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Berlioz: Harold in Italy Op16; Mort de Cléopâtre, scène lyrique


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1. Harold In Italy, Op. 16: I. Harold In The Mountains
2. Harold In Italy, Op. 16: II. March Of The Pilgrims
3. Harold In Italy, Op. 16: III. Serenade
4. Harold In Italy, Op. 16: IV. Orgy Of The Brigands
5. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: Allegro vivace con impeto
6. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: Recitativo: 'C'en est donc fait!'
7. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: 'Ah! qu'ils sont loin ces jours'
8. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: Recitative: 'Au comble des revers'
9. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: 'Grands Pharaons'
10. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: 'Non ! non, de vos demeures'
11. La Mort De Cleopatre, Scene lyrique: Recitativo misurato: 'Dieux du Nil'

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Spectacular Oct. 7 2008
By David Saemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a sensational CD. It was recorded in October 1961, a year before the orchestra moved to Lincoln Center and began to decline in quality. The Philharmonic just sounds spectacular on this CD. They even sound better than the Boston Symphony under Munch in this symphony. William Lincer is an excellent soloist in Harold. His tone is beautiful, and his articulation is spot on. Bernstein's tempos are vigorous but not rushed. He does observe Berlioz's instruction in one of his letters to double the tempo in the coda to the last movement. The 1961 sound engineering is fantastic, as good as anything RCA Living Stereo was turning out at the same time. The performance of La Mort de Cleopatre is highly articulate and dramatically telling. Jennie Tourel sings very well, and Bernstein's accompaniment is vivid and striking. I can't recommend this CD highly enough. In Harold, Bernstein probably is inspired by the landmark 78 rpm recording by his mentor, Serge Koussevitzky. Bernstein's recording is in the same league.
29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Berlioz: Harold In Italy Jan. 2 2000
By James - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
FINALLY...it's on CD! This is the immortal version of the ultimate symphony. Although not specifically credited, this is the 1962 version that formerly appeared on LP as Columbia Masterworks ms 6358 (stereo)...I personally wore out three copies before it went out of print. I then tried other versions on CDs but found them a poor substitute. "La Mort De Clopatre," which is some kind of operatic work I'm not familiar with, seems aimed at a different audience; but the CD is easily worth three times the price for the Berlioz alone so I can't complain about extras. The recording itself sounds better than the LP ever did, even with a moving coil cartridge, and the mellow tones of Bill Lincer's 400 year old Amati viola are faithfully reproduced. "Harold In Italy" has all the romanticism of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky plus the mathematical precision of Beethoven. This IS the best classical recording EVER MADE! BUY IT!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Classic Berlioz readings, but there are drawbacks Nov. 13 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The reviewer below is wild with enthusiasm for this 1962 Harold in Italy from Bernstein but doesn't seem to realize that La Mort de Cleopatre is also by the same composer, or that Bernstein's 1961 recording with his great friend--and great artist--Jennie Tourel is actually more outstanding. Except for Janet Baker on EMI, no one has approached Tourel in her involvement and commitment. Bernstein follows suit, and the result (which Sony previously paired with the Berlioz Requiem) is a joy.

As for the Harold, William Lincer, the NY Phil's first viola, doesn't have a virtuoso's temperament, and his playing tends to be bland. Too bad, since Bernstein is in very good form. In a way it doesn't matter much that the sonics are a drawback--sharp and edgy throughout, with almost no depth--because Bernstein recorded Harold again on EMI with French forces that, if anything, do an even better job. Unfortunately, he didn't get a first-rate violist the second time around, either, so I can't give more than four stars to the early or later performance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who loved the lp should buy this, quickly. July 1 2013
By Antonius Tio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The soaring splendor of the first three and a half minutes awakened memories of old. The rest is sheer joy. I made the mistake of dumping my lp collection twenty-five years ago. Naturally reality cannot equal what I thought I remembered here. However, it is very good.
Do not worry about the audiophile minutiae you may read in some of the reviews. This music is about a sonic journey with the entire orchestra carrying you along. Yes, there are mellow passages of gentle sweetness, but they give way to thunder.
I urge you to experience this recording since I think it is better than any other I have heard. Perhaps that is only because it falls in the track left by the lp in my brain. But I made that track because I needed to hear it over and over.
If you have never heard anyone play this,at least check the openings of the four sections on some MP3 release. Then buy this one.
When section four opens beware that your mother is not napping. One unhappy reviewer thinks there is volume change. That is because one does not use the same tools to work gold filagree and to break mountains.
The Cleopatra bonus has a different mood. You may not care for it. The Harold is worth what you pay.
I felt this was the single most onerous omission in Bernstein's Symphony Edition. Grab this one and add it to your collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sensational Jan. 15 2013
By Charles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had the great good fortune to read the reviews and take the advice to acquire the cd. Without a doubt the best version of both Harold and Mort that I have heard over some 60 years. I especially admired how Bernstein kept the violist to a restrained but superb major role. My only regret is I did not have this recording in my collection before now.


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