Berlioz: Cantatas

Berlioz: Cantatas

by Jean-Claude Casadesus, Lagrange
     
 
From 1827 to 1830, Hector Berlioz sought the prestigious Prix de Rome and composed a cantata for each year's competition. As might be expected, his originality stood in the way of immediate success, and the first three efforts were deemed inadequate or unperformable. In his fourth attempt, Berlioz finally acquiesced to most of the constraints imposed by the judges and

Overview

From 1827 to 1830, Hector Berlioz sought the prestigious Prix de Rome and composed a cantata for each year's competition. As might be expected, his originality stood in the way of immediate success, and the first three efforts were deemed inadequate or unperformable. In his fourth attempt, Berlioz finally acquiesced to most of the constraints imposed by the judges and won, though even here his vivid music exceeded their conservative expectations. "Herminie" (1828) is a scène lyrique for soprano and orchestra, and this passionate piece opens with the melody that later became the famous idée fixe of the "Symphonie fantastique." "La Mort de Cléopâtre" (1829) is a turbulent death scene that lasts for an astonishing 20 minutes. "La Mort de Sardanapale" (1830) won the prize for Berlioz; though only a fragment of this bold cantata survives, the scene is given here with a recitation of the missing section's text. "La Mort d'Orphée" (1827) is the least accomplished of the four, but it reveals a feverish romantic imagination already at work. Michèle Lagrange, Béatrice Uria-Monzon, and Daniel Galvez-Vallejo sing with high drama and ardor in keeping with the operatic nature of these solo cantatas; and the Orchestre National de Lille and the Choeur Régional Nord-Pas-de-Calais directed by Jean-Claude Casadesus deliver suitably intense accompaniment.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313581023
catalogNumber:
8555810
Rank:
166995

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Herminie, cantata ("scène lyrique") for soprano & orchestra, H. 29
  2. La Mort de Cléopâtre, for soprano & orchestra, H.36
  3. La Mort de Sardanapale, cantata for soprano, male chorus & orchestra, H. 50 (fragment)
  4. La Mort d'Orphée, for tenor, women's chorus & orchestra ("monologue et bacchanale"), H. 25

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