Peter Pears


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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius


Sea Drift

John Shirley-Quirk

London Symphony Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Hickox


The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38

Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, Yvonne Minton

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Britten


The Hymn of Jesus, H140

BBC Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult

Building a Library

Also Recommended - March 2016

Decca - Double Decca - 4481702

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

The Essential Handel

The Essential Handel


Dove sei, amato bene? (from Rodelinda)

Bernadette Greevy (contralto)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Organ Concerto No. 13 in F major, HWV295 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale'

Peter Hurford (organ)

Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Joshua Rifkin

Sarabande from Suite in D minor, HWV437

Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord)

Overture Berenice: Minuet

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Jephtha: Waft her, angels, through the skies

Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Judas Maccabaeus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes!

Handel Opera Society Chorus and Orchestra, Charles Farncombe

Largo from Xerxes (instrumental arrangement)

London Symphony Orchestra, George Szell

Coronation Anthem No. 1, HWV258 'Zadok the Priest'

Choir of King's College Cambridge, English Chamber Orchestra, David Willcocks

Music for the Royal Fireworks Suite

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Samson: Return, O God of hosts

Kathleen Ferrier (contralto)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Adrian Boult

Harp Concerto in B flat major, Op. 4 No. 6, HWV 294

Marisa Robles (harp)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Iona Brown

Samson: Let the bright seraphim

Joan Sutherland (soprano)

Chorus & Orchestra of Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli

Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 6 in D major, HWV317

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Ode for St Cecilia's Day: The trumpet's loud clangor

Peter Pears (tenor)

Chorus of East Anglian Choirs, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

Rinaldo: March & Battle

English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Vivi, tiranno, io t'ho scampato (from Rodelinda)

Marilyn Horne (mezzo-soprano)

Vienna Cantata Orchestra, Henry Lewis

Messiah (highlights)

Academy & Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (from Solomon)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Semele: Where'er you walk

Kenneth McKellar (tenor)

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Adrian Boult

Water Music (excerpts)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner

Decca - Double Decca - 4445432

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $16.75)

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The Brandenburg Concertos & 1953 Aldeburgh Festival Opening Concert

The Brandenburg Concertos & 1953 Aldeburgh Festival Opening Concert


God Save The Queen

arr. Britten


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')


Sellinger's Round

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

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March'


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)


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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 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


Building a Library

First Choice - July 2012

Summer Opera Sale

Decca Opera Sets - 4142742

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $22.50

Special: $18.00

(also available to download from $16.75)

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Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

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

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

The project was produced by John Culshaw in stereo’s early prime. Taking full advantage of this then-revolutionary stereo technology, members of the cast moved around a sonic ‘stage’ that Decca’s engineers created, giving the recording a new sense of presence and

More than any other opera recording, this helped to launch the fortunes of Britten's operas and remains one of the most exemplary ever made.

“Almost 60 years on, Britten's own recording is still fresh. His conducting has great naturalness and the sound is amazing for 1958.” BBC Music Magazine

“The Covent Garden Orchestra rise superbly to their task and indeed one is left with an impression of the entire cast, of everybody concerned, being inspired by the presence and direction of the composer…The balance is remarkably good.” Gramophone Magazine

Decca - 4830401

Download only from $14.25

Available now to download.

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

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

Argo - 4789530

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Great British Tenors

Great British Tenors


La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)


Hiawatha's Wedding Feast: Onaway! Awake, beloved!

Eleanore (No. 6 from Six Songs, Op. 37)


Merrie England: Dan Cupid hath a garden "The English Rose"


Patiently smiling from The Land of Smiles

A heart as pure as gold (from Friederike)

Lehmann, L:

Ah, moon of my delight


Vesti la giubba (from I Pagliacci)


Instant charmant … En fermant les yeux (from Manon)


Elijah: Then shall the righteous


Hears not my Phillis how the birds ('The Knotting Song'), Z371


Love's Philosophy, Op. 3 No. 1 (Shelley)

O mistress mine


An Sylvia, D891

Auf der Bruck, D853

Im Frühling, D882

Sullivan, A:

Take a pair of sparkling eyes (from The Gondoliers)


The briery bush

The Foggy, Foggy Dew

Vaughan Williams:

Hugh the drover: Song of the road

The Vagabond (from Songs of Travel)


Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (from Die Walküre)

Wallace, W V:

Yes! let me like a soldier fall


As ever I saw

White, M:

To Mary

Ben Davies, John Coates, Gerwase Elwes, Walter Hyde, Frank Mullings, John McCormack, Joseph Hislop, Parry Jones, Hubert Eisdell, Tudor Davies, Walter Widdop, Derek Oldham, Heddle Nash, James Johnston, Henry Wendon, Webster Booth, Peter Pears, David Lloyd, Walter Midgley, Richard Lewis

Commercial recording arrived at the ideal time to capture a golden age of British tenor singing. A range of distinctive qualities had developed in the 19th century – firm yet elegant tone, emphasis on text and on clarity of diction – that characterised the British tenor voice. The worlds of opera, operetta, oratorio and popular song nourished the tradition and benefited from the succession of fine voices the country produced. The recordings presented here capture some of the most important voices of the early 20th century, and demonstrate the range of musical styles in which the British tenor sound could flourish.

This issue secures a unique position in today’s CD market.

Heritage - HTGCD286



(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Mátyás Seiber: Ulysses, Elegy for Viola & Three Fragments

Mátyás Seiber: Ulysses, Elegy for Viola & Three Fragments


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


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



Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Britten: Song Cycles

Britten: Song Cycles


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.


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