- Conductor: Robin Ticciati
- Composer: Berlioz
- Audio CD (6 May 2013)
- Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
- Label: Linn
- ASIN: B009G7WU74
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,121 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Berlioz: Les nuits d ete (SACD/CD - plays on all CD players) Hybrid SACD, SACD
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Robin Ticciati cements his reputation as an outstanding Berliozian with his latest recording,Berlioz:Les nuits d été,which includes excerpts from Roméo & Juliette and La Mort de Cléopâtre.A pupil of Sir Simon Rattle and the great Berliozian Sir Colin Davis,Robin's reputation as one of this generations best conductors was assured when he was announced as the next music director of Glyndebourne,taking over from Vladimir Jurowski in 2014.Named one of the top ten young conductors on the verge of greatness by Gramophone Magazine,Robin delivers fresh insights and vivid colours into this luminous work.The recording features Kathleen Ferrier prize-winning mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill,who has sung at the Metropolitan Opera,New York and won acclaim as Cleopatra,a role she reprises here...the core of this stunning concert was a shattering,heart-rending performance by Cargill in awesome voice.(The Herald).The works of Berlioz have featured prominently in Ticciati's programmes with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since he became their principal conductor in 2009.
Berlioz played with chamber forces? The combination already worked well in last year's recording of the Symphonie fantastique with Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.Now lightning has struck twice.The Berlioz repertoire chosen here by the SCO's principal conductor may be on a smaller scale we get two vocal jewels,Les Nuits d été and La mort de Cléopâtre,plus the orchestral love scene from the dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette.But the virtues that lit up that Fantastique remain:piercing clarity of colour and texture;heightened drama;increased tenderness and intimacy.This is Berlioz up close and personal,and wonderful to behold.Berlioz performed with love,too. Over four seasons with the orchestra,Ticciati has formed a marked rapport both with composer and players;I'd buy this CD for the woodwinds phrasings and colours alone,and they occupy just one part of Berlioz's startling kaleidoscope.Luckily for his upcoming job as Glyndebourne Festival's music director,the 30 year-old is equally sensitive to the human voice,and he guides his soloist wisely.The Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill,one of the orchestra's past Artists in Association,is another reason to buy this disc.Dark,mobile,richly emotional,her voice finds a near-perfect showcase in the dramatic plaints of the Cleopatra cantata,Berlioz's bid for the 1829 Prix de Rome,and the subtler sorrows of the later Nuits d été.The close of Le spectre de la rose in that cycle so sad,so fragile makes you clutch at your heart.There are multiple other expressive beauties in these thoroughly well-prepared yet fresh performances,delivered with an accent just a few drops short of the authentic French perfume.Inbetween the vocal pieces comes the remarkable Roméo et Juliette love scene,music of the most passionate yearning,given extra lustre by the orchestra's intimate forces,sympathetically captured throughout in the recording produced and engineered by Philip Hobbs.The good news is that the SCO has now extended Ticciati's contract until at least 2018.Cue for more Berlioz,I'd say..Geoff Brown - 3/5/13 --The TimesSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
About young Robin Ticciati's direction I am marginally less enthused, not because I object to anything about his tempi, phrasing or balances but because he is so evidently a convert to the kind of period practice which dogmatically eschews vibrato in his strings.Read more ›
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I first noticed Ms. Cargill when I watched the Met's broadcast of Les Troyens. For my money, she was at least as good as - if not better than - Susan Graham, so I decided to see what else she'd done and found this and a few other recordings. I don't know if I can say I discovered her, but let's just say I'm so glad I found her. She has a wonderfully warm and expressive voice; it can be delicate or huge, and she handles the transitions between the two, as well as the French accent and elisions, spectacularly well. And because she's a mezzo, she can handle the lower notes arguably better than Crespin.
I'd have loved to have Ravel's Scheherazade on this recording, but in lieu of direct competition with Crespin's, Ms. Cargill has opted for an all-Berlioz recording with the "La Mort de Cléopâtre, and it's simply amazing. Maybe she'll do the Ravel on another recording at some point - one can only hope.
Similarly, Ansermet's conducting of L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romand is easily matched by Robin Tocciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I'm not familiar with either, but I can't wait to hear more.
Finally, the sound quality of this recording is extraordinary - the extra bucks you pay for an SACD are well worth it.
About young Robin Ticciati's direction I am marginally less enthused, not because I object to anything about his tempi, phrasing or balances but because he is so evidently a convert to the kind of period practice which dogmatically eschews vibrato in his strings. This persuasion produced a less than enthralling account of a Mendelssohn Piano Concerto I heard him conduct with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Proms last summer and I am by no means always persuaded that it does justice to the gorgeous love music from "Roméo et Juliette", which is otherwise sensitively, even magically played.
"La mort de Cléopâtre" is one of my desert island Berlioz compositions and it would take a lot to shake my joint loyalties to Baker's and Norman's riveting versions. Having said that, I thoroughly admire and enjoy Cargill's searingly acted, vocally resplendent account. At times the, slight whine in the SCO's violins accentuate the bitter-sweet immediacy of the queen's reminiscences and the desperate pathos of her plight, yet at times the orchestra sounds under-sized and under-nourished for this epic monologue.
Nonetheless, this is the finest Berlioz singing I have heard for many a year, in startlingly fine sound and offering a programme irresistible to lovers of great singing and the greatest French Romantic composer.