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La Voie Triomphale / Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band [Hybrid SACD + Blu-ray Audio]

Berlioz / Staff Band Of Norwegian Armed Forces
Release Date: 01/29/2013 
Label:  Two-l   Catalog #: 86   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hector BerliozCamille Saint-SaënsPaul DukasDarius Milhaud,   ... 
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Blu-ray Audio:  $34.99
In Stock




The years before, during and after the French Revolution were a turning-point for wind ensembles throughout the world. They developed from being small ensembles, with each instrument represented in pairs, to being something much larger. At the same time, the repertoire moved rapidly from the chamber music for wind instruments of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to much larger works of almost orchestral dimensions by a new generation of composers.?

The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces has on this recording chosen music by composers who all made significant contributions to the evolvement of the wind orchestra and to the literature for wind orchestra that we know today. The music is an exquisite selection of French drama, romance and epic tone poems composed at times of considerable political turbulence. It could be precisely this political backdrop, combined with the wind orchestra’s hitherto unexplored potential, that goes some way towards explaining why composers like Berlioz, Bozza, Saint-Saëns, Tomasi, Dukas and Milhaud chose to write large-scale works for the wind orchestra – works that are still considered an important part of the standard wind ensemble repertoire today, a repertoire the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces performs with the elegance, virtuosity and energy the music demands; The Triumphal Way!

Hybrid SACD + Pure Audio Blu-ray two-disc-box at the price of one ordinary Blu-ray
5.1 SURROUND + STEREO produced in DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition 352kHz/24bit)
The compact disc looks like a normal CD and plays on all standard players and computers

R E V I E W: 3653200.zz5_La_Voie.html

LA VOIE TRIOMPHALE Ole Kristian Ruud, cond; Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces 2L 86 (Blu-ray audio/SACD: 81:35)


BERLIOZ Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale. SAINT-SAËNS Orient et occident. DUKAS La Péri: Fanfare. MILHAUD Suite Française. TOMASI Fanfares liturgiques. BOZZA Children’s Overture


The title of this album, La Voie triomphale ( The Triumphal Way ), is described in the program notes as “the straight axis leading through central Paris from the monumental Grande Arche de la defense through a series of historic and cultural landmarks, to the world famous Louvre museum.” The disc contains Blu-ray audio and SACD versions of the same program. Berlioz’s Funeral and Triumphal Symphony was composed in 1840 to mark the 10th anniversary of the July revolution. The grand ceremonial symphony was originally performed by 200 instrumentalists conducted by Berlioz. The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces has 30 to 40 players, so the performance cannot help but sound slightly small compared to Berlioz’s intentions and some past recordings. The instrumental sonorities differ also because Berlioz subsequently rearranged it with added strings and a choral finale. In the recording’s favor, the band itself is a formidable group, and the amazing sound completely captures Berlioz’s unique brass-wind sonorities. The third movement suffers from the lack of a chorus at the end. The final statement of Berlioz’s march-like theme sounds here like a simple reprise despite the added percussion. A chorus adds a totally new dimension to the music.


The other works in this well-chosen collection are smaller in size and scope when compared to Berlioz’s one-of-a-kind masterpiece, but they all offer something special. Saint-Saëns’s Orient et occident presents a side of the composer you have probably never heard, but it is not surprising to hear his exotic instrumental effects from a military band. The Dukas Fanfare is well played and stands on its own, but I prefer to hear the stark contrast between the brassy fanfare and the haunting, perfumey chords that follow. Milhaud’s Suite Française is probably better played than the Mercury version with the Eastman Wind Ensemble conducted by Frederick Fennell (coupled with important Mozart and Richard Strauss wind serenades) and sounds at least as good. Henri Tomasi’s virtuosic Fanfares liturgiques actually echoes the Dukas Fanfare in places, and ends with deliciously over the top brass chords and the best-recorded large gong since the glory days of Antal Doráti and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on Mercury. Eugene Bozza’s Children’s Overture begins with a near quote of the opening section of Ottorino Respighi’s The Pines of Rome and includes an outrageous reference to Frère Jacques.


The Blu-ray audio disc contains considerably more detail in the texture of the brass and wind instruments and there is more air and depth of the sound field than on the already excellent sounding SACD. The difference is significant. Percussion instruments have plenty of impact on both versions.


Because I prefer the sound of a full symphony orchestra to a wind band, and the dramatic effect of the chorus adds considerably to the finale, I prefer the versions of the Funeral and Triumphal Symphony conducted by Colin Davis and Charles Dutoit. There is no question though that this performance demonstrates Berlioz’s original intentions despite the smaller size of the performing forces, and the sound is far superior to any other recording. This is an ambitious and inspired program. Audiophiles, Berlioz fans, and anyone interested in symphonic band music should not miss it.

FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LA VOIE TRIOMPHALE Ole Kristian Ruud, cond; Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces 2L 86 (Blu-ray audio/SACD: 81:35)


BERLIOZ Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale. SAINT-SAËNS Orient et occident. DUKAS La Péri: Fanfare. MILHAUD Suite Read more Française. TOMASI Fanfares liturgiques. BOZZA Children’s Overture


The title of this album, La Voie triomphale ( The Triumphal Way ), is described in the program notes as “the straight axis leading through central Paris from the monumental Grande Arche de la defense through a series of historic and cultural landmarks, to the world famous Louvre museum.” The disc contains Blu-ray audio and SACD versions of the same program. Berlioz’s Funeral and Triumphal Symphony was composed in 1840 to mark the 10th anniversary of the July revolution. The grand ceremonial symphony was originally performed by 200 instrumentalists conducted by Berlioz. The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces has 30 to 40 players, so the performance cannot help but sound slightly small compared to Berlioz’s intentions and some past recordings. The instrumental sonorities differ also because Berlioz subsequently rearranged it with added strings and a choral finale. In the recording’s favor, the band itself is a formidable group, and the amazing sound completely captures Berlioz’s unique brass-wind sonorities. The third movement suffers from the lack of a chorus at the end. The final statement of Berlioz’s march-like theme sounds here like a simple reprise despite the added percussion. A chorus adds a totally new dimension to the music.


The other works in this well-chosen collection are smaller in size and scope when compared to Berlioz’s one-of-a-kind masterpiece, but they all offer something special. Saint-Saëns’s Orient et occident presents a side of the composer you have probably never heard, but it is not surprising to hear his exotic instrumental effects from a military band. The Dukas Fanfare is well played and stands on its own, but I prefer to hear the stark contrast between the brassy fanfare and the haunting, perfumey chords that follow. Milhaud’s Suite Française is probably better played than the Mercury version with the Eastman Wind Ensemble conducted by Frederick Fennell (coupled with important Mozart and Richard Strauss wind serenades) and sounds at least as good. Henri Tomasi’s virtuosic Fanfares liturgiques actually echoes the Dukas Fanfare in places, and ends with deliciously over the top brass chords and the best-recorded large gong since the glory days of Antal Doráti and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on Mercury. Eugene Bozza’s Children’s Overture begins with a near quote of the opening section of Ottorino Respighi’s The Pines of Rome and includes an outrageous reference to Frère Jacques.


The Blu-ray audio disc contains considerably more detail in the texture of the brass and wind instruments and there is more air and depth of the sound field than on the already excellent sounding SACD. The difference is significant. Percussion instruments have plenty of impact on both versions.


Because I prefer the sound of a full symphony orchestra to a wind band, and the dramatic effect of the chorus adds considerably to the finale, I prefer the versions of the Funeral and Triumphal Symphony conducted by Colin Davis and Charles Dutoit. There is no question though that this performance demonstrates Berlioz’s original intentions despite the smaller size of the performing forces, and the sound is far superior to any other recording. This is an ambitious and inspired program. Audiophiles, Berlioz fans, and anyone interested in symphonic band music should not miss it.


FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Grande symphonie funčbre et triomphale, Op. 15 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; France 
2.
Orient et Occident, Op. 25 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; France 
3.
La péri: Fanfare by Paul Dukas
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911-1912; France 
4.
Suite française, Op. 248 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
5.
Fanfares liturgiques by Henri Tomasi
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
6.
Children's Overture by Eugčne Bozza
Conductor:  Ole Kristian Ruud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Armed Forces Staff Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fine recording - no images of the Band. February 14, 2013 By Luke Bryant (Oakleigh South, Victoria) See All My Reviews "Please take note: There are two discs here. One is SACD, the other is clearly marked Blue-ray, not Blue-ray - Audio only. There is no information anywhere that suggests audio only. The sound quality of both recordings is first class, if possible, I'd give the audio six stars. However,the lack of visual images of the Band is a serious error in manufacture. Zero Stars. PS: Even on a 55 inch screen, the FONTS are still too small, to be read 10 feet away. Luke Bryant." Report Abuse
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