Benjamin Britten

The Turn of the Screw, Op. 54

Sinfonia of London, Robert Murray, Rhian Lois, Leo Jemison, Alys Mererid Roberts, Gweneth Ann Rand, Francesca Chiejina, John Wilson

CHDVD 5290
1 DVD
29/10/21
CHANDOS RECORDS

Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw has become notorious as at once the most stylish and elusively ambiguous of all nineteenth-century ghost stories. In June 1932, the eighteen-year-old Benjamin Britten heard a radio adaptation of James’s story and noted in his diary that it was ‘wonderful, impressive but terribly eerie & scary’. He read the novella for himself in January the following year, telling his diary that he still found it ‘glorious & eerie’ and judging it to be an ‘incredible masterpiece’. His subsequent operatic setting is unequivocally a masterpiece, and is here seen in a first-class production made for television with an outstanding cast led by Robert Murray and Rhian Lois, accompanied by Sinfonia of London, and conducted by John Wilson. Originally planned as a run of live performances, subsequently cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the production was quickly transformed into a film for television with spectacular results.