Peter Pears

Tenor

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Sung in English


“Britten characteristically refuses to follow any set tradition, whether Baroque, Victorian or whatever, and, with greater extremes of tempo than is common (often strikingly fast), the result makes one listen afresh...A superb bargain.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca and DG 2-CD sets - Half Price

Decca - Double Decca - 4438592

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Britten: The Turn of the Screw

Britten: The Turn of the Screw


Peter Pears (Prologue/Quint), Jennifer Vyvyan (Governess), Joan Cross (Mrs Grose), Olive Dyer (Flora), David Hemmings (Miles), Arda Mandikian (Miss Jessel)

English Opera Group, Benjamin Britten

“As Sir Colin Davis has shown on Philips, there's room for an alternative interpretation of this remarkable work, but this superb first recording will remain as documentary-historical evidence of the highest importance and value. Will there ever be a better performance, let alone recording, of The Turn of the Screw than this by the original cast, recorded less than four months after the 1954 Venice premiere? This score is Britten at his greatest, expressing good and evil with equal ambivalence, evoking the tense and sinister atmosphere of Bly by inspired use of the chamber orchestra and imparting vivid and truthful life to every character in the story. As one listens, transfixed, all that matters is Britten's genius as a composer. Jennifer Vyvyan's portrayal of the Governess is a classic characterisation, her vocal subtleties illuminating every facet of the role and she has the perfect foil in Joan Cross's motherly and uncomplicated Mrs Grose. The glittering malevolence of Pears's Quint, luring David Hemmings's incomparable Miles to destruction; the tragic tones of Arda Mandikian's Miss Jessel; Olive Dyer's spiteful Flora – how fortunate we are that these performances are preserved.
As with all the Decca/Britten reissues, the transfer is a triumph.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Though the recording is in mono olny, the very dryness and sharpness of focus give an extra intensity to the composer's own incomparable reading of this most compressed opera...so atmospheric and powerful is this performance, visuals become almost irrelevant, so vividly are pictures painted in the mind.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Opera Sale - up to 50% off

Decca Opera Sets - 4256722

(CD - 2 discs)

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Schubert: Winterreise D911

Schubert: Winterreise D911


Peter Pears (tenor), Benjamin Britten (piano)

“What is so striking about Pears's performance is its intensity. One continually has the sense of a live occasion...As for Britten, he recreates the music, sometimes with a fair freedom from Schubert's markings, but always with scrupulous concern for the overall musical shaping and sense of atmosphere.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca Legends - E4663822

(CD)

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British Music Collection - Britten & Walton

British Music Collection - Britten & Walton


Britten:

Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31

4 Folksongs

Walton:

Façade


Peter Pears (tenor), Dennis Brain (horn), Edith Sitwell (narrator)

Boyd Neel String Orchestra, English Opera Group Ensemble, Benjamin Britten, Anthony Collins

Recorded 1944 & 1953

“This disc includes one of the great highlights of the whole Britten discography, that first magical recording of the Serenade, with Pears in fresh, youthful voice and Dennis Brain's marvellous horn obbligatos, creating frisson-making echoes in Tennyson, dark melancholy in Blake, and rippling away exuberantly in Johnson's 'Hymn to Diana'. What playing! The transfer is faithful; but why on earth couldn't Decca have removed the surface rustle, and above all, the clicks? The coupled Walton Façade, however, was a consummate technical and artistic miracle of Decca's mono era. Edith Sitwell and Pears deliver the engagingly preposterous words with bravura insouciance, Collins conducting the English Opera Group Ensemble with matching wit and flair, and even today the 1953 recording sounds almost like stereo.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“who better than the poet herself to act as reciter, sharing the duties with Peter Pears in this classic recording from 1953, conducted by Anthony Collins. Both Pears and Sitwell bring an arch, deadpan style to their recitation that suits this piece perfectly.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, July 2014

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

Historic Choice - November 1999

Presto CD

Decca British Music Collection - 4688012

(Presto CD)

$14.00

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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

Pear's heart-rending portrayal of Grimes central to a magnificent cast - James Jolly, Gramophone 1000th issue

“This was the first complete recording of a full-scale Britten opera, based on a superb stage production and vividly recorded...More than any other opera recording, this helped launch the fortunes of Britten's operas and remains one of the most exemplary ever made.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2012

“The Decca set, which in 1958 introduced this opera to many listeners, has never been superseded in its refinement or insight. Britten's conducting, lithe and lucid, reveals his work as a complex, ambiguous drama. Peter Pears, in the title-role written for him, brings unsurpassed detail of nuance to Grimes's words while never losing sight of the essential plainness of the man's speech. The rest of the cast form a vivid portrait gallery of characters.
The recording is as live and clear as if it had been made yesterday, and takes the listener right onto the stage. The bustle of activity and sound effects realise nicely Britten's own masterly painting of dramatic foreground and background.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“...a studio has rarely witnessed anything so poignant as [Pears's] singing of the mad scene in the last Act. It is almost unbearably moving...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.” Gramophone Magazine, October 1959

“one of the greatest achievements of the early analogue stereo era. Few opera recordings can claim to be so definitive” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

“The legendary first recording of one of the greatest operas of all time, first released in 1958 and conducted by Britten himself, with Peter Pears unforgettable as Grimes. The magnificent supporting cast includes many fine British singers, and is headed by Claire Watson's warmly maternal Ellen Orford and James Pease's sympathetic Balstrode.” Maurice Millward, Presto Classical, March 2014

GGramophone Magazine

100 Greatest Recordings

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca Legends - 4676822

(CD - 2 discs)

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Britten: Serenade, Nocturne and Les Illuminations

Britten: Serenade, Nocturne and Les Illuminations


Britten:

Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31

Barry Tuckwell (horn)

Les illuminations, Op. 18

Nocturne, Op. 60 for tenor, obbligato instruments and strings


“Pears, as always, is the ideal interpreter, the composer a most efficient conductor, and the fiendishly difficult obbligato parts are played superbly.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ****

Decca - 4363952

(CD)

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Britten: Folksongs (selection), etc.

Britten:

Folksongs (selection)

Gloriana: 2nd Lute Song

A Birthday Hansel, Op. 92

Canticle V: The Death of St. Narcissus, Op. 89

Suite for harp in C major, Op. 83

Sacred and Profane, Op. 91

A Wealden Trio: Christmas Song of the Women

The Sycamore Tree - Sweet was the Song

A Shepherd's Carol


Peter Pears (tenor), Osian Ellis (harp)

Wilbye Consort

While Pears's recording of Britten folk song arrangements with piano is well known, a beautiful recording he made of songs with harp, featuring Osian Ellis, is altogether rarer and exhumed here on CD for the first time. Ellis's Decca recording of the Suite for Harp also makes its first appearance, as does the Wilbye Consort's of Sacred and Profane and other Britten choral works to make up two very well-filled CDs.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4429448

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Britten: Favourite Folk Song Arrangements

Britten: Favourite Folk Song Arrangements


The Foggy Foggy Dew

Sally In Our Alley

Tom Bowling

The Lincolnshire Poacher

A Brisk Young Widow

O Waly Waly

Sweet Polly Oliver

Early One Morning

The Bonny Earl O Moray

The Ash Grove

Come You Not From Newcastle

Le Roi S En Vaten Chasse

La Belle Est Au Jardin Damour

The Minstrel Boy

How Sweet The Answer

The Last Rose Of Summer

Avenging And Bright

Oft In The Stilly Night

The Miller Of Dee

Ca The Yowes

The Plough Boy


Peter Pears (tenor)

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4672362

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$11.25

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The Essential Handel

The Essential Handel


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 and DG 2-CD sets - Half Price

Decca - Double Decca - 4445432

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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius


Delius:

Sea Drift

John Shirley-Quirk

London Symphony Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Hickox

Elgar:

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

Holst:

The Hymn of Jesus, H140

BBC Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult


Decca and DG 2-CD sets - Half Price

Decca - Double Decca - 4481702

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