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Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts / Barry Banks, tenor; Sir Colin Davis, London SO

Album Summary

>Berlioz, Hector : Requiem, Op. 5 (Grande Messe des Morts)
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sir Colin Davis is a revered Berlioz expert and his LSO Live Berlioz recordings have been among the most widely acclaimed classical recordings of recent years. The release of the monumental Grande Messe des morts marks the completion of the cycle and further confirms Sir Colin's status as one of the greatest living conductors of Berlioz's music. Recorded in St Paul's Cathedral as part of the 50th anniversary season of the City of London Festival, this spectacular new recording features the London Symphony Orchestra joined by English lyric tenor Barry Banks and two of London's finest choirs, the London Symphony Chorus and London Philharmonic Choir.

The Guardian
The London Symphony Orchestra played with the kind of brilliant concentration only loyalty and love can command, and the 150-strong choir, sang with controlled power and beauty.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
There are some fascinating effects. The opening 'Kyrie' is measured, and the final "Kyries" sound like death knells. The cello line that opens the 'Dies Irae', the women enter like angels and the men like awakening spirits. The notes are by David Cairns, the great biographer of Berlioz. Text and translations are included.

Sunday Times, 17th March 2013
The enigmatic rising phrases that launch the work continue to reverberate hauntingly in the surrounding silences, and the tone of the combined LSO and LPO choirs - singing beautifully and bringing out the music's profound sadness - is wonderfully enhanced. Colin Davis fits the work to the conditions with a master hand. Memorable.

MusicWeb International, 18th April 2013
The orchestral playing is superb throughout...Sir Colin Davis, too, is in a class apart as a Berlioz interpreter and this performance simply confirms that. This is, from start to finish, magnificent. It's astonishing to think that when this recording was made he was a few weeks shy of his eighty-fifth birthday for there is no want of energy here...Berlioz found in Sir Colin Davis a champion beyond compare.

The two concerts in Saint Paul's Cathedral in June 2012 upon which this recording is based were colossal events. I attended the first of them and have rarely been so moved by the magnificence of stately music superbly rendered. LSO Live has captured the moment with remarkable fidelity.

The Arts Desk, 20th April 2013
Sir Colin Davis's grip on the score is as sure as it ever was, the massed choral forces coordinated with unerring precision. He's always had an ear for Berlioz's quirky sense of orchestral colour...Barry Banks is excellent...This is an essential purchase.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2013
The St Paul's acoustic is something to be reckoned with...and it is striking to observe how careful Davis is to allow for the famous echo...There's some lovely orchestral detail...The chorus is excellent...Barry Banks, sounding some way off, is effortlessly mellifluous. Whether in 2012 or 1969, Colin Davis is a must-have.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Barry Banks (tenor).

Recording information: St Paul's Cathedral, London (06/25/2012-06/26/2012).


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Works Details

>Berlioz, Hector : Requiem, Op. 5 (Grande Messe des Morts)
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: St Paul's Cathedral, London (06/25/2012-06/26/2012)
  • Running Time: 92 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 06/1837