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Berkeley, World premiere production October 1958, Scala Theatre, London£7.99 Buy now
Only one recording of Lennox Berkeley's gentle, pastoral one-act opera has been previously released, indicating a neglect of appreciation for its understated but deeply felt dramatic core and long lyrical lines that this release may hopefully address and correct.
That modern recording was made in the studio; here is a record of a full and lively production, and indeed the very first, marshalled with calm authority in the pit by Charles (later Sir Charles) Mackerras, whose death in July robbed the world of music of a true man for all seasons. Some of his many enthusiasms may be appreciated here; for English music; for new music; for opera; for working with the best singers of the day and at the same time nurturing young voices.
This performance as broadcast is introduced and linked with narrative interludes by Lord Harewood KBE, who did so much to foster the performance and wider appreciation of opera in the decades after the Second World War.