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Thread: Berlioz operas on disc - Les Troyens

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    Default Berlioz operas on disc - Les Troyens

    Don't judge me for this, but I've never tackled this work. Could someone give me any suggestions for a good recording?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    See the top recommended cd, dvd thread.

    We just did that one.
    Either Davis recording will do
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    I hadn't listened to it either until a week ago, but since then I've hardly stopped. This is a beautiful performance, very well sung and very French. It's also on YouTube:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps0RlubCRHg

    And this lovely recording of the love duet is from an album of highlights, I think:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LXDsKA56eMg

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    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    I consider the Dutoit a top runner:

    4436932.jpg
    More cowbell!
    .....-Gustav Mahler

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    - Best in Show for the Davis/Covent Garden first and foremost for the principals, sound engineering, and performance.

    - Honorable Mention for Davis/LSO for the "Royal Hunt and Storm" sequence which has the most powerful and heroic treatment of the horns that I've ever heard in anything by Berlioz aside from some of Davis' scenes from his Benvenutto Cellini.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    - Honorable Mention for Davis/LSO for the "Royal Hunt and Storm" sequence which has the most powerful and heroic treatment of the horns that I've ever heard in anything by Berlioz aside from some of Davis' scenes from his Benvenutto Cellini.
    It is worth noting that Berlioz wanted saxhorns & valved cornets in much of Troyens and it makes all the difference when you hear them in the piece. Certainly a modern horn sounds incredible but it isn't HIP When it came to orchestration, Berlioz really knew what he was doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celloman View Post
    I consider the Dutoit a top runner:

    4436932.jpg
    That recording is really awesome and I can second that in addition to the Davis set as well.
    "if a horse could sing in a monotone, the horse would sound like Carly Simon, only a horse wouldn't rhyme 'yacht', 'apricot', and 'gavotte'. Is that some kind of joke?"
    --Robert Christgau
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    アルバート セブン

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post


    [/I]
    anmhe - trust Marschallin (and me and Greg Mitchell when he posts here) - there is only one real choice - Davis or Davis.

    Those of us who recommend Davis do so after years of listening to his versions (and the other versions). I have all these versions and listen to them ofetn and the Davis set stands out head and shoulders above the very fine Beecham set for sound quality, orchestral performance but above all, for Davis' musicality (and I'm a great admirer of Tommy Beecham).
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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    Quote Originally Posted by Headphone Hermit View Post
    anmhe - trust Marschallin (and me and Greg Mitchell when he posts here) - there is only one real choice - Davis or Davis.

    Those of us who recommend Davis do so after years of listening to his versions (and the other versions). I have all these versions and listen to them ofetn and the Davis set stands out head and shoulders above the very fine Beecham set for sound quality, orchestral performance but above all, for Davis' musicality (and I'm a great admirer of Tommy Beecham).
    I had suspected that sound quality and orchestral performance- things I am more or less deaf to- were most of the reason why the Davis sets were the usual top recommendation. Personally, I found that nine minutes of the love duet sung by Vickers and Veasey felt longer than 3 hours and 40 minutes of the 'complete' opera as performed by Beecham and his French cast, and listening to it, I felt that I understood Itullian's accusation of extreme dullness (I don't know whether he has heard the Beecham or not). In any case, the fact that my preferred version is available free on Youtube means that for practical purposes it isn't really in 'competition' with the Davis recordings, at least as far as anmhe's budget is concerned.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figleaf View Post
    I had suspected that sound quality and orchestral performance- things I am more or less deaf to- were most of the reason why the Davis sets were the usual top recommendation. Personally, I found that nine minutes of the love duet sung by Vickers and Veasey felt longer than 3 hours and 40 minutes of the 'complete' opera as performed by Beecham and his French cast, and listening to it, I felt that I understood Itullian's accusation of extreme dullness (I don't know whether he has heard the Beecham or not). In any case, the fact that my preferred version is available free on Youtube means that for practical purposes it isn't really in 'competition' with the Davis recordings, at least as far as anmhe's budget is concerned.
    .....................................
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Second everything Marschallin Blair and Headphone Hermit. Have to say. If I go for the Philips recording over the LSO Live one, it's for the marginally preferable singing, and particularly for Vickers. I also prefer Veasey to De Young, though I like Lang better than Lindholm.

    Either way, Davis in Berlioz is unbeatable. Davis spent a lifetime with Berlioz, and it shows. Where other conductors used sometimes to iron out the idiosyncrasies in Berlioz's writing, Davis revels in the music's strangeness, which, paradoxically, reveals both its classical roots and its original modernity.

    Davis is your man.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    .....................................
    Finally you have a pal
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Your opinions have been very valuable to me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Headphone Hermit View Post
    anmhe - trust Marschallin (and me and Greg Mitchell[ when he posts here) - there is only one real choice - Davis or Davis.
    I must admit, they do all know the opera much, much better than I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Finally you have a pal
    finally ..... finally
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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