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Catalogue No: 5009719
“Peter's line "Where the walls themselves gossip of inquest" - his cry of pain to Ellen after the coroner's open verdict on the loss of his first apprentice - cues the scenery and concept. The Borough, some of is citizens mounted on chairs and pillars permanenly suspended above an unchanging set, is never absent from this stylised, Brechtian (and Weillian) production. Pountney's stage has no room for naturalistic clutter - no real boats, no fishing nets, no beach. Ellen is allowed more intimacy with Peter than one often sees... but, as soon as she realises his obsessive work methods will never change, her "Peter - we've failed" is final, provoking Grimes to inevitable self-destruction. In a penultimate Mad Scene of haunting, almost religious (or sacrilegious) beauty, she and Balstrode sit with a dead boy each draped across their laps, either side of the constantly see-sawing Peter on a stylised boat platform with a cross-like mast. Unforgettable. Soon-to-depart Zürich maestro Welser-Möst's reading of the score is hardly less innovative, reminding one with its forward, motoric winds of some great, lost Shostakovich score and, ...this new EMI issue is carried by its cast, phenomenal chorus contribution, director and conductor to an important new interpretative level.”
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