Britten: Peter Grimes

This page lists all recordings of Peter Grimes, by Benjamin Britten (1913-76) on CD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

on Aldeburgh beach. Filmed at the Aldeburgh Festival, June 2013


Alan Oke (Peter Grimes), Giselle Allen (Ellen Orford), David Kempster (Captain Balstrode), Gaynor Keeble (Auntie), Alexandra Hutton (First Niece), Charmian Bedford (Second Niece), Robert Murray (Bob Boles), Henry Waddington (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), Charles Rice (Ned Keene), Stephen Richardson (Hobson)

Chorus of Opera North, Chorus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama & Britten–Pears Orchestra, Steuart Bedford

Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams

Live production directed by Tim Albery

Filmed in June 2013 during three extraordinary performances that took place during the Aldeburgh Festival, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach takes place in the heart of the town that inspired it and is the film interpretation of Britten’s Peter Grimes, the most successful opera of post-war Britain. Based on George Crabbe’s 1810 poem ‘The Borough’, Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the late eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth, and where both poem and opera were written.

Conceived and hosted by the Aldeburgh Festival, the performances of Peter Grimes were directed by Tim Albery who placed the audience on the beach watching the story of Peter Grimes unfold as dusk fades over the sea.

The cast and chorus, with Alan Oke in the eponymous role of Peter Grimes, Giselle Allan as Ellen Orford, and David Kempster as Captain Balstrode, sing live with amplification, while the Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Britten expert Steuart Bedford is pre-recorded.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Running Time: 145 mins & 20 mins (Bonus)

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

FSK: 0

“In almost all respects the technical side of the operation is a near triumph. Having the singers perform live...to the accompaniment of a pre-recorded orchestra was a gamble but it has paid off with very decent sound...a unique and satisfying experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

“Oke's is the closest tenor I've heard to Peter Pears as Grimes - crystal-clear diction, a slightly nasal tone, but mesmeric in the 'Now the Great Bear' soliloquy...This is an excellent memento of a remarkable experience, but is also a production and a performance of the opera which will be widely appreciated by all.” International Record Review, February 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Summer Opera Sale

Arthaus Musik - 108101

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $34.25

Special: $17.12

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

Recorded live at the Teatro all Scala, June 2012


John Graham-Hall (Peter Grimes), Susan Gritton (Ellen Orford), Christopher Purves (Balstrode), Felicity Palmer (Auntie), Ida Falk Winland (First Niece), Simona Mihai (Second Niece), Peter Hoare (Bob Boles), Daniel Okulitch (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs. Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), George Von Bergen (Ned Keene)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala, Robin Ticciati (conductor) & Richard Jones (director)

The Italian and international press were unanimous in their praise for Peter Grimes at La Scala, which revived the tradition of Britten's operas on the lyric stages of Italy. A strong British cast was marshalled by the baton of Robin Ticciati, who has already won golden opinions for his opera conducting.

Richard Jones's production focuses on the fisherman as the outsider in a brutal society, cut off by mutual suspicion and misunderstanding: an unforgettable production of an opera that never loses its power.

Extra feature: Interviews with cast and crew.

Running time: 168 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KR

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“the pride and joy of Richard Jones's production, not to be missed, is its unerring grasp of the psychology and tiered relationship of all the characters. ...Ticciati eschews the weighty, rather Germanic approach of older conductors...concentrating (like Goodall or Hickox) on rhythmic and instrumental subtleties” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“Jones’s production is uncompromising in its hard- hitting emotionalism...The cast isn’t a series of grotesques but a collection of cameos most of us would recognise in our own daily lives. Robin Ticciati conducts a detailed and loving account of the score, and La Scala’s orchestra responds with depth of feeling.” Opera Now ****

“Jones has instilled in his singing actors a level of detail and a harrowing believability one is more accustomed to encountering in spoken drama...Gritton's Ellen is remarkable...[Graham-Hall ] lives his role - earnest, lonely, impulsive, with a desperate desire for acceptance...Ticciati is in full control from the start.” International Record Review, June 2013

“[Grimes is] no tough fisherman but a seedy inadequate cringing from the local teenagers, and suggesting all too contemporary abuse problems. John Graham-Hall evokes his contorted inner life superbly, but with leaner tones than competitors on video.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 ***

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - July 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Summer Opera Sale

Opus Arte - OABD7119D

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $34.25

Special: $27.40

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes

Recorded live at the Teatro all Scala, June 2012


John Graham-Hall (Peter Grimes), Susan Gritton (Ellen Orford), Christopher Purves (Balstrode), Felicity Palmer (Auntie), Ida Falk Winland (First Niece), Simona Mihai (Second Niece), Peter Hoare (Bob Boles), Daniel Okulitch (Swallow), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mrs. Sedley), Christopher Gillett (Rev. Horace Adams), George Von Bergen (Ned Keene)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala, Robin Ticciati (conductor) & Richard Jones (director)

The Italian and international press were unanimous in their praise for Peter Grimes at La Scala, which revived the tradition of Britten's operas on the lyric stages of Italy. A strong British cast was marshalled by the baton of Robin Ticciati, who has already won golden opinions for his opera conducting.

Richard Jones's production focuses on the fisherman as the outsider in a brutal society, cut off by mutual suspicion and misunderstanding: an unforgettable production of an opera that never loses its power.

Extra feature: Interviews with cast and crew.

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KR

Running time: 168 minutes

“Jones has instilled in his singing actors a level of detail and a harrowing believability one is more accustomed to encountering in spoken drama...Gritton's Ellen is remarkable...[Graham-Hall ] lives his role - earnest, lonely, impulsive, with a desperate desire for acceptance...Ticciati is in full control from the start” International Record Review, June 2013

“the pride and joy of Richard Jones's production, not to be missed, is its unerring grasp of the psychology and tiered relationship of all the characters. ...Ticciati eschews the weighty, rather Germanic approach of older conductors...concentrating (like Goodall or Hickox) on rhythmic and instrumental subtleties” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“[Grimes is] no tough fisherman but a seedy inadequate cringing from the local teenagers, and suggesting all too contemporary abuse problems. John Graham-Hall evokes his contorted inner life superbly, but with leaner tones than competitors on video” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 ***

“Jones’s production is uncompromising in its hard- hitting emotionalism...The cast isn’t a series of grotesques but a collection of cameos most of us would recognise in our own daily lives. Robin Ticciati conducts a detailed and loving account of the score, and La Scala’s orchestra responds with depth of feeling.” Opera Now ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - July 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

Opus Arte - OA1103D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.50

Special: $22.80

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


Jon Vickers (Grimes), Heather Harper (Ellen), Jonathan Summers (Balstrode), Elizabeth Bainbridge (Auntie), Teresa Cahill (First Niece), Anne Pashley (Second Niece), John Dobson (Bob Boles), Forbes Robinson (Swallow), Patricia Payne (Mrs Sedley), John Lanigan (Horace Adams), Thomas Allen (Ned Keene), Richard Van Allan (Hobson)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sir Colin Davis

Beautifully packaged, and at budget price.

Full track-lists and synopses in English, German and French.

“the cast is fine and the tension cumulative” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ***

“Sir Colin Davis takes a fundamentally darker, tougher view of Peter Grimes than the composer himself. Jon Vickers's powerful, heroic interpretation sheds keen new light on what arguably remains the greatest of Britten's operas...A genuine bargain.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

Decca Opera! - 4782669

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


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

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

Alto - ALC2008

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


Anthony Dean Griffey (Peter Grimes), Patricia Racette (Ellen Orford), Anthony Michaels-Moore (Balstrode), Jill Grove (Auntie), Greg Fedderly (Bob Boles), John Del Carlo (Swallow), Felicity Palmer (Mrs Sedley), Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Ned Keene), Bernard Fitch (Horace Adams), Dean Peterson (Hobson), Leah Partridge (First Niece), Erin Morley (Second Niece)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Donald Runnicles

Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette excel in John Doyle’s new production of Britten’s most celebrated opera, Peter Grimes – filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera in Hi-Definition.

This new MET production by award-winning director John Doyle (2006 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Musical – Sweeney Todd) of Britten’s haunting seaside tale continues EMI Classics’ recent collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera : Live in High-Definition series.

Peter Grimes, Britten’s second opera, is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of postwar opera, and its premiere 63 years ago marked a turning point in the history of British Opera.

It is now considered a masterwork of 20th Century opera, and since its premiere, it became the first opera by an English composer to enter and remain in the international repertory.

The work is based on a poem by the turn-of-the-19th-century writer George Crabbe entitled The Borough, and is set in an isolated English fishing village in the 1830s.

Much of the emotional drive of the opera comes from the six ‘Sea Interludes’ – calm, storm, at dawn and by moonlight. These are among the most brilliantly evocative music that Britten ever wrote and which help to establish the constant, overpowering presence of the sea as the opera’s dominant force.

Anthony Dean Griffey, as Grimes, is ‘superb’ (San Francisco Chronicle). Patricia Racette, as Ellen Orford, the schoolmistress who tries and fails to rescue Grimes from his anger and self-pity is ‘near faultless’ (New York Sun).

Donald Runnicles, music director of the San Francisco Opera, “drew an inspired performance from the Met Orchestra, full of passion and commitment yet free of bombast. Without slackening the dramatic tension, he found ways of drawing out both the music's austere lyricism and its violent extremes.” – Boston Globe

Production: John Doyle, Set designer: Scott Pask, Costume designer: Ann Hould-Ward & Lighting designer: Peter Mumford

“…impressively cast, but in an overly stylised staging which reduces village life to milling dispiritedly beneath a vast black wall.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ****

“...a fine performance, powerfully conducted by Donald Runnicles. In the title role Anthony Dean Griffey matches that power...with a tenor which is confidently firm and precise, matching his fine acting as a lumbering figure...Felicity Palmer as Mrs Sedley is vividly characterful.” Penguin Guide, 2010 **/*

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

EMI Metropolitan Opera DVD - 2174149

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $17.00

Special: $13.60

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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 and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Benjamin Britten

Recorded: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, December 1958

“Almost 50 years on, Britten's own recording is still fresh. His conducting has great naturalness and the sound is amazing for 1958.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2007

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Summer Opera Sale

Decca - Originals - 4757713

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $13.00

Special: $10.40

(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Decca - 4830401

Download only from $14.25

Available now to download.

Britten: Peter Grimes

Britten: Peter Grimes


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

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

Summer Opera Sale

Decca 20C - 4787429

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $13.00

Special: $10.40

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Britten 100: The Birthday Collection, Vol. 3 (Recorded 1958)

Britten 100: The Birthday Collection, Vol. 3 (Recorded 1958)


Britten:

Peter Grimes


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

Royal Opera House Orchestra at Covent Garden, Royal Opera House Chorus at Covent Garden, Benjamin Britten

Documents Britten 100 - The Birthday Collection - 299272

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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