'... 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.
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].
Copyright © 20 May 2001
David Wilkins, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK
CD INFORMATION - VIRGIN 5 45449 2
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