[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

BBC - (none) - Discovering Music - Britten Sea Interludes and Passacaglia [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in April 2007We've left it here for reference.More information

3 October 2014
Accessibility help
Text only

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten

Britten Sea Interludes and Passacaglia

Sunday 22 April 2007 17:00-18:30 (Radio 3)

Charles Hazlewood conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in an exploration of the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia that Benjamin Britten extracted from his opera Peter Grimes.

"These interludes depict the sea in incredibly different moods, and in a way this also mirrors the internal struggle inside Grimes himself and the people of the village".

Charles Hazlewood, from the programme.


1 hour 30 minutes

Britten and Peter Grimes and the BBC

The opera was first performed on 7 June 1945

Britten in 1946
Britten in July 1946, shortly after the premiere of Peter Grimes

In February 1969 the BBC recorded Peter Grimes at Snape Maltings Concert Hall for TV.
The recording was broadcast on 2 November 1969.

Images from the 1969 production:

Peter Pears and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus

Britten and the LSO
Britten conducting the LSO

Pears and the Ambrosian Chorus
Pears and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus

The Ambrosian Chorus
The Ambrosian Opera Chorus

Pears and Apprentice
Pears and Simon Laing (Apprentice)

Culshaw Britten and Pears
John Culshaw (Producer), Britten, and Peter Pears as Grimes

Credits for the 1969 production:

Cast: Peter Pears (Grimes); Heather Harper (Ellen Orford); Bryan Drake (Balstrode); Michael Rippon (Hobson); Owen Brannigan (Swallow); Ann Robson (Mrs Sedley); Elizabeth Bainbridge (Auntie); Jill Gomez (Niece 1); Anne Pashley (Niece 2); Gregory Dempsey (Bob Boles); Robert Tear (Rector); David Bowman (Ned Keene); Monti De Lyle (Dr. Crabbe); Simon Laing (Apprentice); Ambrosian Opera Chorus; LSO, leader John Georgiadis; Benjamin Britten, cond.

Production team: producer: John Culshaw; director: Brian Large; designer: David Myerscough-Jones; lighting: J.R. Thomas; staging: Joan Cross-the original Ellen Orford in the 1945 Sadler's Wells production of the opera.

Britten Sea Interludes and Passacaglia (the online audio is truncated for rights reasons)

Listen to the programme


Britten: Peter Grimes
Benjamin Britten Conductor
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Decca 414 577-2
CD1 Tracks 5 and 19
CD2 Track 1
CD3 Track 8

Britten: Dirge from Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings Op.31
Ingo Metzmacher Conductor
Bamberger Symphoniker
Ian Bostridge Tenor
Marie Luise Neunecker Horn
EMI Classics 7243 5 56871 2 8

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy