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Britten: Turn of the Screw (2 CD/CD-ROM)
Rodgers, Bostridge, Wise
Britten: Turn of the Screw (2 CD/CD-ROM)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (2) - Disc #3

"The Governess is unerringly portrayed by Joan Rodgers, and Ian Bostridge's other-worldly, insinuating Quint is eerily magnetic. Over all presides Daniel Harding, piercing the heart of the piece in a reading that catches a...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Rodgers, Bostridge, Wise
Title: Britten: Turn of the Screw (2 CD/CD-ROM)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI Classics
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 4/20/2010
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 5099945637926

Synopsis

Album Description
"The Governess is unerringly portrayed by Joan Rodgers, and Ian Bostridge's other-worldly, insinuating Quint is eerily magnetic. Over all presides Daniel Harding, piercing the heart of the piece in a reading that catches all the score's inner tension, reveals all its instrumental acuity and brings out the best in his cast." Synopsis Henry James's unnverving novella, with its suggestions of neurosis, perversity and the supernatural, was the source for this claustrophobic, compelling opera, first performed in 1954. Accompanied by a colourful chamber ensemble, the action moves with an almost filmic fluidity, while the score is a blend of 12-tone techniques, striking motifs, lyricism and - often sinister in effect - children's songs. A young governess is hired by the absent guardian of two children, Flora and Miles, who live in a country house called Bly. Her initial delight with the children and Bly is marred when she learns of Miles's expulsion from his school, and then catches sight of a mysterious male figure. She discovers there was a predatory valet at Bly called Peter Quint who had an affair with a previous governess, Miss Jessel. Both were suspiciously close to the children and both are now dead. The Governess fears Quint's influence and resolves to protect the children, but tensions increase when Miles goes into a trance in a Latin lesson and, as Flora plays by the lake, the Governess spots Miss Jessel. By the end of the opera, the Governess has engaged with Quint in a metaphysical tug-of-war over Miles - but the boy has been killed in the process.
 

CD Reviews

A transformative recording of Britten's eerie, touching oper
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 04/29/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Note: With the transfer of this wonderful recording from the Virgin label, I am reposting my original review.)

As a non-fan of Ian Bostridge and the owner of two very good recordings of 'The Turn of the Screw,' I had avoided buying this new set. Now that I have, I am amazed by its quality. Daniel Harding imparts riveting excitement to Britten's score, but more than that, the psychological intenisty from every singer, beginning with a Narrator who foreshadows the horrors to comes, hasn't been matched in any previous recording. Aided by crystal-clear sonics, each performer gives us every syllable of the all-important text by Myfawmy Piper. This can't be said even of the composer's classic (mono) recording or the excellent version under his disciple Steuart Bedford, where the resonant acoustic tends to garble the words.

This verbal clarity draws one vividly into th cloudy terrors of James's ghost story, one in which extreme psychological states are hinted at but which only occasionally erupt on the surface (in this regard, 'Turn of the Screw' is Britten's mini-version of 'Pelleas and Melisande'). Considering that Harding's conducting outdoes the composer, himself a great conductor, one expects great things from him in the future. The Amazon reviewer makes too much of Bostridge's pretty singing style--the tenor does a lot to change his tone into errie timbres when it's called for, and the very fact that he sounds boyish is creepy in and of itself. In sum, this performance is all but definitive."