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SIG 348
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SIG 348

Britten - Peter Grimes

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2013

Recorded in 24 Bit / 48Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Steuart Bedford

Gaynor Keeble

- ('Auntie')

Robert Murray

- ('Bob Boles')

David Kempster

- ('Captain Balstrode')

Giselle Allen

- ('Ellen Orford')

Alexandra Hutton

- ('First Niece')

Stephen Richardson

- ('Hobson')

Catherine Wyn-Rogers

- ('Mrs Sedley')

Charles Rice

- ('Ned Keene')

Alan Oke

- ('Peter Grimes')

Christopher Gillett

- ('Rev. Horace Adams')

Charmian Bedford

- ('Second Niece')

Henry Waddington

- ('Swallow')

Chorus of Opera North

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Britten-Pears Orchestra


Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk

7 & 9 June 2013

Record Label



Total Time - 137:44
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Peter Grimes

1 Peter Grimes 1:32
  (Hobson, Swallow, Peter)  
2 You sailed your boat round the coast 3:20
  (Swallow, Peter, mrs Sedley, Hobson, Ellen, Chorus)  
3 Peter Grimes, I here advise you 2:10
  (Swallow, Hobson, Peter, Chorus)  
4 The truth - the pity - and the truth 1:55
  (Peter, Ellen)  
5 Interlude I: Dawn 2:47
  ACT I  
  Scene 1  
6 Oh, hang at open doors 4:21
  (Auntie, Boles, Balstrode, Chorus)  
7 Good Morning, good morning! 1:05
  (Rector, Nieces, Mrs Sedley, Ned, Swallow, Auntie, Boles, Balstrode, Chorus)  
8 Hi! Give us a hand 3:22
  (Peter, Boles, Balstrode, Ned, Auntie, Hobson)  
9 I'll have to go from pub to pub 1:54
  (Hobson, Ellen, Ned, Chorus)  
10 Let her among you without fault 3:00
  (Ellen, Hobson, Mrs Sedley, Ned)  
11 Look! The Storm cone! 2:35
  (Balstrode, Ned, Boles, Chorus)  
12 And do you prefer the storm 3:24
  (Balstrode, Peter)  
13 They listen to money 1:35
  (Peter, Balstrode)  
14 What harbour shelters peace 1:02
15 Interlude II: Storm 4:05
  Scene 2  
16 Past time to close 2:22
  Auntie, Mrs Sedley, Balstrode, Boles, Nieces)  
17 Loud man 1:00
  (Auntie, Nieces, Mrs Sedley)  
18 There's been a landslide up the coast 0:59
  (Fisherman, Boles, Balstrode, Auntie)  
19 No, I mean love 0:32
  (Boles, Balstrode, Chorus)  
20 Pub conversation should depend 1:19
  (Balstrode, Chorus)  
21 Have you heard the cliff is down 1:34
  (Ned, Auntie, Mrs Sedley, Chorus)  
22 Now the Great Bear and Pleiades 3:34
  (Peter, Nieces, Boles, Balstrode, Auntie, Chorus)  
23 For peace sake 2:29
  (Balstrode, Peter)  
24 The bridge is down 1:27
  (Hobson, Ned, Ellen, Boles, Auntie, Nieces, Peter)  
  ACT II  
25 Interlude III: Sunday Morning 2:26
  Scene 1  
26 Glitter of waves 1:29
27 Now that the daylight fills the sky 3:39
  (Ellen, Rector, Chorus)  
28 Child you're not too young 3:11
  (Ellen, Rector, Peter, Chorus)  
29 This unrelenting work 4:18
  (Ellen, Peter, Chorus)  
30 Fool to let it come to this 3:13
  (Auntie, Ned, Boles, Mrs Sedley, Balstrode, Swallow, Nieces, Rector, Chorus)  
31 People... No! I will speak! 2:09
  (Boles, Balstrode, Rector, Auntie, Ellen, Chorus)  
32 We planned that their lives 2:15
  (Ellen, Rector, Mrs Sedley, Boles, Ned, Nieces, Auntie, Balstrode, Hobson, Swallow, Chorus)  
33 Shall we go and see Grimes in his hut? 0:47
  (Rector, Swallow, Balstrode, Mrs Sedley, Boles, Chorus)  
34 Now gossip is put on trial 2:02
35 From the gutter 4:01
  (Nieces, Auntie, Ellen)  
36 Interlude IV: Passacaglia 5:29
  Scene 2  
37 Go there 1:54
38 They listen to money 5:02
39 Now! Now! 2:09
  (Peter, Chorus)  
40 Peter Grimes 2:50
  (Rector, Swallow, Ned)  
41 Interlude V: Moonlight 3:39
  Scene 1  
42 Assign your prettiness to me 3:12
  (Swallow, Nieces, Ned)  
43 Mr Keene 1:27
  (Mrs Sedley, Ned)  
44 Murder most foul it is 1:24
  (Mrs Sedley, Ned)  
45 Come along, Doctor 2:43
  (Burgess, Burgesses, Rector, Mrs Sedley, Ellen, Balstrode)  
46 Embroidery in childhood was 4:47
  (Ellen, Balstrode)  
47 Mr Swallow 1:55
  (Mrs Sedley, Auntie, Swallow, Hobson)  
48 Who holds himself apart 3:27
49 Interlude VI 2:08
  Scene 2  
50 Grimes! 5:09
  (Voices, Peter)  
51 Peter, we've come to take you home 2:23
  (Ellen, Peter, Balstrode)  
52 To those who pass the Borough 5:13
  (Swallow, Fisherman, Auntie, Boles, Chorus)  

Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has to audiences all over the world become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to George Crabbe (author of the ‘The Borough’ from which the story originates) in the eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth.

Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished ensemble on this new live recording, created shortly before the group’s unique staging of the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the town’s world-renowned festival.


                             Winner Opera Award

BBC Music magazine 2014 Awards

"...Alan Oke is a tenor of the Pear’s voice and interpretation. In fact, there is quite a similarity to the color of Pear’s voice. Oke is even more refined, with an ease of singing and interpretation, powerful as needed, deeply nuanced in emotion, a delicate soft quality for the poetry, and clear diction. Giselle Allen usually sings mezzo... Here she brings that coloring to the higher tessitura of Ellen Oxford. She is also emotional. Kempster’s Balstrode is another rich portrayal. There is an entire parcel of excellent characterizations with special kudos going to Wyn-Roger’s Mrs Sedley. Conductor Bedford worked with Britten learning and preparing the works directly from the composer. Here he displays his knowledge, his authority, in a masterly performance..."

Charles Parsons - American Record Guide - January/February 2014

"Aldeburgh Festival’s epic project - staging Benjamin Britten’s opera ’Peter Grimes’ on the beach - was a triumphant event for those who were lucky enough to see it live. Norman Lebrecht finds the live recording - captured in concert performances at Snape Maltings - is just as mesmerising. Tosca has been staged on the ramparts of Rome and Turandot on the Great Wall of China, but puttingPeter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach in June risked the inclemency of an early English summer, which proved frigid. Rehearsals and first performances of this open-air production were survived with heavy blankets and hip-flasks. Even after the gales ceased, greatcoats remained essential. There was never a risk of stage nudity in this production.  Adult content, on the other hand, is innate. Raising sympathy for a fisherman who caused the death of boys and may have abused them is as tough a call today as it was at the Sadlers Wells premiere in June 1945. Britten’s self-image as an outsider in a hostile world – gay, pacifist, an artist – is nowhere more forcibly experienced. How to play the loner Grimes is one of the supreme challenges in modern opera.  Alan Oke nails it from his first response to the examining coroner. Neither confrontational nor contrite, he stands tall in the dock, his voice pure and sure. A fishing man who lives by his catch, he needs to find another boy to take to sea.  Scene by scene, we are drawn to his plight. Giselle Allen is a touching schoolma’am, David Kempster a convincing Captain Balstrode, the chorus a constant threat. At the open-air beach performances, the pre-recorded Britten-Pears Orchestra was beamed in from indoors. The mix here is imperceptible and the sound unobtrusive; engineer Mike Hatch deserves a credit twice the size and conductor Steuart Bedford pulls off an extraordinary feat of coherence and endurance. But it’s Oke who makes the case for Peter Grimes and steals the show. There used to be two great Grimes on record: Peter Pears and Jon Vickers. Now there are three." ****

Norman Lebrecht - Sinfini Music - August 2013






                                  Album of the Week 


David Mellor - Classic FM - October 2013


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