Notes & Reviews:
Released in the year of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, Valery Gergiev and London Symphony Orchestra are joined by soloists Olga Borodina, Kenneth Tarver and Evgeny Nikitin for Berlioz Roméo et Juliette, recorded lvie at the Barbican Centre in November 2013. Part of major series of eight concerts, this work toured to venues in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and France. A large-scale 'symphonie dramatique', Roméo et Juliette was the fruit of the composers dual fascination with Shakespeare and with the actress Harriet Smithson, whom he was later to marry. Using the story of the star-crossed lovers as a starting point, Berlioz deftly portays Shakespeare's passion and drama through his music, as well as through the abundance of lyrical poetry throughout, written by French poet Émile Deschamps. Grammy-award winning mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina is a star of the Mariinsky Theatre, regularly appearing at major opera houses and with great orchestras around the world. A winner of the Rosa Ponselle and Barcelona competitions, Borodina made her highly acclaimed European debut at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1992, sharing the stage with Plácido Domingo in Samson et Dalila - a performance that launched her international solo career as one of the most sought after mezzos for her repertoire. Kenneth Tarver is considered one of the outstanding tenore-di-grazia of his time. He has appeared at the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls around the world specialising in Mozart and challenging, skilled oratorio repertoire. He is a graduate of prestigious institutions inclduing Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Yale University School of Music and was also a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Development Program. He has appeared on previous LSO Live recordings, notably Les Troyens conducted by Sir Colin Davis. Bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin trained at the St Petersburg State Conservatory, graduating in 1997. He has been described as a 'physically, vocally, a complete star' by The Independent. His premiere solo performance was with the Mariinsky Orchestra and was followed by invitations to perform at major theatres and festivals across the world. His discography includes other recordings with Gergiev, including Parsifal on the Mariinsky Label.
The Scotsman, 27th July 2016
Gergiev directs a red-hot performance here with the LSO and London Symphony Chorus, augmented by the fresh-sounding Guildhall School Singers (as semi-chorus), with soloists Olga Borodina (mezzo-soprano), Kenneth Tarver (tenor) and bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin. It's a strong team performance, driven by earthy passion.
BBC Music Magazine, October 2016
Gergiev, in this live account, inclines towards operatic fire and pace, occasionally headlong, but with a clarity and hushed, atmospheric pianissimo finely captured by the spacious SACD recording.
Recording information: The Barbican, London (11/2013).
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Works DetailsBerlioz, Hector : Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17
- Conductor: Valery Gergiev
- Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
- Notes: The Barbican, London (11/06/2013/11/13/2013)
- Running Time: 87 min. 40 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Cantata/Oratorio
- Written: 09/1839
- Studio/Live: Live