Forbes Robinson

Bass

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

Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream


Alfred Deller (Oberon), Jennifer Vyvyan (Tytania), Leonide Massine II (Puck), Kevin Platts (Cobweb), Robert McCutcheon (Mustardseed), Barry Ferguson (Moth), Michael Bauer (Peaseblossom), George Maran (Lysander), Thomas Hemsley (Demetrius), Marjorie Thomas (Hermia), April Cantelo (Helena), Forbes Robinson (Theseus), Johanna Peters (Hippolyta), Owen Brannigan (Bottom), Norman Lumsden (Quince), Peter Pears (Flute), David Kelly (Snug), Edward Byles (Snout), Joseph Ward (Starveling)

English Opera Group Orchestra, Benjamin Britten

World premiere, recorded in the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, 11 June 1960 First ever release.

At first glance, Britten’s discography of his own operas leaves little to be desired. His recorded legacy covers practically his entire output in recordings under his own direction, with his favourite artists, produced to still-legendary standards. And yet, as magnificent as the official recordings are, many do not feature the singers who created important roles; and sometimes even when the interpretations do come from the source the published versions are from a few crucial years downstream. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is no exception. It was composed at breakneck speed for the reopening in 1960 of Aldeburgh’s Jubilee Hall, a tiny theatre by operatic standards, seating just over 300. It would soon move to the rather more capacious Covent Garden (and for that matter within the following year to Hamburg, Zurich, Berlin, Pforzheim, Milan, Vancouver, Gothenburg, Edinburgh, Schwetzingen and Tokyo) – finally reaching a commercial recording in 1966 under very different circumstances from those in which it was created. Perhaps the greatest single asset of the 1960 recording, though, is the chance to hear Alfred Deller’s very earliest performance as Oberon. Deller’s inclusion in the cast was one of Britten’s most original inspirations: nowadays counter-tenor roles are an essential part of the operatic palette in old and new music alike and gifted singers to sing them are plentiful, but just a few decades ago a counter-tenor was an exotic beast indeed. Sir Michael Tippett wrote of first hearing Deller’s voice: ‘In that moment the centuries rolled back’. For us, half a century and more already rolls back when we hear Deller in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Deller’s voice is ironically now a historical phenomenon in itself.

Britten’s own interpretation of the opera would broaden over the years. Here the ink on the score is barely dry and some passages are unforgettably urgent: Oberon and Tytania’s opening duet has a compelling sweep, and the Act II quarrel of the lovers has an extra tinge of danger. The glorious choruses which end the second and third acts would certainly be given more time in later performances, but not always either to their benefit or to the advantage of the whole: ‘On the ground, sleep sound’ is all the more poignant if it, as here, never becomes static, and Puck’s epilogue can sound a little tacked-on if ‘Now until the break of day’ is allowed to wallow. Fortunately, there is no need to choose. We are all the richer for having two such distinct approaches to the opera in its early history at our disposal and since they both come direct from the composer himself, perhaps the not always helpful concept of a ‘definitive recording’ can usefully be called into question.

“The cast play as an ensemble with remarkable detail. Alfred Deller, especially, is in excellent voice as Oberon...though the playing is not immaculate, Britten leads his forces with tremendous rhythmic verve – even more than on the Decca recording.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - November 2016

Up to 40% off Testament

Testament - SBT21515

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $26.75

Special: $21.40

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Vaughan Williams: Sir John in Love

Vaughan Williams: Sir John in Love


Heddle Nash (Shallow), Parry Jones (Sir Hugh Evans), Gerald Davies (Slender), Andrew Gold (Peter Simple), Denis Dowling (Page), Roderick Jones (Sir John Falstaff), John Kentish (Bardolph), Denis Catlin (Nym), Forbes Robinson (Pistol), April Cantelo (Anne Page), Laelia Finneberg (Mrs Page), Marion Lowe (Mrs Ford), James Johnston (Fenton), Francis Loring (Dr. Caius), Ronald Lewis (Rugby), Pamela Bowden (Mrs Quickly)

Of all the musical forms essayed by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-19 58), his operas have received the least recognition or respect. Yet he was incontestably a man of the theatre. The first professional staging was given by Sadler’s Wells Opera in April 1946. In July 1958, less than a month before he died, the composer attended a performance at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. After this, it is thought not to have graced the professional stage in Britain again until 2 March 200 6 when English National Opera revived the work at the London Coliseum. In this 1956 BBC studio recording, Roderick Jones makes an ideal Falstaff, commanding and vulnerable in equal measure. His love-song in Act II, ‘O that joy so soon should waste’ is both droll and touching. At the end of play, this butt of ridicule is allowed to become a Master of Ceremonies, conferring his blessing on all and it is a measure of Jones’s multilayered portrayal that the transformation is effected with ease and dignity. This portrayal is the jewel in the crown of a reading in which a whole community of colourful characters comes to life.

“Conducted with nonchalant skill by Stanford Robinson, the playing and singing are nearly flawless, with one singer after another happily showing how to rise to an opportunity while not hogging the show…the recorded sound is excellently true and mellow for the vintage – only a little recessed, and conveying a feast of vocal and orchestral detail.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2016 *****

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM2122

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Royal Opera Gala

Royal Opera Gala


Beethoven:

Mir ist so wunderbar (Quartet) (Fidelio)

Elizabeth Robson (soprano), Dame Gwyneth Jones (soprano), John Dobson (tenor), David Kelly (bass)

Sir Georg Solti

Berlioz:

Ah! Je vais mourir (from Les Troyens)

Josephine Veasey (mezzo)

Rafael Kubelik

Bizet:

Carmen: Prelude to Act I

Sir Georg Solti

Britten:

Helena! Hermia! Demetrius! Lysander! (from A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Delme Bryn-Jones (baritone), Kenneth McDonald (tenor), Elizabeth Robson (soprano), Anne Howells (mezzo)

Sir Georg Solti

O beauty, handsomeness, goodness (from Billy Budd)

Forbes Robinson (bass)

Sir Georg Solti

Donizetti:

Pour ce contrat fatal...Salut à la France (from La fille du régiment)

Joan Sutherland (soprano)

Richard Bonynge

Gounod:

Faust - Ballet Music

Sir Georg Solti

Mozart:

Dove sono i bei momenti (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Joan Carlyle (soprano)

Sir Georg Solti

Mussorgsky:

Skorbit dusha! (from Boris Godunov)

Joseph Rouleau (bass), John Lanigan (tenor)

Sir Edward Downes

Offenbach:

Barcarolle (from Les Contes d'Hoffmann )

Sir Georg Solti

Ponchielli:

Dance of the Hours (from La Gioconda)

Sir Georg Solti

Puccini:

Addio dolce svegliare (from La Bohème)

Elizabeth Vaughan (soprano), Maria Pellegrini (soprano), Jean Bonhomme (tenor), Delme Bryn-Jones (baritone)

Sir Edward Downes

Rossini:

L'Italiana in Algeri Overture

Sir Georg Solti

Semiramide Overture

Sir Georg Solti

Strauss, R:

Da … Herr Kavalier! (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Yvonne Minton (mezzo), Michael Langdon (bass)

Sir Georg Solti

Allein. Weh' ganz allein (from Elektra)

Amy Shuard (soprano)

Sir Edward Downes

Tippett:

O rich soiled land (from King Priam)

Richard Lewis (tenor), John Williams (guitar)

Verdi:

Fuoco di gioia (from Otello)

Tito Gobbi (baritone), John Lanigan (tenor), John Dobson (tenor)

Sir Georg Solti

Eh! Taverniere … Mondo ladro (from Falstaff)

Sir Geraint Evans (baritone)

Sir Edward Downes

La traviata: Prelude to Act 1

Sir Georg Solti

La traviata: Prelude to Act 3

Sir Georg Solti

Wagner:

Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge (from Das Rheingold)

David Ward (bass)

Reginald Goodall

Walton:

How can I sleep? (from Troilus and Cressida)

Marie Collier (soprano), Sir Peter Pears (tenor)

Sir William Walton


Australian Eloquence - ELQ4800952

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


Jon Vickers (Peter Grimes), Heather Harper (Ellen Orford), Norman Bailey (Balstrode), Elizabeth Bainbridge (Auntie), John Dobson (Bob Boles), Forbes Robinson (Swallow), Patricia Payne (Mrs Sedley), Phillip Gelling (Ned Keene), John Lanigan (Horace Adams), John Tomlinson (Hobson), Marilyn Hill Smith (First Niece), Anne Pashley (Second Niece)

The Royal Opera, Colin Davis, production by Elijah Moshinsky

“Colin Davis...proves an inspired interpreter, taut in control as well as warmly expressive, drawing vividly atmospheric playing from the orchestra to supplement the brilliantly effective sets, minimal but wonderfully evocative in their dark picture of the Borough.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

DVD Video

Region: 2,3,4,5

Format: NTSC

Warner Classics Warner Vision - 0630169132

(DVD Video)

$15.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Great Handel Arias

Great Handel Arias


Australian Eloquence - ELQ4615932

(CD)

$8.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Puccini: Tosca

Puccini: Tosca


Zinka Milanov (Tosca), Franco Corelli (Cavaradossi), Giangiacomo Guelfi (Scarpia), Forbes Robinson (Il Sagristano), Michael Langdon (Cesare Angelotti), David Tree (Spoletta), Ronald Lewis (Sciarrone), Noreen Berry (Un pastore), Rhydderch Davies (Un carceriere)

Covent Garden Orchestra, Covent Garden Opera Chorus, Alexander Gibson

Recorded live in 1957

Opus Arte - OADA8010DI

Download only from $20.00

Available now to download.

Verdi: Otello

Verdi: Otello


Michael Langdon (bass), John Lanigan (tenor), Otakar Kraus (baritone), Raymond Nilsson (tenor), Ramón Vinay (tenor), Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano), Ramón Vinay (tenor), Noreen Berry (mezzo-soprano), Forbes Robinson (bass), Marian Nowakowski (bass)

Covent Garden Opera Chorus, Covent Garden Orchestra, Rafael Kubelík

Recorded live in 1955

Opus Arte - OADA8008DI

Download only from $20.00

Available now to download.

Opera Essentials: Puccini

Opera Essentials: Puccini


Various Artists, Franco Corelli, Renato Capecchi, Franco Ricciardi, Piero de Palma, Birgit Nilsson, Galina Vishnevskaya, Nicola Zaccaria, Forbes Robinson, Michael Langdon, Zinka Milanov, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Cecilia Fusco, Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Gianni Maffeo, Nicolai Ghiuselev, Sesto Bruscantini, Rita Talarico, Franco Calabrese, Renato Cioni, Renata Scotto, Franca Mattiucci, Plácido Domingo, Ermanno Lorenzi, Alfredo Mariotti, Magda Olivero, Franco Federici, Jeannette Pilou, Aldo Bottion, Tito Gobbi

Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Chorus of La Scala, Milan, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, RAI National Symphony Chorus, Orchestra of Arena di Verona, Chorus of Arena di Verona, Orchestra del Teatro Comuna, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Alexander Gibson, Massimo Pradella, Thomas Schippers, Arturo Basile, Nelo Santi, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Antonino Votto

Opera dOro - OPDU13

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

The Best of Puccini

The Best of Puccini


Various Artists, Franco Corelli, Renato Capecchi, Franco Ricciardi, Piero de Palma, Birgit Nilsson, Galina Vishnevskaya, Nicola Zaccaria, Forbes Robinson, Michael Langdon, Zinka Milanov, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Cecilia Fusco, Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Gianni Maffeo, Nicolai Ghiuselev, Sesto Bruscantini, Rita Talarico, Franco Calabrese, Renato Cioni, Renata Scotto, Franca Mattiucci, Plácido Domingo, Ermanno Lorenzi, Alfredo Mariotti, Magda Olivero, Franco Federici, Jeannette Pilou, Aldo Bottion, Tito Gobbi

Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Chorus of La Scala, Milan, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, RAI National Symphony Chorus, Orchestra of Arena di Verona, Chorus of Arena di Verona, Orchestra del Teatro Comuna, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Alexander Gibson, Massimo Pradella, Thomas Schippers, Arturo Basile, Nelo Santi, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Antonino Votto

Opera dOro - OPDU15

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'


Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Forbes Robinson (bass), Elsie Morison (soprano), Else Brems (mezzo-soprano)

Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Kubelik

Tahra - TAH752

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Page: 

1 2 3 4

 Next >>

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