Berlioz: L'enfance Du Christ, Op. 25, H. 130
Catalog: CHSA 5228(2)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus; Brook, Matthew; Staples, Andrew; Davis, Andrew; Goodwin, Andrew; Cooke, Sasha; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Williams, Roderick; Lowrencev, Shane
Berlioz wrote his own text for L’Enfance du Christ, which he composed in 1853 and 1854. It was first performed at the Salle Herz, Paris on 10 December 1854, with Berlioz conducting. He described the work as a Trilogie sacrée. The first of its three sections depicts King Herod ordering the massacre of all newborn children in Judaea; the second shows Mary, Joseph, and Jesus setting out for Egypt to avoid the slaughter, having been warned by angels; and the final section portrays their arrival in the Egyptian town of Saïs where they are given refuge by a family of Ishmaelites. Berlioz was not religious as an adult but remained all his life susceptible to the beauty of the religious music that had enraptured him as a child. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and MSO Chorus and an outstanding team of soloists in this Surround Sound SACD recording.