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Berlioz: Les Troyens [Import, Box set]

Mark Stone Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Mark Stone studied at King's College, Cambridge and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

In the UK he has sung for The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North¸ Glyndebourne, Opera Holland Park, Buxton Festival, Garsington Opera and Grange Park Opera and abroad he has sung for Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Opera Atelier Toronto, ... Read more in Amazon's Mark Stone Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Import, Box set
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B00005N8C7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,113 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Les Troyens(The Trojans)Opera

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

The epic tale of the fall of Troy haunted Berlioz from childhood and inspired some of his most passionately dramatic, richly colourful music. This is Colin Davis's second recording of Les Troyens, following his 1969 version. Magnificent though it was, some reckoned that reading lacked something in zip, but such reservations could never, ever apply here. Recorded across several lavishly praised concert performances in London in December 2000, this Troyens has an extraordinary electricity and rhythmic drive. Ben Heppner combines lyricism with heroic strength as Aeneas; Michelle de Young as Dido, though not erasing memories of Janet Baker' s brilliance in the role, produces a ravishing, creamy sound. Both perhaps lack the last ounce of character (and their French is occasionally flat-vowelled). Petra Lang as Cassandra is attention-grabbing from the start of the opera with her panache and commitment. Also catching the ear are Stephen Milling's granite-like Narbal and Sara Mingardo's bewitching Anna. The LSO gives its magnificent all, and the London Symphony Chorus is likewise in terrific form, although some will miss the clear-cut timbre of a fully-fledged opera chorus. The ultimate stars, though, are Berlioz and his faithful champion Davis. --Andrew Green

Review

'Colin Davis's eagerly awaited Trojans is truly spectacular... ' -- The Guardian, July 6, 2001

'The classical event of the year has to be the release of Sir Colin Davis's live recording of The Trojans.' -- Punch, August 2001

'a triumph ... one of the easiest decisions of the summer...' -- BBC Radio 3 Record Review, July 2001

'an unmissable triumph... I would recommend this account of Les Troyens as a first choice at any price. It's almost a giveaway.’ EDITOR’S CHOICE -- Gramophone Magazine, August 2001

'one of the finest operatic interpretations of our time' -- Sunday Telegraph, July 15, 2001

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
These CD's are a live recording of performances of Les Troyens given at the Barbican last December. I was at the Barbican on one marvellous Saturday when both parts were performed. The playing and singing then was of the highest order and this has been transferred to the CD's. Colin Davis's pacing of a score which is at one moment full of martial sounds and the next intimate music is absolutely masterful. The orchestral playing is wonderful as was the singing of the LSO Chorus. To choose one out of the cast is invidious but Petra Lang was absolutely stunning. Its a shame the endings of the acts have been re-recorded - I'm sure the long and loud cheering at the end would add to the atmosphere. An absolute must for opera fans and what a bargain!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est magnifique! 29 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
1) 5 stars for being the greatest bargain in the CD catalogue.
2) 5 stars for the absolutely outstanding quality of the gorgeous recorded sound and the inclusion of a libretto.
3) 5 stars for the extraordinarily alive, alert, active, sensitive, passionate playing of the LSO!
4) 5 stars for Sir Colin Davis for conducting such a thrilling, tender, beautiful and moving performance.
5) 5 stars for the virtuosic efforts of the singers. Heppner, especially is wonderfully dramatic and tender when necessary. And Petra Lang as Cassandra is OUTSTANDING. But the other singers all contribute at the highest level. Even Hylas' little song at the opening of Act V is handled with sensitivity and feeling by Toby Spence.
6) 5 stars, and worth the price of the entire set, for the last 20 minutes of Act IV, with the quintet, septet and duet sung with OUTRAGEOUS beauty, especially the little coda between Dido and Aeneas at the conclusion of 'Nuit d'ivresse...'. Oh wow.
7) Finally, 5 stars for LSO Live, for releasing such a quality performance, with the highest production values, at such a great price.
P.S----5 stars for Berlioz for writing such a monumental opera and then filling it with such detail and humanity.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering. Is this really a live recording?? 17 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
As someone who is wary of live recordings I would not have bought this CD if it were not for the Gramophone Award. But goodness me, how wrong can you be, the audience is so unobtrusive I can only assumed that the recording crew had them gagged and bound. This recording is absolutely splendid. I am now off to order the other Berlioz recordings on LSO Live....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Recording 28 Jan 2012
By bill
Format:Audio CD
I have now heard three recordings of this wonderful work and this leads the others by a considerable margin, despite a few weaknesses in the casting.I cannot believe that it is live and could kick myself for not going to see it at the Barbican.The opening scenes are among the most exciting I have heard in a long time and the singing of the Cassandra is just electrifying in its intensity, matched by that of Peter Mattei (what artists).Ben Hepper exceeds my wildest expectations as Aeneas and is better in my view that the more mannered singing of John Vickers in the earlier Philips set. My biggest reservation among the singers is the Dido of Michel DeYoung,just does not do it for me,however in the final scenes she does come to life. Veasey in the earlier set and Pollet in the Detoit version are both better. Despite this I still give this set five stars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best version i've heard 21 Nov 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is my favourite opera of all time and for me this is the best version i have heard on CD. To be honest i had my doubts if a live recording would work but believe me it does. Also worth a mention are the other berlioz works conducted by Sir Colin Davis and the LSO.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I was at first inclined to award this recording four stars on account of some reservations about the singing but it is performed with such conviction and so much else is superlative that I relented. Nonetheless, it is a central fact that good as the principals are, they are not necessarily a match for some illustrious predecessors. Michelle de Young, in particular, impassioned and involved as she is, does not have a truly distinguished, "queenly" voice of the kind Janet Baker and Josephine Veasey brought to this role and her vibrato tends to become obtrusive at times. Occasionally her French vowels become too dark and occluded where clarity and incisiveness are required; nonetheless, she really comes alive in the dramatic recitative "Dieux immortels" just before her lament "Je vais mourir" where she rises to the moment despite the occasional passing uncertainty in pitch. Her timbre is perhaps too similar to that of the Cassandre, Petra Lang, who doesn't have a very full, steady or even attractive tone but is very expressive and clearly sings her heart out. Besides, Davis's Cassandre in the 1969 studio recording, Berit Lindholm, wasn't flawless either.

Ben Heppner almost makes light of the vicious tessitura of the role of Aeneas and as such ironically strips it of some of the heroic striving that Jon Vickers' more effortful delivery brought to it but as singing his account is terrific and he too comes alive in the scene where the ghosts exhort him to abandon Dido and head for Rome.

Some of the secondary roles are especially well sung, in particular Peter Mattei's elegant and incisive Chorèbe and Sara Mingardo's Anna - indeed the latter, with her full, dark steady production, sounds like a potential Dido herself if she could manage the tessitura.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Les TroyensAll
Apart from the Royal Hunt and Storm I knew nothing of this music when I bought it, but i have such a strong affection for other Berlioz works that I have always thought it my duty... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. M. Campbell
3.0 out of 5 stars old history
A long run for following dramatic story,could tell a long story about what is common known as a legend,and period
Published 12 months ago by RPF.van Meer
4.0 out of 5 stars Boop boop ba doop!
An absolute classic! I put this bad boy in one of my six-disc slots, hit the road and put down the windows!

'Proletariat!' I cry out at the passing multitudes. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Papa Lazarou
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Berlioz
Berlioz at his best. A truly stunning piece of music produced by the master of conducting Sir Colin Davis.
It cannot be faulted. Four hours of unadulterated pleasure!
Published on 6 July 2012 by Tim Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
I didn't buy this when it originally came out as I already owned Davis's 1960s recording. But having been so impressed with his recent releases I took the plunge. Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2011 by TRT
3.0 out of 5 stars Davis's second-best Troyens
This largely praiseworthy production has been let down by certain stylistic aspects of performance--those where linguistic and musical matters impinge upon one another. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2009 by pclaudel
4.0 out of 5 stars TROJANS
On one level, I find it easier than I often do to account simply for the rating I have given this set. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2008 by DAVID BRYSON
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing just one thing to be truly magnificent
This recording ought to have been five stars. The singers are superb, most of the conducting sensitive. Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2007 by Adam Cuerden
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