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BERLIOZ: Cantatas

Composer(s):Berlioz, Hector
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - SecularVocal
Catalogue 8.555810
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Apart from the operas, Berlioz wrote a large number of vocal works. Between 1827 and 1830, he attempted the coveted Prix de Rome on four occasions, winning at his final attempt. This prize, established for musicians by Napoleon, brought with it a stay of two years in Rome at the Villa Medici, and was a significant honour for any ambitious young composer. The four now little-known Prix de Rome Cantatas, including the fascinating Herminie whose introduction was later to become the idée fixe of the Symphonie fantastique are brought together on this recording in the year of the bicentenary celebrations of Berlioz’s birth.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

La Mort de Sardanapale, though ironically only a fragment has survived, that fragment is markedly less original than any of the earlier works, even if it is well worth hearing for the hints of Berlioz themes to come. Herminie, based on Tasso’s Jerusalem Liberated, strikingly uses a central theme the motif that soon after became the idée fixe of the Symphonie fantastique, while La Mort de Cléopâtre even more clearly anticipates the operatic tone of voice that reached its culmination in Les Troyens. Even the earliest cantata, La Mort d’Orphée, with tenor and a chorus of raging bacchantes, brings a memorable close…with the Lille Orchestra under Jean-Claude Casadesus warm and



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