Sir Colin Davis sets new standards in his Berlioz Odyssey
H. Granot | Ein Dor, Israel | 04/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded live at the Barbican Center, 27-28 September 2000, this new recording captures both Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra at a peak form. Like the other recordings on the LSO Live label the present release is on a budget price and because of that its offer an alternative buy. But listen to me and don't look at the price, this recording wroth any penny.Sir Colin Davis's is regarded as one of today greatest conductors of Berlioz. His new Berlioz cycle had already produced remarkable recordings such as the one on the Les Troyens, winner of the Grammy Awards, 2002. The other recordings include Berlioz's Beatrice et Benedict, Romeo et Juliette and La Damnation de Faust. Colin Davis's interpretation had only mastered through the years, his skillful understanding on Berlioz music and his ability to control and to shape the music into the right place make his recordings to one finest in the catalogue.Colin Davis's first recording with the Concertgebouw Orchestra is also a remarkable one, but I feel that it's the second version, which show greater sense in terms of interpretation and playing. On this version Colin Davis's emerges to draw more essential sounds from his orchestra. In this way he shows his awareness to the importance of delivering Berlioz's special score on the right way, and I admire him for that. Noticed to the incredible strings playing in the dissonant passages in the final movement.
However Colin Davis's hasn't changed his whole tempos through the work, and his two versions clocked almost at a similar times. In both versions Colin Davis's opts for a bit slower tempos then one hear in most versions, but he gauged them very well. The bonus on this disc is the overture for Berlioz's Beatrice et Benedict, also a very fine performance. Being recorded during a live performance the sound is also very good, clean and bright. Overall this is one of the finest recordings out there in the catalogue, a must have for every serious Berlioz collector. Buy it now before it's despair!!"