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Sir Colin Davis - Anthology

Davis / London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 04/08/2014 
Label:  Lso Live   Catalog #: 766   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hector BerliozAntonín DvorákSir Edward ElgarJean Sibelius,   ... 
Performer:  Ben HeppnerMichelle DeYoungPetra LangSara Mingardo,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraLondon Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 13 
Recorded in: Multi 
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SuperAudio CD:  $98.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This unique collection of 13-discs is the 100th release on LSO Live, and will be a limited editionrelease. The collection pays tribute to not only Sir Colin’s work with LSO Live, but more specifically his relationship with LSO through the decades, until his death in April 2013.

The collection includes previously unreleased material from the LSO Live archive, and two much loved recordings in high-resolution SACD for the first time, Dvorak Symphony No 9 and Berlioz Symphonie fantastique. Never before seen private correspondence and photos from Sir Colin’s archives accompany the discs.

The anthology is completed with a bonus DVD documentary by Reiner Moritz. This portrait includes his last public statements, and
Read more contributions from Sir David Attenborough, Sir Simon Rattle and Roger Wright. The documentary highlights his work in masterclasses, opera, concerts and to-camera talk which reveals the man behind the musician.

This set contains eight SACDS, four standard CDs (Les Troyens), and one DVD (Colin Davis – The Man and His Music).

R E V I E W S:

Symphonie Fantastique

It is not far short of 40 years since Sir Colin Davis with the LSO made his first electrifying recording of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and since then he has recorded it twice more for Philips... The latest LSO version, recorded at a slightly lower level with less immediate sound, is in many ways the subtlest of the four, conveying more mystery, with pianissimo s of extreme delicacy beautifully caught. There is an overall gain too from having a live recording of a work with such an individual structure, with its hesitations and pauses. In overall timings it is marginally longer than the earlier versions, maybe also reflecting the conditions of a live performance, even though some of this must have been put together from rehearsal tapes since there is no applause at the very end.

-- Gramophone [5/2001]

Les Troyens

Taken from live performances in London in December, 2000 (but with nary a sound from the audience), you might think that since Colin Davis previously led an almost ideal recording of the work (released in 1969) this might be superfluous. But it is far from it: As wonderful, ear-opening, awe-inspiring, and history-making as that one was--and I certainly wouldn't want to do without it--this version is just as valuable and the casting in some roles is ever finer than before. And as far as the leadership is concerned, while I found nothing wrong with the Philips recording, Davis seems even better here; scenes lead seamlessly into one another, the score's disparate elements (especially the alternation of light and dark, heavy and lean, languid and manic) blend easily and naturally, and the sense of the opera being somewhat of a behemoth that needs taming (which you vaguely feel in the '69 recording) is nowhere in evidence. The LSO and Chorus have the music so firmly under their belts by now that the opera sounds like a great repertoire piece like Falstaff or Tristan--familiar but brilliant.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com

Sibelius 2nd and Pojhola's Daughter

What Sir Colin Davis has to say about Sibelius’s Second Symphony hasn’t changed in substance since his first recording with the Boston Symphony, but the paragraphs now flow with ever more assured, Wordsworthian cadences – “Grand in itself alone, but in that breach / Through which the homeless voice of waters rose, / That dark deep thoroughfare, had Nature lodged / The Soul, the Imagination of the whole.” The life-and-death struggle of the second movement is underlined by two alternating tempi which Davis has not contrasted so dramatically before, not even in the quicker concert performance in Dresden. Strong rhythmic underpinnings in the Scherzo, the highly contrasted trio and their eventual assimilation into the mighty onrush towards the finale: these all have a distinctively Beethovenian cast. The finale’s jubilations justify their length and splendour, just about, with some generous portamento and care over the recitatives of the central, quieter section...

Pohjola’s Daughter is an unusual but logical coupling, having its origins in the same Italian trip that brought the birthpangs of the Second Symphony. The tone-poem only saw the light five years after the symphony, however, and you could see it as the Yin to the finale’s Yang, moving from the interrupted sonata-form processes of the symphony’s first movement into still darker regions of creative despair – the Fourth Symphony looms on the horizon. You can sense this in Davis’s conception, which prizes coherence over local colour; an exceptionally fine Toscanini disc listed above shows how an underrated Sibelian of another age pulled off many of the same tricks in both symphony and tone-poem.

-- Peter Quantrill, Gramophone [6/2007]

A Child of Our Time

Four years after his Dresden version of A Child of Our Time, recorded live in the Semperoper (Profil, 3/08), Sir Colin Davis returned to the work in the very different environment of London’s Barbican Hall. On this occasion the Classic Sound engineers and editors have managed a good blend of the intimate and the intense. Now and again a soloist may seem unduly reticent – perhaps a vocal problem on the day rather than a matter of recorded balance. But I can’t believe that any other recording surpasses this one in the expressive power with which choral singing and orchestral playing combine to reinforce the timeless message of this most history-conscious work, rooted as it is in events just prior to the years of its composition (1939-41)... There are emotional depths here which turn this recording into something very special.

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone [9/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; France 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Live  London, England 
Length: 57 Minutes 4 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 9 in E minor, Op. 95/B 178 "From the New World" by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Length: 44 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3. Les francs-juges, Op. 3: Overture by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; France 
4. Te Deum, Op. 22 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; France 
5. Les troyens by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Ben Heppner (Tenor), Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano), Petra Lang (Mezzo Soprano),
Sara Mingardo (Alto), Peter Mattei (Baritone), Stephen Milling (Bass),
Kenneth Tarver (Tenor), Toby Spence (Tenor), Orlin Anastassov (Bass),
Tigran Martirossian (Bass), Isabelle Cals (Mezzo Soprano), Alan Ewing (Bass),
Guang Yang (Mezzo Soprano), Andrew Greenan (Bass), Roderick Earle (Bass),
Bülent Bezdüz (Tenor), Leigh Melrose (Baritone), Mark Stone (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856-1858; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Live  Barbican Center, London, England 
Length: 239 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: French 
6. Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
7. Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; England 
8. Oceanides, Op. 73 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
9. Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 43 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Finland 
10. Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Finland 
11. A child of our time by Michael Tippett
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; England 
12. Symphony no 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1934; England 
13. Belshazzar's Feast by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Peter Coleman-Wright (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1931; England 
Date of Recording: September, 2008 
Venue:  Barbican Centre, London 
Language: English 
14. Symphony no 1 in B flat minor by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1935; England 
Date of Recording: September, 2008 
Venue:  Barbican Centre, London 

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