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On demand: Concert Club: Peter Grimes in concert

The Bachtrack Concert Club is a series of videos personally curated by our editors, who hand-picked pieces from the fantastic performances in our on-demand archive.

David Karlin invites you to listen to Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece Peter Grimes, filmed in May 2017 at Bergen’s Grieghallen – a performance which Mark Valencia described as “Psychologically splintering” in his five star review – featuring the incomparable pairing of tenor Stuart Skelton, one of the great interpreters of the role in our time, and conductor Ed Gardner.

Scroll down to watch, read the programme and see related articles.

Peter Grimes, Act I

Peter Grimes, Act II

Peter Grimes, Act III

Three things set Peter Grimes apart from the operatic pack and make this a must-see. Firstly, Britten’s orchestration is exceptional: often spare, sometimes apocalyptic, always in motion and incredibly, darkly beautiful. Secondly, this is perhaps the most powerful evocation of the sea in all of classical music, with its sudden transformations from serene calm to tempestuous, terrifying violence.

And finally, Peter Grimes is a pin-sharp image of the outsider’s battle with the established crowd: Grimes himself is a gut-wrenchingly tragic figure, a man who might be good but whose failings lead him irredeemably to disaster.

- David Karlin

Bachtrack internalRecorded at Grieg Hall (Grieghallen), Bergen, Norway
Performers
Bergen National Opera
Edward GardnerConductor
Vera Rostin WexelsenDirector
Stuart SkeltonTenorPeter Grimes
Giselle AllenSopranoEllen Orford
Roderick WilliamsBaritoneCaptain Balstrode
Annika SchlichtMezzo-sopranoAuntie
Colin JudsonTenorBob Boles
Hanna HusáhrSopranoFirst Niece
Vibeke KristensenSopranoSecond Niece
Barnaby ReaBassHobson
James GilchristTenorRev Horace Adams
Andrew GreenanBassSwallow
Catherine Wyn-RogersMezzo-sopranoMrs Sedley
Marcus FarnsworthBaritoneNed Keene
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Bergen Philharmonic Choir
Edvard Grieg Choir
Collegium Musicum Choir
Royal Northern College of Music Chorus
Håkon Matti SkredeChoirmaster / chorus director
Kevin ThravesChoirmaster / chorus director
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