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Berlioz: L'enfance du Christ
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2007
Album Description
Described as a `sacred trilogy', Berlioz's oratorio L'enfance du Christ began as a short piece called Shepherds' Farewell. It tells the story of the birth of Jesus and the journey of the Holy Family as they escape Bethlehem and head across Egypt to the city of Saïs. Unlike many of the composer's more flamboyant works, it is an exquisite and gentle composition scored for relatively small forces.

CD Reviews
`If ever a conductor lived the works of a composer, it's Davis with Berlioz. The London Symphony Orchestra play with delicacy, the Tenebrae Choir are immaculate, and there's an impeccable set of soloists'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2015
Excellent music and recording. It became my favourite listening music over Christmas - especially The Shepherds' Farewell which is performed with a sensitivity I've never heard before. The grace notes on the oboes were sublime. I heard that particular piece so many times this last Christmas, but this was the version that pleased me most..
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Generally, I am an admirer of Berlioz's music, and of Colin Davis's interpretations thereof; for proof of this, I have virtually the complete set of the LSO Live recordings undertaken by Davis with the London Symphony. But this time the music itself fails to inspire, and the fine performance presented on this disc cannot make the composition rise above the mediocre.

The fault probably lies with the structure of the piece, which was composed in a haphazard manner over many years. There is no crisis created from which redemption and reconciliation can be achieved, which is quite ironic given the subject matter of the piece. As well as lacking strong melodies, the piece is simply too ... well, too blandly nice. The haphazardness of the piece's composition is concisely covered by David Cairns in his sleevenotes, where he writes, "Though it is not a work of theatre ... The work is structured as a series of tableaux". And that is its problem: it is a curious mixture of different forms - opera, cantata, and motet.

As for this recording of the live concert performance, it has very good sound with fine singing and fine playing. For me, the highlights are Herod cursing his dream (in a style that makes him, incidentally, a briefly sympathetic character); the Shepherd's Farewell (of course); and the opening narration of part three (where the sound quality is so good that you even hear Davis himself). There are moments of great beauty, but they are few and far between.

The recording comes complete with full libretto.
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on 31 January 2015
A very worthy recording. It is definitely worth paying the extra for this recording. Colin Davies definitely brings out the best in this performance and it is beautifully executed throughout. There are no 'bad' moments.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
The CD of Berlioz: L'enfance du Christ is a lovely production of this beautiful music. I ordered it from Amazon, and thoroughly enjoy listening to it.
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0 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2009
Berlioz - L'enfance du Christ (LSO, Davis) (Purchased on 11/15/2009) by Matthew Rose

Delivered as requested, will find out at xmas if it is any good, maybe amazon needs to have a tick this box if it is a present ?
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