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Berlioz: Requiem, Te Deum / Davis, London Symphony Orchestra


Release Date: 04/08/2003 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 464689   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony ChorusWandsworth School Boys' ChoirLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Colin Davis gives one of the best overall performances of the Berlioz Requiem, but there are superior options if you value sonic spectacle over intelligent musicianship, fine solo and choral singing, and first-rate orchestral playing. It's always tempting to dip into this work and sample the Dies Irae's celebrated section involving the four off-stage brass bands (located at the cardinal points of the compass), a passage that's widely used to demonstrate hi-fi set-ups. Davis' 1969 recording won't sound as impressive as the first-ever digital version of the work by André Previn (for EMI) with the London Philharmonic, or the late Robert Shaw's underrated Telarc recording; but it's a front-runner in performance terms. Davis reserves theatrics Read more for the right moments, and he's outstanding when it comes to expressing the gravity and seriousness of Berlioz's score, as he proves most effectively in the choral pleadings of the Introitus and Kyrie. The unaccompanied Quarens me section shows just how disciplined Davis' choirs are, but even here the recording doesn't match Telarc's for clarity. The Te Deum also receives a fine performance, with good solo singing from Franco Tagliavini (tenor) in the Te ergo quaesumus section. Philips includes David Cairn's erudite notes on both works, and this is a disc that provokes deep reflection, so you're unlikely to miss the apocalyptic impact of later digitally engineered versions.

--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Grande messe des morts, Op. 5 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; France 
2.
Te Deum, Op. 22 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; France 

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