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CD Spotlight

SONICALLY BRILLIANT

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'... an entirely involving performance ...'

A new recording of the Berlioz 'Te Deum' -
with DAVID WILKINS

 

If you want to know something of Berlioz' three substantial attempts to 'address the French nation' (or, indeed, almost everything else about him), I can do no better than to direct you to David Cairns' magisterial prize-winning biography. If you simply want to hear something of the results, then here is a sonically brilliant and musically satisfying recording of the Te Deum which (along with the Requiem and Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale) registers the overtly patriotic idealism of a composer in thrall to the early aspirations of the tricolour.

Berlioz - Te Deum (c) 2000 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics

The massive requirements of the work -- in terms of performers and, very importantly, acoustic -- is immediately met in the opening movement. The organ tone (with the luxury of Marie-Claire Alain and a genuine Cavaille-Coll instrument) is fresh, big, sonorous and, with the open-throated choral entries and a splendidly unrestrained children's choir, entirely convincing [listen -- track 1, 4:48-5:32].

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Copyright © 20 May 2001 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK

 

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