℗ 1959 Decca Music Group Limited under exclusive license to Universal Music Classics, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
 

Britten: Peter Grimes

Sir Peter Pears, Claire Watson, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Benjamin Britten

"... one of the greatest achievements of the early analogue stereo era. Few opera recordings can claim to be so definitive ..."
- The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music

  • Select Format
    • AIFF 96.0 kHz | 24-bit
    • FLAC 96.0 kHz | 24-bit
Add to cart
discounted price
 
Peter Grimes, Op.33  
1
Prologue: "Peter Grimes!"
Benjamin Britten; David Kelly; Owen Brannigan; Sir Peter Pears; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:28
2
Prologue: "You Sailed Your Boat"
Benjamin Britten; Owen Brannigan; Sir Peter Pears; Lauris Elms; David Kelly; Claire Watson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:04
3
Prologue: "Peter Grimes, I Here Advise You!"
Benjamin Britten; Owen Brannigan; David Kelly; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:09
4
Prologue: "The Truth...the Pity..."
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Claire Watson; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:54
5
Prologue: Interlude I. On the beach
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:58
6
Act 1: "Oh, Hang At Open Doors"
Benjamin Britten; Jean Watson; Raymond Nilsson; James Pease; John Lanigan; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Lauris Elms; Sir Geraint Evans; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
5:35
7
Act 1: "Hi! Give Us a Hand"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Raymond Nilsson; James Pease; Jean Watson; Sir Geraint Evans; David Kelly; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:19
8
Act 1: "I Have To Go From Pub To Pub"
Benjamin Britten; David Kelly; Claire Watson; Sir Geraint Evans; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:58
9
Act 1: "Let Her Among You"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; David Kelly; Lauris Elms; Sir Geraint Evans; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:08
10
Act 1: "Look, the Storm Cone!"
Benjamin Britten; James Pease; Sir Geraint Evans; Raymond Nilsson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:42
11
Act 1: "And Do You Prefer the Storm"
Benjamin Britten; James Pease; Sir Peter Pears; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:57
12
Act 1: "What Harbour Shelters Peace"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:12
13
Act 1: Interlude II. The Storm
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:08
14
Act 1: "Past Time To Close!"
Benjamin Britten; Jean Watson; Lauris Elms; James Pease; Raymond Nilsson; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:21
15
Act 1: "We Live and Let Live"
Benjamin Britten; James Pease; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:58
16
Act 1: "Have You Heard?"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Geraint Evans; Jean Watson; Lauris Elms; James Pease; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:22
17
Act 1: "Now the Great Bear and Pleiades"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Raymond Nilsson; James Pease; Jean Watson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:41
18
Act 1: "Old Joe Has Gone Fishing"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Geraint Evans; Jean Watson; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:29
19
Act 1: "The Bridge Is Down, We Half Swam Over"
Benjamin Britten; David Kelly; Sir Geraint Evans; Claire Watson; Raymond Nilsson; Jean Watson; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:41
20
Act 2: Interlude III. Sunday Morning By the Beach
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:23
21
Act 2: "Glitter Of Waves"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; John Lanigan; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
5:41
22
Act 2: "Let This Be a Holiday"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:00
23
Act 2: "This Unrelenting Work"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:41
24
Act 2: "Fool To Let It Come To This!"
Benjamin Britten; Jean Watson; Sir Geraint Evans; Raymond Nilsson; Lauris Elms; James Pease; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:18
25
Act 2: "What Is It?"
Benjamin Britten; Jean Watson; Raymond Nilsson; Sir Geraint Evans; Owen Brannigan; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; John Lanigan; Lauris Elms; James Pease; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:02
26
Act 2: "People!...No! I Will Speak!"
Benjamin Britten; Raymond Nilsson; James Pease; John Lanigan; Jean Watson; Claire Watson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:14
27
Act 2: "We Planned That Their Lives"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; John Lanigan; Lauris Elms; Raymond Nilsson; Sir Geraint Evans; Owen Brannigan; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Jean Watson; James Pease; David Kelly; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent G
2:27
28
Act 2: "Swallow! Shall We Go"
Benjamin Britten; John Lanigan; Owen Brannigan; James Pease; Lauris Elms; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; David Kelly; Sir Geraint Evans; Raymond Nilsson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
0:44
29
Act 2: "Now Is Gossip Put On Trial"
Benjamin Britten; Lauris Elms; Raymond Nilsson; John Lanigan; Sir Geraint Evans; Owen Brannigan; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:12
30
Act 2: "From the Gutter"
Benjamin Britten; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Jean Watson; Claire Watson; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:35
31
Act 2: Interlude IV. Passacaglia
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
5:27
32
Act 2: "Go There!"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
7:18
33
Act 2: "Now!...Now!"
Benjamin Britten; Raymond Nilsson; John Lanigan; Owen Brannigan; Sir Geraint Evans; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:09
34
Act 2: "Peter Grimes! Nobody Here?"
Benjamin Britten; John Lanigan; Owen Brannigan; Sir Geraint Evans; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:08
35
Act 3: Interlude V. Evening
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:18
36
Act 3: "Assign Your Prettiness To Me"
Benjamin Britten; Owen Brannigan; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:38
37
Act 3: "Pah!"
Benjamin Britten; Owen Brannigan; Sir Geraint Evans; Lauris Elms; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:49
38
Act 3: "Come Along, Doctor!"
Benjamin Britten; John Lanigan; Lauris Elms; Claire Watson; James Pease; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:19
39
Act 3: "Embroidery In Childhood"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; James Pease; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
5:09
40
Act 3: "Mr. Swallow!"
Benjamin Britten; Lauris Elms; Jean Watson; Owen Brannigan; David Kelly; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
1:59
41
Act 3: "Who Holds Himself Apart"
Benjamin Britten; Marion Studholme; Iris Kells; Lauris Elms; Raymond Nilsson; Sir Geraint Evans; Owen Brannigan; David Kelly; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
3:46
42
Act 3: Interlude VI. Fog
Benjamin Britten; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:35
43
Act 3: "Grimes! Grimes!"
Benjamin Britten; Sir Peter Pears; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:57
44
Act 3: "Peter, We've Come To Take You Home"
Benjamin Britten; Claire Watson; Sir Peter Pears; James Pease; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
2:30
45
Act 3: "To Those Who Pass The Borough"
Benjamin Britten; Owen Brannigan; Jean Watson; Raymond Nilsson; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Benjamin Britten
4:53
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    2:22:16
"(The role of Grimes) was written for Pears and this recording is still the benchmark ... no one should be without this evocative, wonderfully sung recording."
- BBC Music Magazine

"... 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

Tenor Sir Peter Pears leads the cast on this famous and highly-lauded presentation of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, conducted by the composer himself and recorded live in London in December 1958. The album has been included on the list of the 100 greatest recordings by Gramophone, which said this version "has never been superseded in its refinement or insight." BBC Music Magazine named this album the greatest Britten recording of all time.
Recording Location: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, December 1958
Producer: Erik Smith
Recording Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Remastering: Andrew Wedman
Publishers: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd
Cover photo: Adam Woolfitt
Art direction: Jeremy Tilston

Mixing desk: Decca built mixer: a 6 channel unit built by Roy Wallace after experiments with a 3 channel unit; additional channels were added as requirements changed (3 channels + 3 channels, i.e. 18 channels in all).
Microphones: Neumann M50, KM 56
Recording (tape) machines: 2 x EMI TR 90

For Your Consideration | More ▸

Offers & New Releases

exclusive benefits for mailing list members

Subscribe Now

What is High-Resolution Audio?

High-resolution audio offers the highest-fidelity available, far surpassing the sound quality of traditional CDs. When you listen to music on a CD or tracks purchased via consumer services such as iTunes, you are hearing a low-resolution version of what was actually recorded and mastered in the studio. ProStudioMasters offers the original studio masters — exactly as the artist, producers and sound engineers mastered them — for download, directly to you.

What do I need for playback?

You may need additional software / hardware to take full advantage of the higher 24-bit high-res audio formats, but any music lover that has heard 16-bit vs 24-bit will tell you it's worth it!

Software for Mac OS X

Software for Windows

Hardware Suggestions