Peter Pears


Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.

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



In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Cello Symphony and Other Works

Britten: Cello Symphony and Other Works


Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68

Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

English Chamber Orchestra

Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Cantata Misericordium, Op. 69

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

London Symphony 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 - June 2017

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2005

Decca - E4251002



(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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)


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 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

Decca Opera Sets - 4142742

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z629

Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z629

Thomas Hemsley (Drunken Poet, Coridon, Hymen), Jennifer Vyvyan (First Fairy, Mystery, Second Woman ), Elsie Morison (Second Fairy, Night, Chinese Woman, Spring, First Woman, Juno), Peter Pears (Phoebus, Autumn, First Chinese Man ), John Whitworth (Second Chinese Man, Secrecy, Summer ), Trevor Anthony (Sleep, Winter ) & Peter Boggis (Mopsa)

The St. Anthony Singers & The Boyd Neel Orchestra, Anthony Lewis

Made during February 1957 in the West Hampstead studios of Decca, this was the first-ever complete recording of The Fairy Queen. Suites and individual dances from Purcell’s masque had been played and recorded by chamber and even symphonic ensembles, and songs such as ‘One Charming Night’ were popular with both English singers and audiences, but Purcell’s music was still principally encountered in liturgical contexts, where his anthems and occasionally odes were given solemn and stately performances.

The wit and inventiveness of Purcell as a dramatic composer had been overlooked by the musical public at large, therefore, until Anthony Lewis took on the ambitious task of preparing this recording. He did so as honorary secretary of the Purcell Society, and as a professor of music at the University of Birmingham: both positions which allowed him to explore music of the early Baroque from a practical as well as a scholarly perspective.

The scale of the challenge was outlined by Lewis in the booklet accompanying this new remastering. The complete score comprises 50 separate numbers, deploying a large ensemble of voices and instruments with astonishing freshness and variety to match the quickly changing moods of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, Lewis was able to prepare the recording in conjunction with a staged performance in Birmingham at the University’s Barber Institute. This featured several of the same soloists, and the cast is a distinguished one, thoroughly coached by Lewis in principals of Purcellian style while vocally distinctive in their own right.

Reviews at the time recognised the special value of this first Fairy Queen: most of all for the many delights to be savoured in Purcell’s score, but also for the lively conducting of Lewis, the crisp playing of the Boyd Neel Orchestra and the sure and graceful contributions of the soloists. In the English-speaking world, the recording had the field to itself for decades. Benjamin Britten recorded his edition of the masque in 1972: omitting several numbers from Purcell’s original, and carrying over from this ‘original’ cast not only Peter Pears but also Jennifer Vyvyan, who had in the intervening years become a firm favourite at Aldeburgh (this recording is due for reissue in 2018).

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4827449

(CD - 2 discs)


Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

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.

“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

“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

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

Download only from $8.25

Available now to download.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

 Next >>

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.