Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by M + L
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Shipped in 1-2 working days from Germany by First Class Priority Airmail. Very fast shipment!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Britten: Peter Grimes (2 CD/1 CD-ROM) Box set

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Audio CD, Box set, April 20, 2010
"Please retry"
$9.90 $8.25

Stream Millions of Songs FREE with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream millions of songs FREE with Amazon Prime. Start your free trial.

Editorial Reviews

"This is an inspired performance in a superbly lifelike recording. Haitink uncovers the raw nerve-ends of the music, its astonishing and ongoing vigour shading into violence, while giving full measure to its lyrical poetry."


The coast of Benjamin Britten's native Suffolk was close to his heart, and he chose a narrative poem by the Aldeburgh-born George Crabbe as the basis for his first major opera, Peter Grimes, premiered in 1945. Grimes, a fisherman and an outsider in his community, is first seen at the inquest for his apprentice, who died during a storm at sea. The action consistently pits the suspicious local people against Grimes, and one of his few allies is the schoolmistress Ellen Orford. She hopes to marry Grimes and give him a happier life, but when she discovers a bruise on his new apprentice's neck, he strikes her. The boy then dies in an accident, driving the villagers to a frenzy and tipping Grimes over into madness. He takes his boat out to sea and sinks with it. Among the score's many powerful moments are: Peter's visionary monologue `Now the Great Bear and the Pleiades'; his surprisingly tender "In dreams I've built some kindlier home' and his bleak mad scene, accompanied only by the baying offstage chorus and the sound of a foghorn; Ellen's lovely, but foreboding `Embroidery' aria, and the atmospheric orchestral interludes, well known as a separate orchestral suite.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. PROLOGUE: Peter Grimes (Hobson/Swallow/Peter)
  2. PROLOGUE: You sailed your boat round the coast (Swallow/Peter/Mrs Sedley/Chorus/Hobson/Ellen)
  3. PROLOGUE: Peter Grimes, I here advise you! (Swallow/Chorus/Hobson/Peter)
  4. PROLOGUE: The truth ... the pity (Peter/Ellen)
  5. PROLOGUE: Interlude I: Dawn
  6. ACT 1 Scene 1: Oh hang at open doors the net (Chorus/1st Fisherman/Auntie/Boles/Balstrode/2nd Fisherman/Rector/Nieces/Mrs Sedley/Swallow)
  7. ACT 1 Scene 1: Hi! Give us a hand (Peter/Boles/Balstrode/Ned/Auntie/Hobson)
  8. ACT 1 Scene 1: I have to go from pub to pub (Hobson/Chorus/Ellen/Ned)
  9. ACT 1 Scene 1: Let her among you without fault cast the first stone (Ellen/Hobson/Mrs Sedley/Ned)
  10. ACT 1 Scene 1: Look! The storm cone! (Balstrode/Chorus/Ned/Boles)
  11. ACT 1 Scene 1: And do you prefer the storm
  12. ACT 1 Scene 1: They listen to money (Balstrode/Peter)
  13. ACT 1 Scene 1: What harbour shelters peace (Peter)
  14. ACT 1 Scene 1: Interlude II: Storm
  15. ACT 1 Scene 2: Past time to close! (Auntie/Mrs Sedley/Balstrode/Boles/Nieces/Fisherman)
  16. ACT 1 Scene 2: Come on, boy! (Balstrode/Chorus)
  17. ACT 1 Scene 2: Have you heard? The cliff is down (Ned/Auntie/Mrs Sedley/Balstrode/Chorus)
  18. ACT 1 Scene 2: Now the Great Bear and Pleiades (Peter/Chorus/Nieces/Boles/Balstrode/Auntie)
  19. ACT 1 Scene 2: Old Joe has gone fishing (Ned/Chorus/Peter)
  20. ACT 1 Scene 2: The bridge is down (Hobson/Ned/Ellen/Boles/Auntie/Nieces/Peter)
  21. ACT 2: Interlude III: Sunday morning
  22. Scene 1: Glitter of waves and glitter of sunlight (Ellen/Chorus/Rector)
  23. Scene 1: Child you're not too young to know (Ellen/Chorus/Rector/Peter)
  24. Scene 1: This unrelenting work (Ellen/Peter/Chorus)

Disc: 2

  1. Scene 1: Fool to let it come to this! (Auntie/Ned/Boles/Chorus/Mrs Sedley/Balstrode/Lawyer/Swallow/Fisherwoman/Nices/Rector)
  2. Scene 1: People! ... No! I will speak! (Boles/Chorus/Balstrode/Rector/Auntie/Ellen)
  3. Scene 1: We planned that their lives should have a new start (Ellen/Rector/Mrs Sedley/Boles/Ned/Nieces/Auntie/Balstrode/Hobson/Swallow)
  4. Scene 1: Now is gossip put on trial (Chorus/Mrs Sedley/Boles/Rector/Ned/Swallow)
  5. Scene 1: From the gutter (Nieces/Auntie/Ellen)
  6. Scene 1: Interlude IV: Passacaglia
  7. Scene 2: Go there!
  8. Scene 2: In dreams I've built myself some kindlier home (Peter)
  9. Scene 2: Now! ... Now! (Chorus/Peter/Boles/Rector/Swallow/Ned)
  10. Scene 2: Peter Grimes! Nobody there? (Rector/Swallow/Ned)
  11. ACT 3: Interlude V: Moonlight
  12. Scene 1: Assign your prettiness to me (Swallow/Nieces/Ned)
  13. Scene 1: Mister Keene! Mister Keene! Can you spare a moment (Mrs Sedley/Ned)
  14. Scene 1: Come along, Doctor! (First Burgess/Burgesses/Rector/Mrs Sedley/Ellen/Balstrode)
  15. Scene 1: Embroidery in childhood was a luxury of idleness (Ellen/Balstrode)
  16. Scene 1: Mister Swallow! Mister Swallow! (Mrs Sedley/Auntie/Swallow/Hobson)
  17. Scene 1: Who holds himself apart, lets pride rise (Chorus)
  18. Scene 1: Interlude VI
  19. Scene 2: Grimes! Grimes! (Chorus/Peter)
  20. Scene 2: Peter, we've come to take you home (Ellen/Peter/Balstrode)
  21. Scene 2: To those who pass the Borough (Chorus/Swallow/Fisherman/Auntie/Boles)

Disc: 3

  1. Peter Grimes: Libretto
  2. Peter Grimes: Synopsis

Product Details

  • Performer: Royal Opera Chorus
  • Orchestra: Convent Garden Orch. Royal Opera House
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B0036D7Y0W
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAME on November 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
In the UK various labels turn out versions of Peter Grimes with regularity, and enough excellent sets have accumulated, including an iconic one under the composer, that new additions face stiff criticism. Haitink encountered smooth sailing, however, when this set appeared in 1993, based on a production at the Royal Opera (Philips had released another Covent Garden recording almost two decades earlier as a setting for the Grimes of Jon Vickers). The Gramophone called the EMI set inspired. I revisited it with fond memories, only to find that Haitink leads a very different Grimes than I remembered.

If Vickers delivers the most brutish and primal portrayal and Pears the most psychologically complex, Anthony Rolfe Johnson seems vulnerable to the point of fragility -- his sweet, slender tone evokes a poet rather than a tormented social outcast. In keeping with this, Haitink's conducting is also tender and at times quite restrained. My attention didn't wander, however, despite the lack of strong dramatic tension, because the orchestral detailing is exquisite, and EMI's sonics are considerably ahead of Philips's for Colin Davis and at least equal to Decca's for Britten. The composer famously disapproved of Vickers' Promethean characterization, which was full of immense anguish, and walked out before the end. I wonder what he would have thought of Rolfe Johnson. Peter's first aria, "What harbor shelters peace," emerged as the outcry of a wounded titan when Vickers sang it; Rolfe Johnson is much smaller scale and less heartrending. Similarly, Grimes's most famous song, "Now the Great Bear and Pleiades," is rendered lyrical and poetic, a thing of beauty rather than mystery.
Read more ›
3 Comments 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Look for Similar Items by Category