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See the top recommended cd, dvd thread.

We just did that one.
Either Davis recording will do
 
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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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- 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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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).
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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.
Each to their own, Figleaf (and I have acknowledged recently that the 'frenchness' of the singing is a real treat in the Beecham version), but when I hear the opinions of those who know the opera and the different versions well, the main reason why Davis comes out top is because of his musicality ... and choices between the Davis versions then centres on performance and sound quality. Persoanlly, I find the interaction betwen Vickers and Veasey in Nuit d'Ivresse to be absolutley magnificent - both as a duet and within the context of the entire opera. Perhaps it is a matter of taste which version of this duet is prefered (and there are a number of attempts at this duet available without the singers building to it through a performance of the entitre opera) but I find it to be really important in this piece to understand the duet within the context of the development (and then disintegration) of the Dido-Aeneas relationship .... and for me, this is best played out by Vickers and Veasey in the recordings that we have available.

The debt that lovers of Berlioz' music owe to the tenacity and dedication of Davis is enormous
 

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Each to their own, Figleaf (and I have acknowledged recently that the 'frenchness' of the singing is a real treat in the Beecham version), but when I hear the opinions of those who know the opera and the different versions well, the main reason why Davis comes out top is because of his musicality ... and choices between the Davis versions then centres on performance and sound quality. Persoanlly, I find the interaction betwen Vickers and Veasey in Nuit d'Ivresse to be absolutley magnificent - both as a duet and within the context of the entire opera. Perhaps it is a matter of taste which version of this duet is prefered (and there are a number of attempts at this duet available without the singers building to it through a performance of the entitre opera) but I find it to be really important in this piece to understand the duet within the context of the development (and then disintegration) of the Dido-Aeneas relationship .... and for me, this is best played out by Vickers and Veasey in the recordings that we have available.

The debt that lovers of Berlioz' music owe to the tenacity and dedication of Davis is enormous
There's usually some kind of trade-off when comparing complete recordings, and the particular trade-offs we are happy to make depend on our own individual priorities. As you know, I'm a lover of French singing, and not at all knowledgeable about music as music. For that reason I'm hesitant to argue about which conductor possesses greater 'musicality' because this is a matter entirely beyond my limited knowledge of opera. I do, however, find Jon Vickers' voice so harshly unpleasant and his interpretations so lacking in any kind of charm that listening to an entire opera with him in a major role would feel like a punishment. In contrast, Jean Giraudeau has a pleasant, warm timbre even if he doesn't sound heroic. Left to his own devices, Giraudeau doesn't seem to have been an especially charismatic singer either (and I won't deny he made some very iffy records- 'Ecco ridente', yikes!), but under Beecham he is able to create a modest kind of magic, and the rest of the cast is very strong too.
 

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There's usually some kind of trade-off when comparing complete recordings, and the particular trade-offs we are happy to make depend on our own individual priorities. As you know, I'm a lover of French singing, and not at all knowledgeable about music as music. For that reason I'm hesitant to argue about which conductor possesses greater 'musicality' because this is a matter entirely beyond my limited knowledge of opera. I do, however, find Jon Vickers' voice so harshly unpleasant and his interpretations so lacking in any kind of charm that listening to an entire opera with him in a major role would feel like a punishment. In contrast, Jean Giraudeau has a pleasant, warm timbre even if he doesn't sound heroic. Left to his own devices, Giraudeau doesn't seem to have been an especially charismatic singer either (and I won't deny he made some very iffy records- 'Ecco ridente', yikes!), but under Beecham he is able to create a modest kind of magic, and the rest of the cast is very strong too.
I own the Davis and LSO recording (haven't listened to the opera yet though) however figleaf you've given me a strong enough case to try out the Beecham as well!
 

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There's usually some kind of trade-off when comparing complete recordings, and the particular trade-offs we are happy to make depend on our own individual priorities. As you know, I'm a lover of French singing, and not at all knowledgeable about music as music. For that reason I'm hesitant to argue about which conductor possesses greater 'musicality' because this is a matter entirely beyond my limited knowledge of opera. I do, however, find Jon Vickers' voice so harshly unpleasant and his interpretations so lacking in any kind of charm that listening to an entire opera with him in a major role would feel like a punishment. In contrast, Jean Giraudeau has a pleasant, warm timbre even if he doesn't sound heroic. Left to his own devices, Giraudeau doesn't seem to have been an especially charismatic singer either (and I won't deny he made some very iffy records- 'Ecco ridente', yikes!), but under Beecham he is able to create a modest kind of magic, and the rest of the cast is very strong too.
To each her or his own, certainly- but I love Vickers, myself. He's ideal for the role in every way. Les Troyens is based on Virgil's Aeneid- itself brimming with virility and heroism. In fact, the first line of the Aeneid is, "I sing of war and of man at war"- nothing caressingly effeminate about that.
 

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To each her or his own, certainly- but I love Vickers, myself. He's ideal for the role in every way. Les Troyens is based on Virgil's Aeneid- itself brimming with virility and heroism. In fact, the first line of the Aeneid is, "I sing of war and of man at war"- nothing caressingly effeminate about that.
Indeed. If only there was a recording with an Enee who both sounded heroic and had an agreeable timbre. Vickers is unlistenable for me, although I don't think Giraudeau is unduly effeminate for the possessor of such a light voice. You could make an argument from Virgil that Aeneas, being merely an instrument of fate, lacks the agency necessary to be a true hero, but I doubt that would have much relevance to the opera.
 
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