Plymouth Music Series: Britten Paul Bunyan - Virgin VCD 7 90710-1 (DDD), 2LP box

$20.00 USD

Virgin Classics (LP)

Box NM / LPs NM / German pressing

This beautiful and quite rare 2-LP box set from Virgin Classics (VCD 7 90710-1 303 243-420, German pressing, turquoise label, booklet included) features The Plymouth Music Series – Minnesota under the direction of Phllip Brunelle in a wonderful account of Benjamin Britten’s opera Paul Bunyan Op. 17, vividly recorded at Ordway Music Theater, St. Pau, Minnesota, in May 1987 and won The Gramophone’s “Award for Best Opera Recording” the following year.

In addition to the Soloists, Orchestra & Orchestra of The Plymouth Music Series, the cast included the following vocal artists:

            Pop Wagner, Narrator

            James Lawless, Paul Bunyan

            Dan Dressen, Johnny Inkslinger

            Elisabeth Comeaux Nelson, Tiny

            Clifton Ware, Slim


Wrote the critic for BBC Music Magazine:

[I]f you are looking for a truly ‘American’ Paul Bunyan, Philip Brunelle’s Plymouth Music Series version of 1988 (Virgin) is the one. His richly resonant James Lawless plays Paul Bunyan as Hollywood superhero... And Pop Wagner’s ballad interludes, recorded with his guitar up close, really sound like popular folk ballads, complete with southern drawl... Balance is expertly managed in Brunelle’s recording, which fairly zips along, with sharp rhythms, tight, bright ensemble and a consistency of accent.”


This album was produced by Steve Burnett and engineered by Preston Smith. Donald Mitchell served as project advisor and Simon Foster was the executive producer.

Included is a hefty CD-size booklet with extensive notes by conductor Philips Brunelle, plot synopsis, and the full vocal texts – all provided in English, German, and French.

Incidentally, the memorable cover art gracing the box is entitled “Paul Bunyan” and was executed by Paul Gildea.


The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

The condition of box is near-MINT. Really there are no flaws to speak of and the box appears as new – overall, an outstanding collector’s copy.

The condition of the booklet is near-MINT. Really there are no flaws to speak of – a superb copy.

The condition of the 2 LPs is near-MINT throughout and playback is superb – overall, truly fine collector's copies.



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