An Ancora reissue of the acclaimed recording by the London Sinfonietta under David Atherton, with soloists including Phyllis Bryn-Julson, David Wilson-Johnson and John Tomlinson.
Premiered in 1968 at Aldeburgh, Punch and Judy - together with Verses for Ensembles and The Triumph of Time - firmly established Birtwistle as a leading voice in British music. It elaborates the traditional puppet-play into an opera of stylised violence and ritual: the simplicity of the children's entertainment contrasts with Punch's homicidal actions.
"This brilliantly sung and played account has a gripping luridness that makes it hard to imagine how the work - a 1960s expressionist masterpiece - could be done differently, never mind better. Setting a libretto of manic intellectuality by Stephen Pruslin, the opera moves with an implacable, raucous energy that is unique."
The Sunday Times
"Even if there were alternative recordings available this would be one to choose because it’s such a vivid performance. Congratulations, NMC for helping to keep new British music alive!"