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François-Xavier Roth - Berlioz : Symphonie fantastique (Live)

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Berlioz : Symphonie fantastique (Live)

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth

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The large collection of antique instruments at Les Siècles' command makes its recordings more than just speculative period exercises, but something approaching musical time travel. Led since 2003 by its founder, François-Xavier Roth, this singular French orchestra has given thrilling historically-informed recreations of the repertoire of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries on vintage instruments that were available to the musicians of the time, crafted by hand, and possessing the unique sonorities and tunings of different regions. For this 2019 album from Harmonia Mundi, Roth and his musicians play Hector Berlioz's hallucinatory Symphonie fantastique and the dramatic overture Les Francs-Juges with marvelous orchestral colors and a striking textural clarity that almost makes their distinctive characteristics seem especially highlighted. However, this recording isn't meant to be a sonic showcase for audiophiles, because the drama, musicality, and visceral excitement of the performances soon override the novelty of instrumentation, and the overall effect of the presentation is a startling reassessment and a refreshing change from the weightier Berlioz of a Thomas Beecham or a Colin Davis. No one could write for brass more blazingly than Berlioz, and his skillful handling of the woodwinds is even more apparent when heard with early Romantic timbres. The ultimate pleasure of this disc, though, is found in the cohesion, agility, and passion of the group's playing, and Roth's confident leadership comes through in his precision and alert attention to details. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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Berlioz : Symphonie fantastique (Live)

François-Xavier Roth

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Symphonie Fantastique in C Major, Op. 14, H. 48 (Hector Berlioz)

1
1. Rêveries - Passions
00:14:27

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

2
2. Un bal
00:06:07

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

3
3. Scène aux champs
00:15:32

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

4
4. Marche au supplice
00:06:49

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

5
5. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat
00:10:38

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

Grande Ouverture des Francs-juges, Op. 3 (Hector Berlioz)

6
Grande Ouverture des francs-juges, Op. 3
00:12:12

Les Siècles - François-Xavier Roth, Conductor - Hector Berlioz, Composer

© 2019 harmonia mundi ℗ 2019 harmonia mundi

Album Description

The large collection of antique instruments at Les Siècles' command makes its recordings more than just speculative period exercises, but something approaching musical time travel. Led since 2003 by its founder, François-Xavier Roth, this singular French orchestra has given thrilling historically-informed recreations of the repertoire of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries on vintage instruments that were available to the musicians of the time, crafted by hand, and possessing the unique sonorities and tunings of different regions. For this 2019 album from Harmonia Mundi, Roth and his musicians play Hector Berlioz's hallucinatory Symphonie fantastique and the dramatic overture Les Francs-Juges with marvelous orchestral colors and a striking textural clarity that almost makes their distinctive characteristics seem especially highlighted. However, this recording isn't meant to be a sonic showcase for audiophiles, because the drama, musicality, and visceral excitement of the performances soon override the novelty of instrumentation, and the overall effect of the presentation is a startling reassessment and a refreshing change from the weightier Berlioz of a Thomas Beecham or a Colin Davis. No one could write for brass more blazingly than Berlioz, and his skillful handling of the woodwinds is even more apparent when heard with early Romantic timbres. The ultimate pleasure of this disc, though, is found in the cohesion, agility, and passion of the group's playing, and Roth's confident leadership comes through in his precision and alert attention to details. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

Details of original recording : Recorded 16 & 17 July, 2019, Maison de l’Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, Alfortville (France)

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