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Britten - Peter Grimes / Atherton, Langridge, English National Opera

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This story of an alienated fisherman who battles inner demons and the loss of his apprentices is a Britten psychological masterpiece. English National Opera.

Amazon.com

Benjamin Britten's dour masterpiece has been well-served in video recordings, and this stark, intense production may be the top choice for most viewers. One of its major attractions is outstanding camera work, under the direction of Barrie Gavin, reinforcing powerfully the shifting moods created by the music. The photography is notable in frequent closeups, particularly those that focus on the ravaged, vulnerable and intensely expressive face of Philip Langridge in the title role. His interpretation is strikingly different from that of his chief video rival, Jon Vickers, who presents a more burly characterization.

The ambiguities in the role of Grimes make it possible to emphasize either strength or vulnerability in this story of an alienated fisherman in an English village, who stands virtually alone against a small (and small-minded society), vast forces of nature and a run of bad luck. His young apprentice has died (possibly because of his neglect or brutality); he is legally acquitted but found guilty by his neighbors and forbidden to take another boy as apprentice. He ignores that warning, the second boy dies accidentally, and he commits suicide under intense public pressure.

Langridge gives a striking account of the role's psychological depth and complexity, aided by a well-chosen and -directed cast. James Atherton conducts expertly. The chorus and orchestra are first-class, and the famous sea interludes, which have found a secure place in the concert repertoire, are visually enhanced by views of the ocean and shoreline. --Joe McLellan


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Langridge, Janice Cairns, Alan Opie, Ann Howard
  • Directors: Barrie Gavin
  • Writers: George Crabbe, Montagu Slater
  • Producers: Jan Younghusband, Jane Seymour
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PY30
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,934 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Britten - Peter Grimes / Atherton, Langridge, English National Opera" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having seen a 1996 revival of this production at the ENO (my first encounter with Grimes), I was anxiously awaiting this release on DVD. Am pleased to report it is as gripping and shattering an experience. Cast all around is up to the task, and orchestra superbly captures the rhythms of Britten's driving score. Sound and video are fine. Would have appreciated optional surtitles to help grasp all the words, but we're left at the mercy of singers' diction. All in all, an extraordinary evening in the theatre.
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Langridge is the only tenor I've heard in the title role that equals the unforgettable performance of Jon Vickers. But the overall effect of this ENO performance is rather weak. The orchestra playing is tepid and I found the choral work on the ragged side. At the conclusion of the first act when the chorus questions, "Home. You call that home!", the crisp and stunning attack that can be heard in the Covent Garden DVD is lost but then again the ENO production doesn't have Colin Davis leading. The production is stylized and abstract, appearing to be from Peter's insane standpoint. which is a very compelling and valid concept.

I greatly admire Landridge's performance and singing here even if he's terribly flat for the beginning of the critical Great Bear and Pleiades aria, it is a compelling performance. I only wish the rest of the performance measured up to Landridge's effort.

I would stick with the Covent Garden DVD. Jon Vickers's Grimes was one of the great operatic characterizations of the 20th Century.
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no subtitles, audio is just 2ch Dloby Digital. Kultur should have been done much better!
no complain about stage and musical
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Well done, but as usual with Britten only about one melody. This is probably his most popular pieces, if you like Britten.
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