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  • Berlioz: Overtures
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Berlioz: Overtures Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, February 26, 2013
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Composer: Hector Berlioz
  • Audio CD (February 26, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Chandos
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,823 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis here perform seven dazzling orchestral overtures by Hector Berlioz, a composer who excelled in blending literary and musical elements into highly energetic and personal creations. The overtures are widely varied in mood, as are the operas from which they were drawn.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John J. Puccio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Certainly there is nothing boring about Sir Andrew Davis's handling of the Berlioz overtures on this album, and they are almost as expressive, emphatic, lyrical, and exciting as Sir Colin Davis's RCA set.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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Format: MP3 Music
One can say that Berlioz invented a sound-world all his own and a good deal of its uniqueness comes from his brilliant orchestrations. His book on orchestration Treatise on Instrumentation (Dover Books on Music) remains, 170 years after its publication, a must-read for composition students. It beggars the imagination to recall that Berlioz was already writing his uniquely personal music in 1825, two years before Beethoven died. His music simply sounds so much more modern than Beethoven's for all that Beethoven himself broke new ground musically.

One of the earliest pieces here, the overture 'Waverly' written in 1827-28, was inspired by Sir Walter Scott's novel of that name and does not stand as an overture to an opera or play but rather is a musical response to the emotion the novel inspired in the composer. He spoke of walking the streets of Paris clutching the book which he could not bear to be parted from. The score bears a quotation from the novel:

'Dreams of love and Lady's charms
Give place to honour and to arms.'

Its discursive narrative flow is a precursor to that we hear in the 'Symphonie fantastique', written only two years later. And one hears, for one of the first times in 'Waverly', rhythms that convey those of spoken French, so prevalent in all his subsequent music.

Even earlier, written while he was still a student, is the opera 'Les Francs-juges', set in medieval Germany at a time of vigilante justice meted out by a secret society. It was never produced but its overture figures occasionally on concert programs. It, too, presages those uniquely Berliozan qualities heard in later works.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Judy Spotheim on February 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD
There aren't much in the way of true SACD recording of Berlioz overtures, and this latest SACD recording is not close to being a great one not in the way of interpretation, not in the way of orchestral clarity and inspirational playing and not in the way of a masterpiece of a recording.

One must question the obsession "Bis" and "Chandos" are engaged with by recording this orchestra in the the Grieg hall, Bergen. It might just be that the orchestral and hall fee are symbolic and that the financial support these recording labels get for recording this orchestra makes it worthwhile for them to fool-around and spend time and equipment time doing those recordings there at the Grieg hall and with this specific orchestra.
It has been long in my mind that the Bergen orchestra might just not be a "super-star" that those recording labels (Bis and Chandos) are trying to impose on us (trying to "sell" us...)

What should have become a breath-taking pieces of music (in par with little Berlioz Fantastique-s, if you will...) has turned out to be here in this recording a mash of walls of sound clashing one on top the other without any order, clarity, focus, true impact, without the sound-stage spread and clarity and without the promised super-resolution that SACD can encompass and present to the listener in playback mode.
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