Britten: Paul Bunyan - Murray, Pears, Howlett, Angus, Rolfe-Johnson, Burrowes; Bedford. London, 1976


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I guarantee if you never heard this work before you would have no idea that it was by Benjamin Britten. Britten throws himself fully into the American idiom creating an opera that more closely resembles a musical with hints of Richard Rogers and Kurt Weill. There is, however, a hint of British wit in the score, and of course Britten's musical invention and curiosity, but Britten also creates some beautiful folksy songs that sound like they could be out of any American Songbook. The cast assembled is very good. Peter Pears is a sure standout, although he is less convincing as an American. A young Anthony Rolfe-Johnson displays heart-melting sweet voice in the role of Hot Biscuit Slim. The sound is very good.

OD 10962-2