Berlioz: Te Deum / Roberto Alagna Marie-claire Ala

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Label: EMISP
Catalog: 724354544927
Format: CD

Roberto Alagna (tenor), Marie-Claire Alain (organ) Choeur de l’Orchestre de Paris, Choeur d’enfants de l’Union Européenne & Maîtrise d’Antony, Orchestre de Paris, John Nelson

“The Berlioz Te Deum has been relatively neglected on disc in comparison with his other major works. This latest version has John Nelson as an incisive, understanding conductor of Berlioz, revelling in the weight of choral sound, balancing his forces beautifully. He's helped here by fuller, more detailed digital sound than on previous versions. The organ sound may be less transparent than it might be, but the authentic French timbre of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Madeleine in Paris blends beautifully in the ensemble, and Marie-Claire Alain, as you might expect, is the most idiomatic soloist, making her non-French rivals seem rather square by comparison. It makes for luxury casting, too, to have Roberto Alagna as an imaginative, idiomatic tenor soloist in the prayer, 'Te ergo quaesumus', warmly persuasive and full of temperament. An additional plus-point for the new issue, even in relation to Sir Colin Davis's now classic version for Philips (see below), isn't only the fuller, more open recorded sound but the interesting bonus provided. The two extra instrumental movements included here were written by Berlioz expressly for performances celebrating victory, both with military overtones. On CD either can easily be left out, yet Berlioz, even at his most populist, never fails to grab the listener's attention.” - Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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