Albert Herring

Britten’s Albert Herring is mysteriously under represented in the DVD catalogue.  The work is performed quite often being relatively inexpensive to mount and suitable for smaller venues but the many productions haven’t led to many recordings.  I have only been able to find one and that dates back to 1985 when it was recorded at Glyndebourne.  That’s appropriate enough as that’s the house the piece premiered in in 1947.  At least it’s a  fair and effective representation of the work.  Peter Hall’s production takes few liberties with the libretto and is a rather literal and effective, if necessarily somewhat caricatured,  representation of life in a Suffolk village.  The sets and costumes are evocative; especially the hall of Lady Billows’ house which really evokes a 17th century Great Hall and, as the view through the window tells us, is set in or close to the village, not in an isolated park.  There’s quite a lot of that kind of attention to detail in this production.

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