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Ultimate Berlioz Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, August 25, 2009
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Product Details

  • Composer: Louis Hector Berlioz
  • Audio CD (August 25, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B002C8BQ3I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,112 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphonie fantastique for orchestra ('Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties'), H.48 (Op. 14): 1. Rêveries - Passions
2. Symphonie fantastique for orchestra ('Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties'), H.48 (Op. 14): 2. A Ball
3. Symphonie fantastique for orchestra ('Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties'), H.48 (Op. 14): 3. Scene in the Country
4. Symphonie fantastique for orchestra ('Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties'), H.48 (Op. 14): 4. March to the Scaffold
See all 5 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Harold en Italie (Harold in Italy), symphony for viola & orchestra, H. 68 (Op. 16): 1. Harold in the Mountains
2. Harold en Italie (Harold in Italy), symphony for viola & orchestra, H. 68 (Op. 16): 2. March of the Pilgrims
3. Harold en Italie (Harold in Italy), symphony for viola & orchestra, H. 68 (Op. 16): 3. Serenade
4. Harold en Italie (Harold in Italy), symphony for viola & orchestra, H. 68 (Op. 16): 4. Brigands' Orgy
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Le carnaval romain (Roman Carnival Overture), ouverture catactéristique for orchestra, H.95 (Op. 9): Overture
2. Benvenuto Cellini, opera, H. 76a, Op. 23: Overture
3. Waverly Overture (Grande Ouverture de Waverly) for orchestra, H. 26 (Op. 1)
4. Béatrice et Bénédict, opera, H. 138: Overture
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 1. Requiem - Kyrie
2. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 2. Dies irae - Tuba mirum
3. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 3. Quid sum miser
4. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 4. Rex tremendae
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 9. Sanctus
2. Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): 10. Agnus Dei
3. Tantum ergo, for 2 sopranos, alto, female chorus & organ, H. 142
4. Veni Creator, motet for 3 voices & chorus, H. 141
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Zubin Mehta and Lorin Maazel are among the distinguished Berlioz interpreters on hand as you behold the immortal Symphonie Fantastique and hours of other renowned works by this immensely influential orchestral innovator. Also: Harold in Italy; Tristia for Chorus and Orchestra; Les Troyens: Prelude; Roman Carnival Overture; King Lear Overture for Orchestra; Beatrice et Benedict: Overture; Requiem (Grande Messe Des Morts) for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra; Veni Creator: Motet for 3 Voices and Chorus; Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale for Band, Strings and Chorus Ad Lib , and more!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Stephens on September 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
First the contents: this set includes Zubin Mehta's Symphonie fantastique with the NYPO, Sir Colin Davis' Harold in Italy with Nobuko Imai and the LSO (originally on Philips), Lorin Maazel's Requiem, Davis' Tristia (from same Philips rec. as Harold), Charles Dutoit's rednderings of eight overtures, and his magnificent reading of the Symphonie funebre et triompahle with the Orch. Sym. de Montreal. The rest are tidbits: Norrington conducting some very rare Berlioz choral works, such as "Le Temple Universel" and "Tantum ergo." There's even two performances of the Prelude to Les Troyens a Carthage (Dutoit for one, Davis for the other).

So, it's not exactly "the essential masterpieces" as the box says. I could write a whole 'nother review of what they could have left off, and how they could have better-presented the works. To make just one suggestion: rather than have a CD devoted to overtures, why not spread the most famous ones out and pair them with i.e. the Sym. Fan., or Harold? That makes a bit of room for one more disc of opera highlights, or something.

Now for the music and performances: this is a mixed bag, if you really care about Berlioz as I do. For a beginner (which is the aimed-at audience, I gather) it's fine. Mehta's Symphony flows along just fine in most places, but really misses the heart and drama of the piece. Davis' Harold and Tristia (almost sounds like the name of a novel) are very good, and the only weak spot is the Funeral March for Hamlet (#3 of Tristia). Maazel's Requiem is frustrating. On one hand you have superb (really superb) choral singing. On the other hand you have anemic orchestral playing and direction. Maazel underplays/downplays/suffocates the big brass outburst in the Dies Irae. That's a major nono, in my book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy R. Penny on May 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good collection of works. Good for anyone looking to get into some classical music and not knowing where to start.
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