Peter Pears

Tenor

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Britten: Cello Symphony and Other Works

Britten: Cello Symphony and Other Works


Britten:

Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68

Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Cantata Misericordium, Op. 69

Peter Pears (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

English Chamber Orchestra


“The Cello Symphony, written in 1963 as part of a series for the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, was the first major sonata-form work written since the Sinfonia. The idea of a struggle between soloist and orchestra, implicit in the traditional concerto, has no part here; it's a conversation between the two. Rostropovich plays with a depth of feeling that has never quite been equalled in other recordings and the playing of the English Chamber Orchestra has great bite. The recording, too, is extraordinarily fine for its years.
From the opening drumbeat the Sinfonia employs a sonata form with dramatic power, although the tone is never fierce or savage; it has an implacable tread and momentum. The central movement, 'Dies irae', however, has a real sense of fury, satirical in its biting comment – the flutter-tongued wind writing rattling its defiance.
The closing 'Requiem aeternam' is a movement of restrained beauty. The New Philharmonia play superbly. The Cantata misericor-dium was written in 1962 as a commission from the Red Cross. It takes the story of the Good Samaritan and is scored for tenor and baritone soloists, chorus, string quartet and orchestra. It's a universal plea for charity and receives a powerful reading. A must for any Britten enthusiast.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Landmark performances of three lesser-known works by their dedicatees... The early Sinfonia da Requiem (written when Britten was just 26) is distinguished by the visceral playing of the New Philharmonia. Britten himself conducts dramatic and powerful readings of all three works.” Maurice Millward, Presto Classical, March 2014

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2005

Decca - E4251002

(CD)

$10.75

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

The Brandenburg Concertos & 1953 Aldeburgh Festival Opening Concert

The Brandenburg Concertos & 1953 Aldeburgh Festival Opening Concert


anon.:

God Save The Queen

arr. Britten

Arne:

Rule, Britannia (from Alfred)

Now the air shall ring (from The Fairy Prince)

Bach, J S:

Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)

Sheep May Safely Graze, from Cantata BWV208

Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: Air ('Air on a G String')

Byrd:

Sellinger's Round

Incl variations by Oldham, Tippett, Berkeley, Britten, Searle & Walton

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March'

Purcell:

O Lord, grant the King a long life, Z38


Alfred Deller (countertenor), Arda Mandikian (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor), Gladys Whitred (soprano)

English Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra, Aldeburgh Festival Chorus, London Symphony Chorus, Trumpeters of Kneller Hall Royal Military School of Music, Benjamin Britten, Imogen Holst, Sir Adrian Boult

A unique release filling out Britten's voluble performances of the Brandenburg Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra with the very rare LP issued by Decca of the 1953 Aldeburgh Festival Opening Concert. It contains the much sought-after Sellinger's Round (Variations on an Elizabethan Theme) conducted by Britten, as well as odes and anthems by Purcell and Arne, featuring Alfred Deller and Sir Peter Pears, conducted by Imogen Holst. The disc ends with four 'bonus tracks' that comprised a Decca EP: Sir Adrian Boult conducting Bach's Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Bantock's arrangement of 'Sheep may safely graze' plus Britten conducting Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary and his own, very beautiful arrangement of God Save the Queen. A true collector's item!

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4429521

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Puccini: Turandot

Puccini: Turandot


Joan Sutherland (Turandot), Luciano Pavarotti (Calaf), Montserrat Caballé (Liù), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Timur), Tom Krause (Ping), Pier Francesco Poli (Pang), Piero De Palma (Pong), Peter Pears (L'imperatore Altoum), Sabin Markov (Un mandarino)

John Alldis Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta

Studio recording, 1978

“Sutherland gives an intensely appealing interpretation, while Pavarotti gives a performance equally imaginitive. Mehta directs a gloriously rich and dramatic performance. Still the best-sounding Turandot on CD.” Penguin Guide

“Turandot is a psychologically complex work fusing appalling sadism with self-sacrificing devotion.
The icy Princess of China has agreed to marry any man of royal blood who can solve three riddles she has posed. If he fails his head will roll.
Calaf, the son of the exiled Tartar king Timur, answers all the questions easily and when Turandot hesitates to accept him, magnanimously offers her a riddle in return – 'What is his name?'.
Liù, Calaf's faithful slave-girl, is tortured but rather than reveal his identity kills herself.
Turandot finally capitulates, announcing that his name is Love. Dame Joan Sutherland's assumption of the title role is statuesque, combining regal poise with a more human warmth, while Montserrat Caballé is a touchingly sympathetic Liù, skilfully steering the character away from any hint of the mawkish. Pavarotti's Calaf is a heroic figure in splendid voice and the chorus is handled with great power, baying for blood at one minute, enraptured with Liù's nobility at the next. Mehta conducts with great passion and a natural feel for Puccini's wonderfully tempestuous drama. Well recorded.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“this recording...works for me on every level. Of course you get Pavarotti singing Nessun dorma at his lyrical best, but more importantly than that, Montserrat Caballé sings Liù, showing off her famed pianissimo to great effect at the end of Signore, ascolta. Finally, as a bonus bit of luxury casting, Peter Pears takes the small role of Turandot's father, Emperor Altoum.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, July 2014

Presto Greatest Recordings

1970s

Building a Library

First Choice - July 2012

Decca Opera Sets - 4142742

(CD - 2 discs)

$25.25

(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: The Rape of Lucretia, and Phaedra

Britten: The Rape of Lucretia, and Phaedra


Britten:

The Rape of Lucretia

Janet Baker (Lucretia), Peter Pears (Male Chorus), Heather Harper (Female Chorus), Benjamin Luxon (Tarquinius), Bryan Drake (Junius), John Shirley-Quirk (Collatinus), Elizabeth Bainbridge (Bianca), Jenny Hill (Lucia)

English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Phaedra, Op. 93

Janet Baker

English Chamber Orchestra, Steuart Bedford


“two outstanding performances by Dame Janet Baker, recorded at the peak of her career...Luxon makes the selfish Tarquinius into a living character...The seductive beauty of the writing - Britten then at his early peak - is caught splendidly” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

Decca Opera Sets - 4256662

(CD - 2 discs)

$30.00

(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex

Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex


Jean Cocteau (narrator), Peter Pears (Oedipus), Heinz Rehfuss (Creon/Messenger), Otto von Rohr (Tiresias), Martha Mödl (Jocasta), Helmut Krebs (Shepherd)

Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Radio Symphony Chorus, Igor Stravinsky

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - G0100034675136

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245


Sir Peter Pears (tenor), David Ward (bass), Helen Watts (contralto), Elizabeth Harwood (soprano), Lindsay Heather (baritone), Robert Tear (tenor), Alexander Young (tenor), Brian Etheridge (baritone), Hervey Alan (bass)

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Philomusica of London, Sir David Willcocks

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Argo - 4789530

Download only from $8.25

Available now to download.

Mátyás Seiber: Ulysses, Elegy for Viola & Three Fragments

Mátyás Seiber: Ulysses, Elegy for Viola & Three Fragments


Seiber:

Three Fragments from 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'

Peter Pears (narrator)

Dorian Singers & Melos Ensemble, Mátyás Seiber

Elegy for solo viola and small orchestra

Cecil Aronowitz (viola)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mátyás Seiber

Ulysses

BBC Archive Performance, broadcast 21 May 1972

Alexander Young (tenor)

London Symphony Orchestra & BBC Chorus, David Atherton


Born in Budapest on 4 May 1905, Mátyás Seiber began to learn the cello at the age of ten. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály from 1919 to 1924. In 1925 he entered his 'Serenade' for wind sextet in a Budapest competition and when it failed to win the prize, Bartók resigned from the jury in protest.

In 1935 Seiber settled in London, where he founded the Dorian Singers and helped Francis Chagrin to found the Society for the Promotion of New Music. He taught at Morley College and privately, and his pupils included Don Banks, Peter Racine Fricker, Anthony Gilbert, Malcolm Lipkin, David Lumsdaine, Anthony Milner and Hugh Wood. Seiber stayed in touch with continental musical developments and frequently attended the International Society for Contemporary Music’s festivals, several of which featured his own compositions.

On 24 September 1960, at the age of 55, he was killed in a car crash in South Africa during a lecturing tour of the country’s universities. At the time of his tragically early death, Seiber was one of the most respected teachers of composition in Britain. His own body of work is distinguished by a natural versatility and by the wide range and eclecticism of his musical interests. It incorporates the successful pop song 'By the Fountains of Rome' (1956), which entered the top ten of the charts and won an Ivor Novello Award, and his score for the animated film 'Animal Farm' (1954), as well as numerous examples of incidental music for radio, television and the stage.

Lyrita - SRCD348

(CD)

$16.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)

Britten: Song Cycles

Britten: Song Cycles


Britten:

Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22

Benjamin Britten (piano)

Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31

Dennis Brain (horn)

New Symphony Orchestra of London, Eugene Goossens

Winter Words, Op. 52

Benjamin Britten (piano)


Peter Pears (tenor)

Heritage - HTGCDM047

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Puccini: Turandot

Puccini: Turandot


Joan Sutherland (Turandot), Luciano Pavarotti (Calaf), Montserrat Caballé (Liù), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Timur), Tom Krause (Ping), Pier Francesco Poli (Pang), Piero De Palma (Pong), Peter Pears (L'imperatore Altoum), Sabin Markov (Un mandarino)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Alldis Choir, Zubin Mehta

“Sutherland gives an intensely appealing interpretation, while Pavarotti gives a performance equally imaginative. Mehta directs a gloriously rich and dramatic performance. Still the best-sounding Turandot on CD.” Penguin Guide

“this recording...works for me on every level. Of course you get Pavarotti singing Nessun dorma at his lyrical best, but more importantly than that, Montserrat Caballé sings Liù, showing off her famed pianissimo to great effect at the end of Signore, ascolta. Finally, as a bonus bit of luxury casting, Peter Pears takes the small role of Turandot's father, Emperor Altoum.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, July 2014

Presto Greatest Recordings

1970s

Building a Library

First Choice

Decca - 4787815

(2 CDs + Blu-ray Audio)

$36.50

(also available to download from $12.50)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


Peter Pears (Peter Grimes), Claire Watson (Ellen Orford), James Pease (Balstrode), Jean Watson (Auntie), Raymond Nilsson (Bob Boles), Owen Brannigan (Swallow), Geraint Evans (Ned Keene), Lauris Elms (Mrs Sedley), David Kelly (Hobson), Marion Studholme (First Niece), Iris Kells (Second Niece), John Lanigan (Horace Adams)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Benjamin Britten

Decca 20C - 4787429

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

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