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This live recording is of a performance given by the English Opera Group, conducted by the composer in the Theatre Royal, Copenhagen on 15th September 1949. It is a fascinating document, coming, as it does, only two years after the first performance of the opera and with no less than eleven members of the original cast still in the team. The composer’s studio recording of Albert Herring was not made until 1964, and, excellent though it is, by then Peter Pears was the only role-creator still in the cast. All limitation of the sound quality aside, this is a wonderful survivor and one of the earliest recorded examples of Britten and the EOG in performance.
Benjamin Britten: Albert Herring
Act 1, Scene I, Opening, ...Florence
Act 1, Scene I, "Ah-Lady Billows!"
Act 1, Scene I, "Is this all you can bring?"
Act 1, Scene I, Interlude
Act 1, Scene II, "Hold tight!"
Act 1, Scene II, "Oh, maybe soon"
Act 2, Scene I, Opening
Act 2, Scene I, "Quick, here they are!"
Act 2, Scene I, Interlude
Act 2, Scene II, Opening
Act 2, Scene II, "Heaven helps those who help themselves"
Act 3, Opening
Act 3, "Hi! Hi! Heard the news?"
Act 3, "ALBERT...!"
“Pears was not at his best, but in Britten's hands it is clear that, without losing any pathos, Albert Herring was first and foremost a superior piece of theatrical fun.”