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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Bizet, 22 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Bizet : Clovis Et Clotilde & Roma - Apex (Audio CD)
This disc has the first recording of a youthful cantata by Bizet which was awarded first place in the Prix de Rome and then lay neglected for 130 years until 1986 when the present conductor revived the work. I don't think many people, hearing the work anonymously, would guess that this piece, competent though it is, was by the future composer of Carmen although, with the benefit of such information, it is possible to recognize certain traits that appear in Bizet's later works. I can't say that I have much desire to listen to the work again in the near future despite some attractive moments in the course of its half-hour duration and the presence of Montserrat Caballe in the team of soloists who sing in this recording. The original French text with English and German translations is included in the notes.
The "Roma" Symphony is much better known and has been recorded several times before. It's an attractive piece, with some splendid orchestration, although, as far as I'm concerned, without the charm, freshness and melodic fecundity of the composer's other symphony, in the key of C major. I would place "Roma" on the same level as the orchestral suites by Massenet.
This is a bargain issue, and the performances and recording are good so it is recommendable, but, I feel, only those with a particular interest in the music of Bizet will value it very highly.
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Bizet : Clovis Et Clotilde & Roma  -  Apex
Bizet : Clovis Et Clotilde & Roma - Apex by Jean-Claude Casadesus & Lille National Orchestra (Audio CD - 2003)
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