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Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts Hybrid SACD


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Biography

Sir Colin Davis was President of the London Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle. From 1995 to 2006 he was Principal Conductor LSO, prior to which he was the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor. He has recorded widely with Philips, BMG and Erato as well as LSO Live. His releases on LSO Live won numerous prizes including Grammy and Gramophone Awards and ... Read more in Amazon's Colin Davis Store

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Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts + Symphonie Fantastique (LSO, Davis)
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Product details

  • Performer: London Symphony Chorus, London Philharmonic Chorus, Barry Banks
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
  • Composer: Hector Berlioz
  • Audio CD (11 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B00B2A3UPY
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Grande Messe des morts: i. Requiem et KyrieLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis12:14Album Only
Listen  2. Grande Messe des morts: ii. Dies iraeLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis13:38Album Only
Listen  3. Grande Messe des morts: iii. Quid sum miserLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis 3:22£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Grande Messe des morts: iv. Rex tremendaeLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis 6:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Grande Messe des morts: v. Quaerens meLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis 5:10£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Grande Messe des morts: vi. LacrymosaLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis11:45Album Only
Listen  7. Grande Messe des morts: vii. Offertoire (Domine Jesu Christe)London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis11:48Album Only
Listen  8. Grande Messe des morts: viii. HostiasLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis 3:47£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Grande Messe des morts: ix. SanctusBarry Banks11:27Album Only
Listen10. Grande Messe des morts: x. Agnus DeiLondon Symphony Orchestra, Barry Banks, Sir Colin Davis14:04Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

Sir Colin Davis is a revered Berlioz expert and his LSO live Berlioz recordings have been one of the most widely acclaimed series of classical recordings of recent years and collected numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards for 'Les Troyens'. The release of the monumental 'Grande Messe des morts' marks the completion of this cycle and further confirms Sir Colin s status as one of the greatest living conductors of Berlioz s music. Recorded in St Paul s Cathedral, a fitting acoustic for the work, the London Symphony Orchestra opened the 50th anniversary of the City of London Festival with the Requiem, joined by English lyric tenor Barry Banks and two of London s finest choirs, the London Symphony Chorus and London Philharmonic Choir. 'Grand Messe des Morts' is a popular Berlioz creation, yet remains a rare and special treat. A requiem whose text derives from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass, it was composed, uniquely, by a man with no firm religious belief. Throughout the piece there is an extreme variation of dynamics. Poignant, reflective music is contrasted with four blazing brass ensembles, ensuring a powerful and grand listening experience. Recent releases on LSO Live from Sir Colin include the final release in his acclaimed Nielsen symphony cycle. In May 2013 you can look forward to Sir Colin Davis conducting Weber s 'Der Freischutz'.

Review

St Paul s Cathedral s acoustics are notorious for their resonance. Even under the dome, the sound can be confused. (In the nave, it is just a blur.) Yet music conceived for such a space thrives in it. In this live recording of Berlioz s Requiem, made at last year s City of London Festival, the enigmatic rising phrases that launch the work continue to reverberate hauntingly in the surrounding silences, and the tone of the combined LSO and LPO choirs singing beautifully and bringing out the music s profound sadness is wonderfully enhanced. Colin Davis fits the work to the conditions with a master hand. Memorable. --David Cairns, The Sunday Times 17 March 2013

***** Davis distils a lifetime s practical expertise with Berlioz into a performance that is noble, thrilling, intimate and richly satisfying. His orchestra plays for him as if possessed and the massed choirs are exceptional in what they deliver. Tenor Barry Banks provides just the right combination of sweetness and power in the Sanctus, his one solo. --Choir & Organ

EDITOR S CHOICE There s some lovely orchestral detail; woodwind semiquaver illustrating lux perpetua ; stabbing, syncopated chords from the upper strings in the Lacrymosa ... Whether in 2012 or 1969, Colin Davis is a must-have. --Richard Lawrence, Gramophone June 2013

This may be the most purely beautiful Berlioz Requiem on CD. --American Record Guide

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Katie on 29 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The reverberations of St Paul's Cathedral provide wonderful acoustics for this magnificent work, all too often recorded or performed in dull surroundings. They also provide an extra challenge for the performers, but there is no evidence of the Doppler effect often heard in Cathedrals when live. Unfortunately, the tempo in certain sections is a little ponderous, but I've come to expect that with Sir Colin Davis's work. His moans and groans can be heard occasionally, but that's no different than if you were at a live concert, This was ordered before his untimely death and I'm not sure if this was the last recording he made, but if it is, it's a wonderful memorial.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By davidmarlow on 24 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I attended the concert at St. Paul's last year,seats under the dome ( the only place to be for large choral concerts,otherwise the echo spoils the sound). The performance was brilliant as is this recording,so much better than my other one conducted by Bernstein which is quite an old recording now. A fitting memorial . No hesitation in recommending this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Nash on 22 May 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
A great recording of this wonderful music with excellent recording quality highly recommended sir Colin Davis is at his best
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Esther L. Oberbeck on 19 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sound is a bit cavernous given that the mass was recorded live inside St. Paul's Cathedral. However, don't be put off by that as the interpretation is certainly very good and the singing inspired.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Judy Spotheim on 15 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Guess what...
I did not started my listening session of this 2-SACD set, colossal oeuvre, with the first movement, the Requiem & Kyrie or with the Dies Irae, but instead went straight to the sixth movement, the Lacrymosa. And why?
I wanted to check first how this recording carries its sonic development (read it "how it swells, inflates"), from pianissimo to FFFF gradually, in a span of about 12 minuets; and taking into account that the SACD multichannel recording was recently made, captured during live performance 25th & 26th June 2012 at the St.Paul cathedral, I thought this test of dynamic richness, dynamic gradation and sound-stage dimensions is a most essential parameter upon which the whole listening session of such a grandeur of an oeuvre would stand or fall.

In the past efforts by EMI (late sixties and early seventies) and by DGG has proven a deep sonic disappointment; the notion back then was that following the letter of the huge score and accurately following the score's forces involved would render it impossible to capture on tape and certainly would have to be greatly compromise when transferred to the LP grooves (it would have to be seriously compressed at loud passages, and would have to have a sever attenuation of the bass dynamics and range...) in other words; it was seen as an almost-impossible prospect.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luukas on 14 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Sir Colin Davis (who died in this year) was wonderful conductor, and this recording prove it. St. Paul's Cathedral's acoustics is gloriously. Davis' tempi are quite slow, but it is understandable, because St. Paul's acoustics is very long - even six or seven seconds. By the way, this performance is very attractive - Barry Banks sings very beautifully and both choirs (London Symphony Chorus and London Philharmonic Chorus) sings very cleanly. Sanctus movement is heavenly and Tuba mirum is very cool (off-stage bands). Very strong experience and highly recommend.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Holland on 18 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fitting recorded memorial to Sir Colin Davis. A work only rarely.

Spacious sound and appropriate acoustics from St Pauls cathedral.
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This is a very good version of the Berlioz magnum opus,though it is difficult to convey the impact of litening to it as I did recently at Gloucester Cathedral with orchestra, brass bands (there were I'm told 14 timps playing the one conitnuous passage which could be felt as much as heard) and chorus but this recording almost captures that.
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