Benjamin Britten: Billy Budd
Billy Budd is above all an ensemble piece, and the release by Virgin, with Daniel Harding conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, admirably succeeds in conveying the intensity of life on the man-of-war. The complexity of the claustrophobic shipboard community is apparent in the strongly etched characterization each singer brings to his part, no matter how small. Still, the effectiveness of the opera ultimately depends on the believability of the principals, Captain Vere, Claggart, and Billy Budd. Ian Bostridge's Vere is reminiscent of Peter Pears' portrayal, and while there are similarities in their voices, Bostridge's is a considerably more appealing instrument. Having a tenor with such a light voice in the role, though, undercuts the authority that the Captain is supposed to command, so that his inaction in defending Billy Budd seems not so much like an anomalous failure of will in a powerful leader, but as an overly sensitive philosopher's vacillation in the face of moral complexity....
- Condition: --
HPB condition ratings
- New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
- Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
- Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
- Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
- Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
- Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
- Format: Compact Disc
- Sold by: --
- Label: Erato (USA)
- UPC: 5099951903923