
4 The truth… The pity 1:55
5 Interlude I: On the beach 3:27
6 Act I: Oh! Hang at open doors 3:43
7 Good morning. Good morning 1:04
8 Hi! Give us a hand! 3:11
9 I have to go from the pub 2:08
10 Let her among you 3:01
11 Look, the storm come! 2:21
12 And do you prefer the storm? 5:37
13 Interlude II: The storm 4:04
14 Scene II: Past time to close! 4:20
15 We live and let live 1:45
16 Have you heard? 1:16
17 Now the great bear and Pleiades 3:44
18 Old Joe has gone fishing 4:06
19 Back announcement 0:08
20 Act II: Interlude III: Sunday morning by the beach 2:20
21 Scene I: Glitter of waves and glitter of sunlight 5:18
22 Let this be a holiday 3:31
23 This unrelenting work 4:32
24 Fool to let it come to this 3:10
25 People!… No! I will speak! 1:54
26 We planned that their lives should have a new start 2:35
27 Swallow! Shall we go and see Grimes in his hut? 1:06
28 Now is gossip put on trial 2:02
29 From the gutter, why should we trouble at their ribaldries 2:35
30 Interlude IV: Passacaglia 5:37
31 Scene II: Go there! 9:34
32 Peter Grimes! Nobody here? 2:58
33 Act III: Interlude V: Evening 5:00
34 Scene I: Assign your prettiness to me 2:13
35 Ahoy! Ahoy! 3:01
36 Come along, Doctor! 2:36
37 Embroidery in childhood was a luxury of idleness 5:29
38 Mister Swallow! Mister Swallow! 1:51
39 Who holds himself apart, let his pride rise 3:54
40 Interlude VI: Fog 4:06
41 Peter Grimes! 3:14
42 Peter, we've come to take you home 4:02
43 To those who pass the borough 3:14
44 Applause and back anouncement 1:43
 Peter Pears tenor - Peter Grimes
 Sylvia Fisher soprano - Ellen Orford
 James Pease baritone - Balstrode
 Jean Watson contralto - Auntie
 Joan Carlyle soprano - First niece
 Iris Kells soprano - Second niece
 Raymond Nilsson tenor - Bob Boles
 Owen Brannigan bass - Swallow
 Lauris Elms mezzo-soprano - Mrs Sedley
 John Lanigan tenor - Rector
 David Kelly bass - Hobson
 Geraint Evans baritone - Ned Keene
 Rafael Kubelik
  Originally recorded 6 February 1958  

The UK broadcast premiere of Janacek’s, Jenufa, reissue by mpLIVE, has already attracted critical acclaim, not least for the superbly dramatic conducting of Rafael Kubelík. Now, for the first time in over half a century, we can appreciate his detailed, spontaneous and febrile approach to another classical 20th century opera, Peter Grimes: this is, in fact, the only extant recording of a Britten opera conducted by Kubelík.

The central role is naturally taken by the man for whom it was written, singing with perhaps even more freedom and authority live in the house, and with Kubelík’s slightly more relaxed tempi, than he did in the classic Decca recording made later in 1958. That was conducted by the composer, who was as yet comparatively unused to the demands of marshalling large forces and dealing with the complexities of a studio recording. Another appreciable factor in the sucess and unique qualities of this performance is the Australian soprano Sylvia Fisher, singing ’an imposingly intense Ellen Orford’, as the Britten scholar Arnold Whittal remarks in his booklet notes.

The rest of the cast is highly attuned both to the conductor’s approach and to the work itself, which had hardly fallen from the repertoire since its triumphant first performance in November 1947. Nor has the cathartic appeal of this psychologically acute portrayal of an outsider and a closed society faded in the meanwhile, as the praise attendant upon the recent staging by English Nationa Opera testifies.

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