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Berlioz: Romeo and Juliette (LSO) [Live]

London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £16.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position ... Read more in Amazon's London Symphony Orchestra Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Oct 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Lso
  • ASIN: B000063DQ5
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,356 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.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 1a - Combats - Tumulte - Intervention du PrinceLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 4:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 1b - "d'Anciennes haines endormies"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 5:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 1c - "Premiers transports que nul n'oublie!"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 7:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 1d - "c'est lui"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 3:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 2 - Roméo seul - Tristesse - Concert et bal - Grand fete chez CapuletLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis13:40Album Only
Listen  6. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 3 - Scene d'amourLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis20:27Album Only
Listen  7. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 4 - La reine Mab, ou la fee des songesLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 7:58£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 5 - Convoi funebre de JulietteLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 9:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 6/7a - Romeo a`u tombeau ... La foule accourt au cimetierreLondon Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 8:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 7b - "Quoi! Romeo de retour - Je vais devoiler le mystere"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 7c - "Pauvres enfants que je pleure"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 8:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene 7d - "Jurez donc, par l'auguste symbole"London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 5:27£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 15 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
Normally I greatly admire the work of Sir Colin Davis, not least in Berlioz, but having owned this recording since it was first issued and despite having listened to it a good half dozen times I find it curiously unsatisfying, all the more so as the work is a great favourite of mine. None of the soloists is particularly distinguished either as regards their French or their characterisation but that is not so important in this work. More important, the choir doesn't sound particularly involved and, much more seriously, neither does the orchestra. Davis's reading seems very pallid and anaemic: it lacks rhythmic acuity, excitement, passion and his customary verve and feeling for orchestral colour.

The situation is not improved by the very dry, shallow acoustic of the Barbican Centre. Sir Colin's earlier versions with the LSO and a later one with the Vienna Philharmonic are both preferable - assuming copies are still available. Oddly, there aren't that many versions to choose from. For a very good bargain version, there is Riccardo Muti's with the Philadelphia. This comes with a considerable bonus in the form of "Les Nuits d'Eté" sung by Janet Baker, accompanied by Sir John Barbirolli.

The recording in both works is richer and with a deeper sound-stage than the LSO version, particularly the main work, made more recently. There is more passion and drama than with Davis and the soloists have more personality. Their French is also better. "Les Nuits d'Eté" is my favourite Berlioz work and Baker is outstanding: her French is perfectly enunciated and she colours and shades her voice perfectly to capture the mood of each song. The result is a very moving experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad recording, but there are better 1 Mar 2009
By Neal Stevens - Published on
The sound here is quite acceptable, although the choir and the violins are recessed as if way in the distance. The Monteaux version on Westminster puts you inside the trombones. It is recorded very close up, as close as I have ever heard any symphonic recording. The prior Davis/LSO recorded on Philips puts you in row L orchestra seating. This latest LSO Live version seats you at the back of the balcony. But, if the performance had been exceptional, the sound would not stand in my way.

Davis is a highly qualifed Berlioz conductor. Pacing is about average.
The LSO plays well enough. But the solo singers here are not as strong as those on the earlier Davis, the Monteaux, or the Munch. I have not heard the Davis/Vienna live recording on Philips, but, as it sells on this site for over $120 I gather than someone thinks that it is also pretty good. So, there is not much reason to put up with the sound here when you can get better overall performances. Recommended for Davis completetists only.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly modern 25 July 2003
By Jacques COULARDEAU - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Berlioz avoided composing an opera on this subject, so there is no dramatically staged story. Three voices and a small chorus tell it, essentially the beginning and the end of it. The only character that appears in this « symphony » is Father Lawrence to explain the drama at the end and make the Capulets and Montagues swear to stop their strife. Berlioz nearly only relies on the music to make us enter a tale we know by heart anyway, hence to make us feel the story with our ears and with his composition. Berlioz uses contrasting instruments to evoke various emotions, keeping brass instruments and percussions for dramatic and sombre moments. He thus opposes Romeo and Juliet's inner world of love, peace, the dream of a better world, to the outside world of hatred and war. Berlioz relies on the expressivity of his music that varies - with the same instruments most of the time - from the lightest evanescent softness to the most erratic and even obsessively crushing force. He particularly resorts to swirling and whirling movements to conjure the passion of love and the joy of the heart, the slow flowing of a peaceful rivulet in some plain or mountain under the moon or in some secret garden. Love is an escape and the music renders it with gusto and delicateness. Even death, or at least Mercutio's real death and Juliet's false death, becomes a dream and Queen Mab is the Fairy Queen of the night, of eternal night, of the passage from the dream of love to the nightmare of death, from the sleep of satisfied lovers to the sleep of eternal peace. And yet Berlioz keeps the drama lurking behind every scene with some brass instrument or some drum that may stampede or punctuate the advancement of the tale. The descent of Juliet to her tomb resounds like a mini-Requiem, like a tenebrae, a sombre piece of music so popular at the end of the 17th century in France. Yet the slow march down into the tomb ceaselessly turns into a waltz and back into a funeral march and the candles are extinguished one after the other in the music itself. We can see the darkness falling onto the vault. This leads to the death of the two lovers and there the violins become prophetic in their style, announcing the music of the next century with broken musical periods and chaotic sentences like obsessive chords. This expressive music is tremendously romantic and yet - maybe because of it - surprisingly modern and this « symphony » is unclassifiable. It is no sonata, no opera, no oratorio, not even a real symphony. It is Berlioz pure and simple.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan
3.0 out of 5 stars good playing, sub-par recording, two weak singers 13 May 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have heard that the Barbican is not an easy place to record in, though I thought Davis's "Kullervo" had some power, but here we need much more orchestral presence. Granted, the best music is quiet -- Romeo alone, etc., and the Love scene -- but still . . . we need to be closer. Davis conducts these sections beautifully and raptly, and he and the orchestra deserve better. I tend to think that the final scenes (after Juliet's funeral procession, for which the choral writing is striking and effective) are relatively weaker, but that impression might be a result of the distant sound and the unpleasing and wobbly singing of the bass who sings Father Laurence. Early on, the mezzo who carries a good bit of the burden of narration, Daniela Barcellona, has a much too pronounced vibrato, though her voice itself has lovely tone quality. The tenor, Kenneth Tarver, sings well, although the sound engineers could surely have caught more bloom. This is a mixed bag, then -- great music in two-thirds of the piece, and very sensitive conducting throughout -- but too many distractions. I think I'll be looking for a better-sounding version.
12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality 28 Mar 2003
By Harry H. Hoover - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This is a recording of a live performance in London that sounds like it was made in France from what sound managed to get through the chunnel. A total waste of money!
4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very, very dull 10 Jun 2004
By "cambridge39" - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I wanted a recording of Berlioz' Romeo et Juliette, and so I bought this recording because the price was low and it appeared to be the work of a competent conductor and orchestra, even though I never heard of the singers. I have played it four times now, and it is terribly, terribly dull. It is so dull that I can't really review it, because it is almost as if I am listening to nothing. There must be better recordings of the work than this one.
I generally like Berlioz, and I enjoy a recording of orhcestral excerpts from Romeo et Juliette conducted by Leonard Bernstein. It is this performance that is bad, not the work itself.
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