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Berlioz: Les Troyens (Live, 2000) [Box set]

Ben Heppner , Michelle DeYoung , Petra Lang , Sara Mingardo , Peter Mattei , et al. Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 43.76 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Disc: 1
1. Act One, No.1 Chor: Ha, Ha! Apres Dix Ans - London Sym Chor/Stephen Westrop
2. Act One, No.2 Recitative And Aria: Les Grecs Ont Disparu! - Petra Lang
3. Act One, No.2 Recitative And Aria: Malheureux Roi! - Petra Lang
4. Act One, No.3 Duet: C'est Lui! - Petra Lang
5. Act One, No.3 Cavatina: Reviens A Toi, Vierge Adoree!/Pauvre Ame Egaree!/Si Tu M'aimes, Va-t'en... - Peter Mattei/Petra Lang
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act Two, Scene 1, No.12 Scene And Recitative: Intro - LSO/Sir Colin Davis
2. Act Two, Scene 1, No.12 Scene And Recitative: Intro - LSO/Sir Colin Davis
3. Act Two, Scene 1, No.12 Scene And Recitative: Intro: O Lumiere De Troie!/Ah!...Fuis, Fils De Venus - Ben Heppner/Orlin Anastassov
4. Act Two, Scene 1, No.13 Recitative And Chor: Quelle Esperance Encor Est Permise - Ben Heppner/Tigran Martirossian/Isabelle Cals/Peter Mattei
5. Act Two, Scene 2, No.14 Chor (Prayer): Ha, Puissante Cybele - London Sym Chor/Stephen Westrop
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Act Four, Scene 1, No.29 Royal Hunt And Storm (Pantomime) - LSO/Sir Colin Davis
2. Act Four, Scene 2, No.30 Recitative: Dites, Narbal, Qui Cause Vos Alarmes? - Sara Mingardo/Stephen Milling
3. Act Four, Scene 2, No.31 Aria: De Quels Revers Menaces-tu Carthage - Stephen Milling
4. Act Four, Scene 2, No.31 Cavatina: Vaine Terreur - Sara Mingardo
5. Act Four, Scene 2, No.31 Aria And Cavatina: De Quels Revers Menaces-tu Carthage - Stephen Milling/Sara Mingardo
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Act Five, Scene 1, No.38 Hylas Song: Vallon Sonore - Toby Spence/Andrew Greenan/Roderick Earle
2. Act Five, Scene 1, No.39 Recitative And Chor: Preparez Tout, Il Faut Partir Enfin/Chaque Jour... - Tigran Martirossian/London Sym Chor/Stephen Westrop
3. Act Five, Scene 1, No.40 Duet: Par Bacchus! Ils Sont Fous Avec Leur Italie! - Andrew Greenan/Roderick Earle
4. Act Five, Scene 1, No.41 Recitative And Aria: Inutiles Regrets! - Ben Heppner
5. Act Five, Scene 1, No.41 Recitative And Aria: Ah! Quand Viendra L'instant Des Supremes Adieux - Ben Heppner
See all 17 tracks on this disc

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I will stick to older versions... March 4 2002
By FD
While beautiful in sound (despite the live), well conducted and full of spirit and enthusiasm, and arguably benefiting from better voices than the Dutoit version, this version can't match the appropriateness of the singing (and of the French) of the likes of Dame Janet Baker, tenors George Thill and Nicolai Gedda - or even Domingo in the Met telecast version. In particular Heppner is in my opinion somewhat lacking in this - despite obvious efforts toward purity of line and restraint in using the huge vocal means, he stops far short of his illustrious predecessors in these and in nobilty of tone - for example the nasal recitatives are more Wagnerian than Berliozian. He also needs very significant work on the French language. Hardly a word is understandable, and we are served mash potatoes, by Heppner, Martirossian, and de Young. Andrew Greenan is a very notable and appreciated exception in that regard.
I guess no single record set does this extraordinarily complex and expansive work justice, and this one is certainly valuable in many regards - but very, very far from definitive. What a shame it is treated as such by the record companies - and that other key versions, such as the vastly superiorly sung (IMHO) 1969, are no longer available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Deservedly recognized! March 3 2002
I have little to add to the other fine informative reviews of this recording, except to express my great satisfaction in seeing it recognized through the Grammy award! Having been at the concerts at which the recording was made, I can confirm the tremendous sense of excitement of the audience at large at hearing orchestra and singers rising to new heights of inspiration. Sir Colin's earlier ROH Covent Garden recording with Veasey and Vickers set a standard that was hard to beat, yet this new LSO Live recording certainly does that in some aspects... principally the playing of the LSO. As another reviewer says, they are the stars of the piece. Hopefully this recording will do much to promote a better knowledge of one of the most monumental operas of all time, including the earlier Beecham rendering of it. And, hopefully, Berlioz' other works as well. The LSO Live series also includes Sir Colin's recent performances of "La damnation de Faust" and "Romeo et Juliette". The latter, particularly, is an absolute gem. And the same label has just released Sir Colin's version of Elgar's First Symphony... the LSO's playing of the Adagio is electrifying. LSO Live seems to move from one triumph to another!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb at any price Oct. 29 2001
This recording is based on performances by the LSO at the end of last year, which generated a great deal of excitement at the time. Eye witness accounts tell of white-hot performances to tell the grandchildren about, and their release on CD is very good news. This is Sir Colin Davis' second recording of this piece and whilst I haven't heard the first, it's hard to imagine him producing better. The recording is coherent across its sprawling whole (the two "parts", not remotely equal) in spite of having been recorded at different times.
Yes, the playing of the LSO is the star of the recordings. All the textures - from the big set pieces to the intimate moments, by way of the spooky "ghost" music and the plentiful dances - are perfectly brough to life, the tempi ideal. Perhaps the zenith comes in Act 4, where the dances are followed by the languorous love music, which provides an overwhelming palate of sound. The chorus sounds a bit thin and lacklustre for my liking, and indeed for me are the set's main drawback.
And the singers? The principal roles are notoriously difficult and Davis has a mix of the well known and the less well known among his cast. Spanning both parts, Heppner's Enee is thrilling and he makes light of the killer tessitura. There is no lack of spirit and fire, though perhaps more sensuous singing in Act 4 would be useful - although this is already an astonishing performance. Lang's Cassandre is fabulous, fiery, crazed and ultimately triumphant. Technically she is wonderful, solid from bottom to top without betraying her mezzo status. The other main mezzo, Michelle de Young, is aptly queenly as Dido, producing creamy sound with occasional pitch difficulties. She is at her best in the outbursts in Act 5 where her anger could strip paint.
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