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Berlioz: Harold in Italy; Bloch / Starker, Benyamini

Release Date: 04/08/2014 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 002005402   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hector BerliozErnest Bloch
Performer:  Daniel BenyaminiJános Starker
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

While at first these two works would seem to be odd disc mates, they are similar in that they are both part concerto and part symphonic poem. Hector Berlioz's Harold in Italy casts a viola as the title character, in this case handsomely portrayed by Daniel Benyamini in big, rich tones, accompanied with much zest by Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. The inner movements flow beautifully, while the outer ones are fleet and exciting, especially the festive finale--even if the orgy doesn't reach the frenzy of Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony on RCA.

Ernest Bloch's Voice in the Wilderness for orchestra with a cello obbligato is in the tradition of his earlier great success,
Read more Schelomo. The six interconnected movements cover the entire range of emotions, all made palpably real by János Starker's solo work and Mehta's and the IPO's intense performance. This is a powerful and beautiful work, and a welcome addition to any collection. Decca has managed to tame the harshness of Mann Auditorium, and give us the Israel Philharmonic in a warm, full acoustic.

– Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Harold en Italie, Op. 16 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Daniel Benyamini (Viola)
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; France 
Voice in the Wilderness by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  János Starker (Cello)
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Switzerland 

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