Boulez Conducts Berlioz 4-cd Set

Album cover art for upc 190759327722
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Catalog: 19075932772
Format: CD

Pierre Boulez; London Symphony Orchestra; New York Philharmonic; BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sony Classical announces another ten releases in its popular series of Classical Masters. This new batch of budget-priced sets contains major recording projects by some of the 20th century’s most celebrated musicians. Pierre Boulez first mounted the concert podium in the late 1950s in order to do justice do his own challenging works, but before long he had garnered the reputation of a peerless interpreter of 20th-century music tout court. Then in 1967 the modernist Boulez took the musical by surprise by turning to that arch-Romantic Hector Berlioz, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Symphonie fantastique and Lélio, the little-known work he intended as its sequel. The result was every bit as stimulating as one might have expected from this great musical provocateur. “For Boulez,” opined Gramophone’s original reviewer, “the [Fantastique] is a sinister mental experience, not merely the drug-crazed torment of the programme but something colder and still more frightening.” More recently, a New York Times critic wrote: “This is a performance true to the composer’s Gothic imagination in its sumptuousness and menace but also icily precise in negotiating tricky rhythmic maneuvers, and oddly modern … Besides having a ferocity all its own, [it] comes in a whole treasure box of other incisive Berlioz recordings by Mr. Boulez in his early maturity. Yvonne Minton is splendid in La Mort de Cléopâtre, flinging out regal defiance, and Jean-Louis Barrault is the perfect restless narrator for the work Berlioz wrote to continue the dream of the Fantastique, the concert autobiography Lélio.” The new 4-album reissue also includes Yvonne Minton’s “dramatically incisive … passionate response [to Les Nuits d’été] showing her at her most movingly eloquent and [Stuart] Burrows also at his finest … Strongly recommended … highly stimulating” (Penguin Guide).CD 1Symphonie fantastique op. 14London Symphony Orchestra​​​​​​​CD 2Lélio, ou Le Retour à la vie op. 14bJean-Louis Barrault … LélioJohn Mitchinson … Horatio & imaginary voice of LélioJohn Shirley-Quirk … captainLondon Symphony Orchestra & ChorusCD 3Benvenuto Cellini: OuvertureLes Troyens: Chasse royale et orageBéatrice et Bénédict: Ouverture – Entr’acte. SicilienneLe Carnaval romain op. 9New York PhilharmonicCD 4Les Nuits d’été op. 7La Mort de CléopâtreYvonne Minton mezzo-soprano · Stuart Burrows tenor · BBC Symphony Orchestra

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